In the previous blog post, you learned what common objections during the deposition phase are. This is possibly the most important stage in which to get all of the information out there and make sure it’s accurate. Learning and preparing for common objections will give you an advantage so you know what questions to steer away from, how to phrase a question correctly, and also know how to answer questions. Being prepared for common objections during the trial is also important because the jury and judge are there to convince. As we previously posted, this article is not intended to provide you with any legal advice as only a skilled (and licensed) attorney can do that. However, the following are some objections to be aware of:
Common Objections During Trial
Objection #1 – Motions in Limine
Made primarily during pretrial proceedings, motions in limine are motions in which a party requested that certain evidence is not introduced in trial. This is most common when a defendant’s Miranda Rights were not read. Federal rules apply regarding expert testimony and the testimony can be excluded when:
- The witness was not properly designated as an expert witness.
- Required documents such as the expert’s CV or publications were not submitted.
- Notes or material used by the expert to form an opinion were not submitted.
- The expert’s report was not submitted on time.
Objection #2 – Admissible and Inadmissible Facts
An opinion can be formed based on facts or data in a case, or the witness’ personal experience. Expert opinion is admissible if the testimony assists the trier of fact in understanding the case. If an expert in a given field would rely on facts or data to form an opinion, the facts or data does not need to be admitted.
Objection #3 – Expert Lacks Qualifications
While a scientific or medical background may not be needed for an expert witness to qualify, it is important to note the level of knowledge your expert has on the case. For example, a teacher of deaf children is not automatically an expert witness regarding deaf people’s heightened sense of sight. The credentials of the expert witness is also important, and an expert’s background and expertise need to relate to the case at hand. Any misrepresentation on the expert’s CV and credentials will be raised pretrial.
Objection #4 – Reliability of The Expert’s Opinion
Challenging or objecting to the reliability of the expert’s opinion is done through a Daubert motion. Once of our prior blogs detailed the Daubert challenge process. A Pharmaceutical case in 1993 set the standards for when an expert report and testimony is admissible. When determining if an opinion or report is reliable, the following factors need to be determined:
- If the expert’s theory can and has been tested.
- If the theory has been peer reviewed or published.
- Are there known errors or potential errors in the scientific technique?
- Is the theory or scientific technique accepted by the scientific community?
A case in 1999 allowed Daubert motions to include non-scientific expert testimony. Other objections can be made when questions asked at trial make assumptions based on facts that are not in evidence, lack a proper foundation, or is a question that has already been asked and answered.
When a trial relies on expert testimony, preparation for and knowledge of common objections that can be made during the trial will give you an edge. Objections will surely arise, but prepare your expert witness by ensuring all documents are submitted properly and on time and be sure your witness is qualified. If you’re looking for witness services, contact APEXpert Witness. With years of experience in medical and narcotic fields, you can be sure you can rely on Dr.Steudel to provide expert opinions. Not only providing opinions, but you can trust Dr. Steudel to communicate efficiently and effectively to the jury and the judge. When you want to be confident in your expert witness and his expert testimony, contact APEXpert Witness.