Published Online: 1 October 1976
Page Count: 5
Assistant professor of psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex.
Attorney-at-law, Houston, Tex.
(Received 15 October 1975; accepted 5 January 1976)
Witnesses in courts of law may generally be divided into “fact” witnesses and expert witnesses. The law relative to fact witnesses for the most part is well defined, but the law relative to expert witnesses differs considerably in the various jurisdictions. An expert witness in litigation is very often a physician by training. Even though most situations involve a physican as the expert witness, the basic questions of law to be explored will concern other professionals who, by the nature of their training, possess special knowledge. Engineers, attorneys, accountants, judges, and psychiatrists are examples. Conceivably, it could be applicable to nonprofessionals who by virtue of experience or occupation possess a specialized knowledge which could serve as the basis for an expert opinion.
Paper ID: JFS10580J