To supplement his knowledge gained from previous training in expert witness evidence with Legal Experience Training, Dr Mothersille recently attended the Master Class in Cross-Examination via Zoom. The session involved live role-play of the cross-examination of two experienced expert witnesses by a senior barrister. A QC Deputy High Court Judge presided over the proceedings, while interventions and analysis was carried throughout by Solicitor and Director of Legal Experience Training, Penny Harper.
Before the course, attendees were presented with extracts from expert witness reports and a schedule of differences of opinion between the experts. The session lasted one hour, 30 minutes and many learning outcomes were derived, which included:
- Consider how to demonstrate the factual/evidential basis of your opinion
- Delivery of a well-reasoned objective opinion and consideration of alternative methods and facts
- Anticipate and deal with the strengths and weaknesses in expert evidence on both sides
- Effective communication of complex technical evidence and reasons for agreement or disagreement
- Handle challenging cross-examination techniques
- Assist a decision-maker in understanding the facts and underlying methodology used to reach a conclusion
Overall this was an informative and enjoyable session that provided fascinating insights into, what can be, a challenging area in a specialist geotechnical engineer’s career.