4th Edition

Law for the Expert Witness

ISBN 9781439851562
Published December 13, 2011 by Routledge
252 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Extensively updated and expanded to incorporate legislative and practical changes enacted since the publication of the previous edition, Law for the Expert Witness, Fourth Edition is designed for professionals and students requiring edification on the current processes and techniques of legal procedure.

Drawn from revised versions of the readings assigned to graduate and continuing education courses taught by the author, as well as his own professional experience, the text is divided into four sections. Beginning with procedural issues that an expert witness will encounter in advance of the trial itself, the chapters cover legal paperwork, discovery, depositions and other discovery techniques, and consequences for failure to comply with discovery.

The next section addresses evidentiary issues, exploring fundamental concepts such as burden of proof, presumptions, and admissibility. It defines who is an expert and when one can testify, and describes the proper form of questions to an expert. Next, the book discusses chain of custody issues, exhibits, hearsay, and the best evidence rule.

The book includes suggestions and hints for the expert witness applicable to direct testimony as well as tips on withstanding cross-examination. The final section of the book contains excerpts from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence as well as a table of illustrative cases.

New topics in this Fourth Edition include:

  • The non-discoverability of the expert’s draft reports, as mandated by FRCP26
  • The issue of destruction of evidence as it effects discovery and tests, experiments, and chain of custody
  • New and updated information on differing rules among states regarding who is an expert and whether that testimony will be admitted into evidence
  • The reissuance of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure with new subsections

Maintaining the same user-friendly style that made previous editions so popular, this volume enables expert witnesses and attorneys to present compelling evidence in court that will withstand objection from even the most challenging adversary.

Table of Contents

Before Trial
Filing Suit, or Legal Paperwork
Counterclaims, Cross-Claims, Third-Party Claims, and Class Actions
Discovery in General
Policy Considerations
Other Discovery Techniques
Failure to Cooperate in Discovery
Pretrial Conferences
The Rules of Evidence
Fundamental Concepts
"Burden of Proof"
Origins of the Law of Evidence
Weight and Admissibility
The Fundamental Rule of Evidence
Who Is an Expert and When Can One Testify
The Form of Questions to an Expert
Tests, Experiments, and the Chain of Custody
Tests and Experiments
Chain of Custody
Common Knowledge and Routine Practice
Real Evidence
Exhibits and Demonstrations
The Rule Against Hearsay
Hearsay Exceptions I: Introduction
Hearsay Exceptions II: Writings and Records
Past Recollection Recorded, Present Recollection Revived
Government Records
Hearsay Exceptions III: Printed Matter
Hearsay Exceptions IV: Miscellaneous
Best Evidence Rule
A "Real" Case
Suggestions and Hints for Expert Witnesses
Presenting Direct Testimony
Organizing Narrative Testimony
Be a Teacher
Presenting the Testimony
Withstanding Cross-Examination
Appendices and Case Listing
Appendix A: Extracts from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (in Numerical Order)
Appendix B: Extracts from the Federal Rules of Evidence (in Numerical Order)
Appendix C: Table of Illustrative Cases

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Daniel A. Bronstein is a professor at Michigan State University where he teaches environmental law in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and medical jurisprudence in the medical schools. He received his bachelor of arts in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University and his bachelor of law from the University of Maryland. After practicing trial law in his native Baltimore for five years, he decided to go into teaching. He received his master of law and doctor of jurisprudential science degrees from the University of Michigan. He has taught at Michigan State University since 1972.

Bronstein was editor of Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, the refereed journal of the International Association for Impact Assessment, from 1993 to 2000 and is currently a member of its publications committee. He is the author of five books, eleven monographs, and numerous journal articles, and is admitted to the practice of law in both Maryland and Michigan. He is an ex-officio member of the council of Section K of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served as chair of the Committee on Environmental Law and as a vice chair of the Committee on Scientific Evidence of the American Bar Association


Praise for the previous edition:

"[T]he best text on this subject written for the expert witness."  
—Jurimetrics Journal