Where are the Advocate’s technical issues going?

What’s an expert to do?  Should he tell or no?  Should he make a point of telling the advocate where the technical issues are going if this might not be a good place for his case compared to where it’s at now?  Should he say if the initial hypothesis as to cause needs modifying or rejecting completely.  Would the expert be perceived as biased if he did this?

The expert serves the judicial system but he is retained by the advocate.  The system wants justice for all parties.  The advocate wants a win for his party.  These conflicting interests can cause problems for the expert.

I see this problem occasionally.  I thought of it when I posted last week’s blog and commented there about where the technical issues might be going. (Ref. 1)

Would an expert be seen as biased if he saw that the technical issues were changing and wanted to alert the advocate to their increasing lack of compatibility with his argument?  And if the expert keeps investigating, it’ll only increase the cost of the investigation to no avail to the advocate but still to the judicial system.

Frequent reporting in the spirit of updating an initial hypothesis is the answer, and relying on a technically, reasonably informed advocate to ask questions.  Even encouraging him/her to get like that.  I understand the system requires the advocate to be informed of the technical issues and be able to explain these to the system, so the structure’s in place to keep this problem in check.


  1. The cause of an oil pipeline leak is an easy call for a forensic expert.  Posted February 23, 2017

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