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Current trends for expert witnesses

The use of retired experts and the introduction of randomised selection through the MedCo portal are just some of the issues currently concerning expert witnesses, says Mark Solon

16 February 2016

In November 2015, more than 360 expert witnesses met in Westminster for the
21st Annual Bond Solon Expert Witness Conference. Some interesting trends became apparent.

Retired experts

One of the arguments that re-emerged concerned the use of retired expert witnesses. In his keynote address, Lord Hughes stated that 'your evidence or advice is not much use to anyone unless you have current hands-on experience in your field'.

He added: 'It is particularly a problem in medicine… If you are being asked for a prognosis, the first question any barrister will ask is when
you last had a patient (not a client) in the same situation. And then, how many, so that you can be seen to be speaking from a decent size of sample of the way patients actually react. If you are being asked whether the practice adopted at the operation passes muster or not,...

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