Court-Appointed Expert Witnesses: Gambit for Control

Illustration: A. Canamucio Some elements of the legal community suggest that the cure for biased and greedy expert witnesses is the court appointment of experts as in Europe. Under the plan, litigants can apparently still hire as many lawyers as circumstances dictate and pay them freely, but only the court can appoint experts and pay them on a standard, and presumably lesser, scale. Courts would certify experts, and lawyers would then consult the database for legitimate experts. Lawyers wo

Rod Taber
Mar 19, 2000

Illustration: A. Canamucio


Some elements of the legal community suggest that the cure for biased and greedy expert witnesses is the court appointment of experts as in Europe. Under the plan, litigants can apparently still hire as many lawyers as circumstances dictate and pay them freely, but only the court can appoint experts and pay them on a standard, and presumably lesser, scale. Courts would certify experts, and lawyers would then consult the database for legitimate experts.

Lawyers would greatly benefit from the reduction of scientists from free-agent professionals to fixed-price tradesmen. A list of approved experts gives lawyers a database of who plays ball and who doesn't. The proposed solution is ripe for abuse. I won't select that expert if you don't select this one. If you select that one then I will select this one. The net result is that lawyers stand to gain even more...

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