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Wrightsman's Psychology and the Legal System 9th Edition

Wrightsman's Psychology and the Legal System (9th Edition)

Book Edition9th Edition
Author(s)Greene, Heilbrun
Experts in the Adversarial System
Psychological Damages to Civil Plaintiffs
Psychological Autopsies
Child Custody and Parental Fitness
Chapter 11, Start of Chapter, ORIENTING QUESTIONS, Exercise 1
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What problems are associated with expert testimony based on these evaluations? What reforms have been proposed?


Expert Witnesses' Incompetence
While immunity shields an expert witness from having to defend themselves in court or pay out damages to others, there are times when they may be careless. A witness may be sued for professional misconduct or carelessness if he or she does not testify truthfully and accurately. Even if the expert witness's remarks aren't exactly what the lawyer wants, the court may nonetheless find that he or she is immune from prosecution. Some expert witnesses, on the other hand, may not be able to detail the case's facts based on their own knowledge and skill. This could be construed as a form of carelessness. This is because the expert has been paid to explain certain parts or elements of a claim using the skills and information he or she has gained in the field. The paid expert witness was not executing his or her job if someone else conducted the research and utilized the results as testimony.


Contractual Agreement for Retainer
While witness or expert witness immunity is normally in place to shield these individuals from scrutiny, the courts have set precedents when the individual has acted outside of the scope of a contractual agreement to offer testimony. As a result, only specific activities made by an expert witness may be considered litigious. He or she may not be held accountable simply because another expert or professional disagrees with his or her conclusions about the case's details. Professional negligence does not include differences of opinion.


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