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Expert witnesses and joint expert meetings

Dr John Fletcher and Michael Williams advise experts on meeting their duty to the court when it comes to joint conferences

21 June 2016

Consultation between experts is often directed by the court prior to the hearing of a matter. Joint expert meetings (JEM) or joint conferences of expert witnesses (JCEW), if properly conducted, can save much court time. Often areas of agreement and disagreement between opposing experts can be identified and documented. For example, it can be the case that some or all of the opinions of the experts differ only because they have been asked to make different assumptions, so that once common assumptions are adopted, there remains little difference of opinion.

Prior to the advent of the JEM or JCEW, a significant amount of court time was taken up with highly technical and conflicting evidence from experts instructed by the opposing parties. That was, and is, not beneficial to the task that a court has to undertake and may leave the tribunal of fact more confused about the technical aspects of the case than it was at the start.

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