What is an Expert Witness?

Pippa bird

Expert Witness…an overview

The primary role of an expert witness is to offer an impartial, independent expert opinion based on the evidence or information at their disposal. 

An expert witness will be an individual with a high level of experience and knowledge in a specific field or industry, with a much deeper understanding of that particular discipline than the average layperson. 

Here at Circle Case Management, we have a hugely experienced panel of experts, available to provide witness reports covering a wide range of medical and social care issues.

Expert Witness…responsibilities

Fundamentally, expert witnesses are appointed by the courts to advise on issues outside the knowledge and experience of the courtroom but, crucially, are comfortably within the healthcare professional’s field of expertise.

The Expert Witness will put forward their expert opinion independently, based entirely on the information that has been presented to them. This evidence will be contained within the Expert Witness Report which is available to both parties and the court itself. The report will be an honest and wholly impartial account of the expert’s opinion.

Circle Case Management team giving advice

Why do we need an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is required when a court demands an evidence-based, specialist opinion to help resolve a dispute or case. Often the input of an expert witness can resut in the early conclusion of a case as the information provided can be irrefutably fact-based, rather than evidence motivated by one party’s desire for a favourable result. 

Here at Circle Case Management, our Expert Witness Panel comprises of a range of healthcare specialists who will always provide clinical and impartial opinions, based on many years of experience and expertise in their field.

What kind of Expert Witness is available? 

The English and Welsh courts commonly use three different types of expert witness, which are as followed:

PAE – Party Appointed Expert: This expert witness will be requested by one party within a court dispute. They are called upon to assist on areas within their expertise by providing impartial, independent opinions. Importantly, their responsibilities supersedes that of the instructing party.

SJE – Single Joint Expert: This expert witness will be called upon by parties involved in the dispute. Again, their duty is to the court to assist on subjects within their field of expertise, and, again, their independent opinion is not influenced by the fee-paying party.

Shadow Expert – Expert Advisor: The advisor provides ongoing services to one party throughout the court proceedings. Unlike the SJE and PAE, they do not have a duty to the court and will rarely be required to provide evidence as they are not covered by the Civil Procedure Rules.

expert witness panel

Why be an Expert Witness?

By becoming an expert witness, you are afforded the chance to share your knowledge and expertise to assist in often life-changing court cases. Importantly, by leaning on your professional opinion, there’s a greater chance that the courts will arrive at a reasonable, well-informed verdict. In that sense, it can be a hugely rewarding vocation as these cases often have significant effects on the well-being and long-term health of an individual.

How can we help?

If you’d like to speak to the team here at Circle Case Management, to discuss the role of an expert witness, or to speak to one of our expert witness panel, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are here to help.

Posted on February 23rd 2022

Loading... Updating page...