The Testimony

Reply to: 1) What are some questions you think that you would be asked initially on direct examination being qualified to testify as an expert? During the initial direct examination our professional knowledge, schooling, and work experience need to be established because they will be questioned by the opposing counsel. Questions like, “Where did you go to school?”, “What major did you study?”, and “How successful were you in your classes?” would help get a general baseline for our educational background. Continuing with education questions, other questions that would help establish our professional knowledge could include anything regarding industry certifications we have such as GCIH, CSIH, or GREM. These certifications directly relate to our technical expertise and help establish our professional knowledge as a subject matter expert. Some additional questions that should be asked include our work experience. For example, questions like where do we work and how long have we worked there, and what our daily job responsibilities are would help give the court a better sense of how long we have been doing this work to further paint us as an expert in the field. It is important to note that during the direct examination the one asking the questions to the expert should not get too in-depth with the education and qualification of the expert but should try to focus on and paint a picture of experience that would be relevant to the case (Firestone, 2020). All of these questions will help outline the expert’s educational and work background to the judge and jury in order to help qualify your witness as an expert. Reference Firestone, J. (2020, June 23). 5 Powerful Direct Examination Tactics for Expert Witnesses. Retrieved August 01, 2020, from https://www.expertinstitute.com/resources/insights/5-keys-to-direct-examination-of-an-expert-witness/ 2) What kind of questions do you think the opposing counsel during Voir Dire will ask you? Remember on cross-examination, opposing counsel can ask leading questions to challenge your expertise. The point of the opposing counsel’s cross-examination is to discredit the person as an expert and the questions would be aimed to do just that. Questions could be asked that are aimed to downplay the quality of your schooling or how your school ranks against others in a similar subject area. Other questions may attack our certifications by pointing out the length of time between when you got your certifications and the current date and may be used to try to discredit that certification. I say you obtained your GCIH certification a little over 3 years ago and it is about to expire, the opposing counsel may try to use this to again downplay your witness’s expertise. This of course is not a problem if your witness works daily in that knowledge area and it can be proved that through that daily work he has maintained these skills. Lastly, any leading questions that are asked should be answered briefly and only to the question asked. Leading questions are meant to try and solicit an answer that the opposing counsel wants, which in this case is to discredit us as an expert, so if we make sure to only answer what was directly asked we can maintain our certification as an expert witness. 3) Describe why it is important, and how you would testify to limit any contradictions? It is important when being recognized as an expert in a particular field to not contradict any testimony that you give in court. When testifying if you contradict yourself your expertise will certainly be questioned by the opposing counsel which will also hurt your standing as an expert with the judge and jury. To help avoid contradicting ourselves or having another expert contradict our testimony we should always answer truthfully and to the best of our knowledge on the subject. We should never assert ourselves as an expert in something we are not and always be honest if asked about something that we are not sure about the answer. Handling the testimony in this way will help keep our expertise out of question by the opposing counsel and the court. References Cornell Law School. (n.d.). Leading question. Retrieved August 01, 2020, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/leading_question

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