General Advice

The Expert in Court – How Should She/He Behave?

3 (a)


Just as you are likely to feel uncomfortable in an operating theatre (as a patient or as an observer), so do most medical experts feel uncomfortable in a Court room.  It is an alien concept for them to relinquish control and be under close scrutiny and direction.  In addition, some Counsel when conducting cross examination can be quite barbarous.

The Expert’s Coat of Armour

It is best that your expert has initially produced an objective, transparent and easily understandable medicolegal opinion.  It is also vital that your expert remains patient and calm, and does not respond to the barbs with equal aggression.  The expert should not be polarised but instead, accurately view his role as being there to assist the Court in the understanding of matters within his domain.  He is not there to influence, coerce, judge or otherwise entertain.

A lawyer questioning a suspect

Humble confidence, clarity of thought, economical explanations and equanimity are all vital qualities.  This is the expert you should be choosing.

I relish the opportunity to appear personally in Court.  Telephone evidence is less disruptive but not so fulfilling.  Mind you, I have experienced some very bumpy rides!  There is an old saying that good Court room performance comes from experience.  Unfortunately, some experience comes from poor Court room performances.