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Currently Viewing Posts Tagged Testimony

Nap Versus Exercise Thoughts

For my Friday blog, I thought that I would write just a bit on expert witnesses. Just that first sentence alone could cause you to move on to something more interesting. Right? I knew that I needed to post a picture that I found on Facebook, to get us started:



That made me laugh when I read this doctor’s opinion on exercise. I think that this is a reminder that you probably can find a doctor who will medically support what you need, if you search enough. I suspect that a majority of doctors would not recommend a nap over exercise, but if a person doesn’t want exercise, they can rely on this as a reason that exercise is a waste of time.

Are you still with me?

(I probably should post one of my old smiling pic o’s, just to serve as a break in some “law discussion”)


Here’s more law from Virginia. It’s the expert instruction that is read to a jury that governs how a jury should consider testimony:

In considering the weight to be given to the testimony of an expert witness, you should consider the basis for his opinion and the manner by which he arrived at it and the underlying facts and data upon which he relied.

Because it’s Friday, I won’t go into great detail with examples of doctor testimony that was strangely supportive of the defense in various cases. I have seen some head-shakers

I’ll just mention one fact about a doctor that I regularly would see identified as a defense witness in injury cases where I would file suit. He would be identified by the defense as reviewing records, or he would perform a defense medical exam under the Virginia rules, and then qualify as an expert orthopedic doctor.

He admitted through discovery that as a defense expert witness, he had earned over 1.2 million dollars during a 13-month period. He called it medical/legal fees. It was for his “reviews” and for his deposition and trial testimony.

I found myself on many occasions, having to cross exam him in trial or deposition, after receiving his report that seemed strangely similar and that was adverse to my client on each case.

For me, I was always asking myself whether the jury would think that because he was being paid so much, that it made him more of an expert? Or, would the jury think that his testimony had been bought and paid for as a witness? I sure asked the jury to view his testimony in that way.

In medical testimony as an expert, I would like to think and hope that the old saying, “You get what you pay for” is not part of the litigation process. However, the jury instruction allows a jury to come to that conclusion and disregard the testimony. Generally speaking, when I saw that Facebook picture, I thought that the question of nap versus exercise makes for good application of that jury instruction.

I hope you have a great weekend!

And for pic o’ day, I am posting one that has been in the blog in the past, but I still laugh at the “supervision”!



Eyewitness Credibility

This is one of those blogs that is intended to make you think about the reliability of testimony evidence. Consider that there have been defendants that were sent to death row because of eyewitness testimony.

In 1998, researchers from Harvard and Kent State decided to test the reliability of  truly seeing what you see.   Here is the study for full reading (here). The researchers decided to study pedestrians (their test subjects) to determine whether people really notice what is around them. In the experiment, an actor would come up to a pedestrian and ask for directions.

While the pedestrian was giving the person directions, two men carrying a large door would walk between the actor and the pedestrian. For a moment, neither the person giving the directions nor the actor could see each other. While the door fully blocked their view, one actor was replaced by another.

The researchers decided to even add some additional significant differences to the study. The “new actor” was a different height and build, and had noticably different hair and a different voice. Over half the participants did not notice the actor substitution.

This 1998 study was the first experiment to study the phenomenon of “change blindness”. The premise of the study was to show that we are selective about what our consciousness may take away as a memory from any given visual scene. The researchers concluded that individuals rely on memory and pattern-recognitions more than we think.

Does that give you any concern about how some evidence is relied upon in criminal trials, or is this just a select study that is just more about human nature than something as serious as a criminal trial?

DID YOU KNOW that the term “throw your hat in the ring” comes from the sport of boxing where throwing a hat into a ring signified a challenge. Today, it is now associated with politics. Although, I think that I have heard politicians also mention that they are now “taking off the gloves”.

And for pic o’ day how about some rebellion encouragement?


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