Shifting Rules Regulating the Role of Expertise

Expertise, including testimony by experts who have scientific or technical knowledge as well as the scientific or technological evidence itself, often plays a determinative role in legal responses to child maltreatment. For example, experts can review and explain complex evidence to those involved in the legal system, ranging from caseworkers, attorneys, law enforcement personnel, and judges. Experts also can, for example, help draw inferences from the existing body of medical, psychological, and other scientific literature. These inferences can then serve as the foundation of cases or lead to their dismissals. Experts also can assess how well available evidence supports cases and offer opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of evidence. In addition to assisting law enforcement and caseworkers, experts can assist attorneys in preparation for litigation. If cases are litigated, expert witnesses can testify to their theories, opinions, and conclusions at hearings and trials. Just...


Child Maltreatment Expert Testimony District Court Lower Court Trial Court 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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