The Champion

June 2007 , Page 10 

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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 impressively presented.

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 is

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