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A Primer on Preparing for the Prosecution’s Expert
By Richard S. Jaffe
Despite the fact that experts have always played a prominent role in both civil and criminal trials, many lawyers fail to challenge experts utilized by the prosecution. Challenges are rarely brought despite the fact that some so-called “experts” are unqualified or poorly trained. There are steps that must be taken in any case when the government retains an expert. Successfully attacking a prosecution expert is a goal within the reach of any prepared trial lawyer.
1. Obtain the expert’s resume or CV (curriculum vitae).
Make sure everything listed is accurate. Many experts are simply not qualified in the fields in which they testify. Experts exaggerate their qualifications, including their education. Some testify in areas well beyond their expertise. Many simply lie on the CV; some never even attended the schools listed. Occasionally experts lie about their publications or contributed little, if anything, to the publications listed. When an expert’s resume indicates
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