Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis
Expert Witnessing and Scientific Testimony: A Guidebook, Second Edition / Edition 2

Expert Witnessing and Scientific Testimony: A Guidebook, Second Edition / Edition 2

by Kenneth S. Cohen


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Based on the author’s more than 35 years of experience as a successful expert witness, this revised and expanded edition of Expert Witnessing and Scientific Testimony: A Guidebook demonstrates how to properly present scientific, criminal, and forensic testimony and survive the onslaught of cross-examination in court. It presents material in a step-by-step format for scientists or business professionals who find themselves thrown into the situation of testifying in a legal action.

New Features in the Second Edition:

  • Features two new chapters on fraud and medical malpractice testimony
  • Updates and expands the original chapters

The book addresses the courtroom experience by illustrating actual cases and experiences in procedure, strategy, cross-examination, and the exposure of personal history. It stresses that the primary role of an expert witness is to clarify and simplify complex technical, scientific, criminal, or forensic issues. Examples of experts with years of experience as witnesses highlight what to do and what not to do in providing quality testimony.

Expert Witnessing and Scientific Testimony: A Guidebook, Second Edition is an excellent aid for preparing to give expert testimony. Its real-life examples and practical suggestions to avoid common pitfalls ease your path to testifying in the courtroom. It is a valuable resource in warding off the stresses that accompany a high-pressure and high-value legal situation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498721066
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 08/07/2015
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 299
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Kenneth S. Cohen was born in 1937 and was raised and educated primarily in the Los Angeles, California, area before joining the U.S. Navy in 1959. The Navy sent him to a pharmacy school, and after an honorable discharge in 1963, he returned to San Diego State University to complete his bachelor’s of science in microbiology in 1965. He entered a two-year master’s program in biology but withdrew while writing his thesis out of necessity. He completed his education by seeking an off-campus degree, nine years later, from California Western University and was awarded a PhD in occupational health in 1976. He has been court qualified since 1974 as an expert witness in jurisdictions across the United States and has given testimony in nearly 1000 depositions and more than 500 court trials.

Table of Contents

Involvement in a Legal Action
Your First Subpoena
How Did I Get Into This?
I’m Not an Expert or a Witness!
When Recognizing Errors and Omissions Is Your Job
Expert Witnessing
The Who
The What and Where
The When
The How
Witness Backgrounds

The Legal Definition of Negligence
Professional Negligence
Statutory Negligence
Ignorance Is No Excuse of the Law

Rules of Evidence and Code of Procedure
What You Need to Know
Hearsay Rule
Chain of Custody
Hazardous Materials
Nondestructive Testing
Rape Evidence Kit

The Body of Scientific Literature
Libraries Are for the Dinosaurs
And Then There Was MEDLARS
CD-ROMS: Making Progress
The Internet
Too Much Information

Foundation Equates to Persuasion
Court: "I’ve Seen His Noodles and They Are Okay!"
The Weight of Testimony
Foundation of Knowledge
Exponential Decay Curve
Electron Microscopy

Legal Expert Witnesses
Who Qualifies?
Believing in One’s Self
Witness Preparation
The Invisible Expert
The Truth Only Comes Out One Way!

Speaking the Language of Lawyers
Legal Language 101
Responsiveness to the Question
Anticipating Questions
Attorney-Client Privilege
Don’t Speak "Legal"

Doing the Courtroom Dance, First Learn the Steps
Step 1: Deposition
Step 2: Mandatory Settlement Conference
Step 3: Trial

Skeletons in Your Closet
Digging up the Past
Pretext: When the Line Is Crossed
Fee Questions
Finding a Few Skeletons Yourself
Résumés: One of Your Best or Worst Tools
Skeletons in Unlikely Places
Rehabilitation of an Expert Witness

Impeachment Is Not Just for Presidents!
First Few Minutes of Cross-Examination
Toward the End of Cross-Examination
Don’t Underestimate the Jury

Criminal, Civil, and Workers’ Compensation Cases
Criminal Cases
Civil Cases
Workers’ Compensation Cases

Toxic Torts in Retrospect
Introduction of Toxic Torts
Medical Misdiagnosis
Compensation: Not Just for Work Anymore

One Case Is Tragic; Two or More Is an Epidemic
Birth of a Lawsuit
Dual Role of the Court

Professional Liability
Professional Liability Insurance
Indemnification Clauses and Letters
Hold-Harmless Agreements
"Going Barefoot" with Limited Financial Assets
Actionable Events and Activities
Scientific Accuracy, Completeness, and Documentation

Out of the Ordinary: Investigations, Cases, and Trials
Abalone’s Revenge!
Did She Die Now or Later?
Peep Show Problems
Fried Chicken Maggots
Musician’s Asbestos Exposure
A Double Shotgun Death in the Backcountry
Dr. Tyndall, I Presume?
Is That My Pubic Hair?
Redwood Deck Blues!
Bull-Riding Roofer
Don’t Shake My Hand
Lethality of Human Poop
Lipoid Pneumonia Doesn’t Mean "Fat Lungs"
Ordinary or Out-of-the-Ordinary?

Expert Witnesses: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Christopher E. Andreas
Trial Basics
The "Good"
The "Bad"
The "Ugly"
Closing Argument

Do You Charge for Your Testimony?
No, I Charge for My Time!

Fee Structure
Pro Bono Work
Workers’ Compensation Reports
Travel and Expenses
Cancellation Fees
Privacy versus Disclosure

Being a Medical Expert Witness: Be Careful What You Wish For!
David M. Priver
Promotion of High Standards of Medical Care
We Get Paid to Do This
We Are Helpers
We Educate Ourselves
Bringing the Fields of Law and Medicine Closer Together
Agreeing Inappropriately to a Settlement
Inherent Conflict of Interest
No Help to Patients with Bad Outcomes Unrelated to Negligence
Inappropriate Ethical Guidelines
Poor Quality Medical Records
Could There Be a Better Medical Tort System?
The Fifteen Questions to Answer Before Becoming a Medical Expert Witness

Accounting and Financial Matters: Numbers Don’t Lie
Stephen A. Pedneault
The Spectrum of Experts
My Sweet Spot
Nothing Beats Experience
Motions In Limine to Preclude an Expert (aka Daubert Challenges)
Crossing the Double Yellow Line
When it Comes to Experts, Testifying = Educating
People Like Analogies
It All Ends Up in Retained Earnings

Closing Arguments
Potholes in the Road to Expert Witnessing

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