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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 122905 Find in a Library
Title: Consultant or Expert Witness? A Serious Problem for Scientists
Author(s): H Hollien
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 5
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Experts who are approached for advice, evaluations, and expert testimony in criminal justice proceedings face an ethical dilemma regarding the nature and level of their involvement makes them an expert witness or a consultant for one side.
Abstract: No ethical constraints exist regarding providing printed materials to attorneys or in carrying out certain tests or evaluations. However, problems begin to arise when the expert is invited to strategy sessions, asked to help impeach experts for the other side, or asked to sit with the attorney and help in the cross-examination of other experts. Thus, experts must constantly assess their role with the case and its personnel and must ensure absolute objectivity while on the witness stand. Another possible solution to the ethical dilemma is to have one expert as a consultant and another as the witness. Careful attention to the ethical issues involved will prevent bias on the witness stand.
Main Term(s): Expert witnesses
Index Term(s): Consultants; Professional conduct and ethics; Role perception
Note: Paper presented at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Convention, San Diego, Calif., February 1987
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