Volume 31, Issue 1 (January 1986)
The Dichotomy of the Expert Witness
The expert on either side is either right, partially right, wrong, or wrong and dishonest. Even strongly opposed testimony is not evidence of dishonesty, although it is clear at least one expert is wrong. Some differences are the result of legitimate differences of opinion. However, the author has identified several categories of testimony that show dishonest intent. It is clear that the growth of financial incentives has increased the number of cases in which there are opposing experts. If some kind of corrective action is not taken, expert witnesses will no longer be an effective force in the legal system. A multidisciplinary testimony review board separate from the ethics function is clearly one answer to the problem.