The Scientist or Engineer as an Expert Witness  book cover
1st Edition

The Scientist or Engineer as an Expert Witness

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ISBN 9781420052589
Published November 14, 2008 by CRC Press
230 Pages - 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The increased technical nature of litigation coupled with an increase in the number of cases have given rise to the need for a book specifically written for scientists and engineers called to testify as expert witnesses. Unique in its approach, The Scientist or Engineer as an Expert Witness assists these experts in clearly conveying the often complicated information to a non-technical audience.

Highly detailed and exceedingly thorough in scope, the book begins with a complete discussion of the functions of the expert witness before delving into the process of how attorneys find experts. A significant portion discusses the professional resume and other tools the expert can use to market him- or herself. The author supplies a helpful primer on the rules of evidence and a discussion of the attorney-expert witness relationship. He includes ample treatment of the use of reports and visual aids, as well as issues that arise during depositions. The book closes with a comprehensive discussion of the trial itself, followed by post-trial responsibilities. A complete glossary of terms further clarifies the material.

Dr. James G. Speight has more than 40 years’ experience in areas associated with the properties and processing of conventional and synthetic fuels. He is the editor of the journals Petroleum Science and Technology, Energy Sources Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects, and Energy Sources Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy. He has testified numerous times as an expert witness and the guidance he provides gives witnesses all the information needed to testify confidently and effectively.

Table of Contents

Being an Expert Witness
An Expert Witness
Types of Experts
Types of Litigation
Rules of the Court versus Rules of the Laboratory
Work Product and Attorney–Client Privilege
Ethical Considerations
The Resume, the Internet, and Retention of the Expert
The Resume
Using the Internet
Selecting and Retaining an Expert
Retention of the Expert
The Expert Witness
Qualifications and Experience
The Client
The Initial Attorney–Expert Contact
The Expert and the Dispute
Time to Walk Away
Confidentiality and Nondisclosure
Attorney–Expert Witness Relationships
Scientists and Engineers
Information from the Attorney
Discoverable and Nondiscoverable Communications
Explaining Science and Engineering to Judges and Jurors
The Oral Report
The Written Report
Charts, Figures, and Visual Aids
The Predeposition and Deposition
The Pleadings Stage
Predeposition Preparation
Items for the Deposition
The Deposition
Conflict of Interest
The Trial
Pretrial Preparation
Trial Preparation
Courtroom Layout
Jury Trial and Bench Trial
The Judge
The Jury
The Expert Witness in Court
The Scientist or Engineer on the Witness Stand
After-Trial Responsibilities
The Trial Transcripts
Future Litigation Arising from the Trial
Records Accumulated during the Case
Lessons Learned
Bibliography and Additional Reading

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Featured Author Profiles

Author - James  Speight

James Speight

Consultant/Author/Lecturer, CD&W Inc.
Laramie, WY, USA

Learn more about James Speight »


"…this is a useful book for those venturing into the legal quagmire and has much good and sensible advice to offer. It is not a light read, but it is helpful to have one place where these matters are explained in terms that the non-legal expert can follow."
—A.M. Glazer, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, writing in Crystallography Reviews, Volume 17, Issue 2 April 2011, pages 145 - 146

"The Scientist or Engineer as an Expert Witness is aimed at scientists and engineers who intend to be useful as experts for the plaintiff or for the defense. … Speight, who has testified numerous times as an expert witness, provides guidance that gives witnesses all the information needed to testify confidently and effectively. In addition, both plaintiff and defense lawyers and their paralegal assistants can profit from The Scientist or Engineer as an Expert Witness, which is written from the viewpoint of an experienced scientist. Highly detailed and exceedingly thorough in scope, the book is clear and readable.", January 2009, Issue 117