What Makes a Good Witness
- An important aspect of expert witnessing is for the witness to educate the judge or jury (trier of fact) as to how the opinion was reached. This is done via the use of exhibits that are enlargements of the questioned and known writing samples. The Certified Document Examiner is then able to show the trier of fact how the opinion was arrived at. Thus, the trier of fact can form their own conclusion based upon the handwriting itself.
What Makes a Bad Witness
- If the other side retains an expert don't assume that expert knows what they are talking about. As in any field, Forensic Document Examination has practitioners that are not ethical or may not be competent. I have assisted in the impeachment of such witnesses.
The following are red flags of inadequate expert witness testimony:
- Exhibits are unclear by being too small, poorly reproduced or not used at all;
- The explanation is vague, terminology is unfamiliar, or does not make sense; and…
- The witness seems to expect the trier of fact to “trust” them and their credentials and de-emphasizes the evidence of the handwriting itself.
Is the opposing expert's opinion incomplete? Erroneous? Are their credentials valid?
Please call or email me to discuss the details of your case.