Expert Testimony

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Boyd Baumgartner
Posts: 566
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 11:03 am

Expert Testimony

Post by Boyd Baumgartner »

Thought of the day: It doesn't matter how much expertise you claim to have if you're unlikable.


youtu.be/OpPcs6sHzjs


Pro tip: If the judge says 'you have to answer questions', you may want to rethink your status as expert.
orrb
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed May 14, 2014 6:48 am

Re: Expert Testimony

Post by orrb »

I can agree with that statement. It has been a few years since I have done any public speaking or training. I am slowly getting back into the game. I realized very quickly that rusty for me was not communicating clearly, lousy body language, and poor audience awareness. I am not sure if this makes me unlikeable, but it can make others question my expertise. Thank goodness for YouTube, Podcasts, Toastmasters, and practice.
B. Orr
Mike French
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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: Washington
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Re: Expert Testimony

Post by Mike French »

I remember my first exposure was a seminar for courtroom testimony in general, and I was terrible. My second exposure was in an FBI class and it didn't get much better. Deer in the headlights was the best description for my performance. Then I started to learn some things from very good trainers including RS&A and the FBI. The biggest piece of advice is preparation, preparation, and more preparation, and not to expect perfection, especially at first. I enjoy public speaking today.
"They have computers, and they may have other weapons of mass destruction."
(Janet Reno)
Boyd Baumgartner
Posts: 566
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 11:03 am

Re: Expert Testimony

Post by Boyd Baumgartner »

I think everyone goes through that deer in the headlights phase. For me early on, it was always the fact that I felt like I had to basically memorize and regurgitate the SOP and the longer I have been in the field, I've shifted into testimony really just being yourself and being able to describe and justify your actions when pressed. Preparation helps, but some of the anxiety for me stemmed from the fact that you never really know what you're going to get. You could have a mini-Frye hearing, a negative testimony, or anything in-between. Add to that the fact that pre-trial interviews can be rare and the revolving door of publicly funded lawyers means ones with actual fingerprint testimony is exceedingly rare and preparation, in effect means be ready for anything. I've been asked to opine on everything from the viscosity of blood in a blood print, to if I get paid by the ID, to having to read 5 pages of the PCAST report and answer questions on them, to questions about AFIS algorithms, to hypotheticals on chemical reactions and everything in between.


That being said, I have found that LawTube (the name given to the collection of lawyer commentary channels on youtube) has been extremely helpful. You'd be amazed and some of the testimony you see in actual trials. Some of the channels are commented on by a panel in real time (they're brutal), but it's helpful to listen to what lawyers 'really think' about testimony and trials. It puts testimony in less sacred light and allows you to see good, bad and everything in-between and how to respect the process when things go sideways.

Here's some of the channels I listen to:

Rekieta Law
https://www.youtube.com/c/RekietaLaw

Nate the lawyer
https://www.youtube.com/c/NateTheLawyer

Viva Frei
https://www.youtube.com/c/VivaFrei

Legal Bytes
https://www.youtube.com/c/LegalBytesMedia

Robert Gouveia
https://www.youtube.com/c/RandRLawAZ

Uncivil Law
https://www.youtube.com/c/UncivilLaw
orrb
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed May 14, 2014 6:48 am

Re: Expert Testimony

Post by orrb »

Boyd,
Thanks for those links. I will check them out tonight.
B. Orr
Mike French
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: Expert Testimony

Post by Mike French »

Boyd, that's a great point about memorizing. I think that is why I froze so many times, because my brain just does not operate that way, yet that was much of the training at the time. Thankfully, I think the profession is in a better place than it was in 1996. I haven't checked out the links yet, but look forward to that when I have some downtime.
"They have computers, and they may have other weapons of mass destruction."
(Janet Reno)
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