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Expert evidence in the civil justice system remains a controversial area, and one which continues to develop in the context of the changes in civil litigation brought about by the Woolf reforms. In June 2005 the Civil Justice Council's Protocol for the Instruction of Experts was launched to provide guidance to legal professionals and those acting as experts. The recent disciplinary case taken against Sir Roy Meadow by the General Medical Council relating to his expert evidence in a criminal trial - while not directly a civil matter - served to highlight a number of the key problems faced by experts in giving opinion evidence to courts.
This new title is a comprehensive guide and reference book for all who are concerned with the quality of expert evidence in the courts. The text focuses on civil practice and looks in detail at the impact of the Civil Procedure Rules on expert evidence. It concentrates on the practical aspects of having experts give evidence, and looks at areas which have caused particular confusion, or on which case law is gradually emerging. Coverage will include the accreditation of experts, the litigant solicitor/expert witness relationship, experts' reports and privilege, court management of expert evidence, the single joint expert, and experts' immunity from liability. The book also includes an illustrative account of one expert's experience in a complex class action relating to a pharmaceutical product.
In addition to practical guidance, the book also provides a historical background to expert testimony and discusses the future development of the law, with reference to developments in the courts and other tribunals.
Written by a team of leading practitioners, many of whom were members of the Working Party on the Code of Guidance for Expert Evidence, the book is an authoritative first port-of-call for civil litigation practitioners who use experts or come across them regularly in their work, the judiciary, and for experts themselves.