Criminal Law Bulletin Vol. 56, No. 6 (2020)
22 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2020
Date Written: December 8, 2020
We live in an era where experts are almost as ubiquitous as air. Experts appear to be all around us, especially on television, preaching what they know or predicting with a high degree of confidence. The domains of expertise are infinite—from finance, to climate, to fashion, to neuroscience, to singing, to just about anything worth discussing.
Today, for example, we are inundated with expert opinion about politics, the economy, financial success, and, of course, the novel coronavirus. Because of the plethora of news sources, many people are paying attention to different experts—or those who are not really experts at all. Given the importance to lawyers and laypeople about who the real experts are, it is useful to untangle the web of confusion surrounding experts, particularly within the legal arena.
So who are the real experts within the legal domain, those people who can provide guidance, counsel, and assistance? At a minimum, experts can be helpful in litigation as well as in business, where the former is about resolving disputes and the latter about preventing them. Experts can be used to assist the trier of fact in understanding evidence. Sometimes, experts even testify about foreign law to assist the judge in determining what law applies.
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