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Civil Action

In: Social Issues

Submitted By unc123
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Civil Action Assignment 3 1. An expert witness is a witness who has knowledge beyond that of the ordinary lay person enabling him/her to give testimony regarding an issue that requires expertise to understand. Experts are allowed to give opinion testimony which a non-expert witness may be prohibited from testifying to. 2. Both sides had to bring in experts in regards to the chemicals that the wells were contaminated with. Then they had to bring in experts in ground water movement, they had to prove chemicals were dumped, and had to prove the chemicals made the people sick. Proving of causation was the reason why so many experts were called on. Every aspect of the evidence had to be proven to be as solid as possible to be allowed in court. 3. Hydrogeologist, Geologist, Engineering Geologist, Soil scientists, Geochemist 4. The first issue is money. Experts are paid for their time and even though it creates a substantial incentive for the expert to advocate a party's position that is not supported by available research and data. This problem is particularly acute with the professional witness, who makes her living testifying as an expert. A professional witness is highly motivated out of self interest to develop relationships with lawyers because those relationships are the expert's lifeblood. The more effective the expert is in advancing the lawyer's case, the greater the likelihood the expert will be retained again.

The Safeguards of the Adversary System is the second issue. The jury is not competent to resolve inconsistencies in expert testimony. A jury lacks the experience necessary to understand the validity of the laws or propositions used by the experts. The jury can be misled by expert witnesses due to lack of knowledge in the respective field.

The third issue is Cross Examination and Contrary Evidence. In cross examination the expert witness knows more about the subject matter and may well be more experienced in the courtroom than the examining lawyer. The problems created by the presentation of contrary evidence can be demonstrated by the following example. Assume that ninety-five experts in a particular scientific field take the position that there is no causal connection between a substance or device and plaintiff's injuries. Five experts disagree, and take the position that there is a causal connection. At trial, one expert from each side testifies. The defendant's expert testifies that there is a clear, overwhelming majority of the scientific community that agrees with him. The judge instructs the jury that the number of witnesses called by the parties on an issue is not a factor that it should consider. The jury, because it is unable to substantively evaluate the conflicting positions of the experts, relies on conventional devices, such as bias, to decide the issue. The shortcoming of the presentation of contrary evidence, at least with experts, is that the presentation itself may give the jury a misleading portrayal of the relevant scientific community.

5. Hydrogeologist, Geologist, Engineering geologist, Soil scientists, Geochemist, expert on tumor immunology, cardiologist, immunopathologist, specialist in occupational and environmental medicine, neurologist, immunologist, biochemist, glacial morphologist, soil chemist, city engineer. They should bring any exhibits pertaining to their tests they have issued. They should bring the results along with their personal notes that were taken during testing. They should bring any articles they have written or any that pertain to their field that may be helpful in proving their point.

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