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Experts: How to Identify Them, Confront Them, and Keep Them Off the Stand
By Eric A. Vos
1. Why Use An Expert?a. For the Jury’s Sake
Why use an expert? Because they win cases!1 Logically, given the rules
which dictate attorney presentations to jurors, lawyers will not be
allowed to give long-winded explanations or theories outside of opening
and closing arguments. Even if an attorney could miraculously take the
witness stand, this would be a rather poor substitute for expert
testimony. Hence, most of the heavy lifting is best done by someone
other than the defense attorney — the least liked person in the
courtroom. An opening statement, a blistering cross-examination, and
summation are the sum total of how most defense attorneys set forth
theory. Yet, when an expert is employed aggressively, a theory can be
While Criminal Justice Act panel attorneys used experts in less than 2.5
percent of their 2004 cases, government attorneys used experts in 100
percent of their cases. This, of course, starts with the case agent who
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