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Legal Profession

Jurisprudence

St. Mary's University

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Navigating Some Deep And Troubled Jurisprudential Waters: Lawyer–Expert Witnesses And The Twin Dangers Of Disguised Testimony And Disguised Advocacy, W. William Hodes May 2016

Navigating Some Deep And Troubled Jurisprudential Waters: Lawyer–Expert Witnesses And The Twin Dangers Of Disguised Testimony And Disguised Advocacy, W. William Hodes

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Expert testimony is indispensable to the uniquely American system of adversary justice. Without the assistance of expert witnesses with specialized knowledge, based on either science or experience and practice, jury verdicts would often be the result of pure whim and prejudice, or random and arbitrary decision-making. At the same time, the use of compensated, partisan expert witnesses poses significant dangers to the fair and just determination of disputes. This Article examines the enhanced dangers that can appear when the expert witness is a lawyer, chiefly the pervasive use of “disguised testimony” and “disguised advocacy.” The Article concludes with some suggestions …