BTC/72/2012 - Court Appearances: The Arborist as Expert Witness. Article 4/6 for ISA Arborist News
In this fourth article in a series on arboricultural consultancy, Jeremy Barrell examines the role of the expert witness, particularly when all the reports are done and the time has come to be tested in court. Even for the most experienced expert this is a rare event, so there is very little opportunity to learn from past mistakes. Cross-examination by lawyers intent on exposing your every weakness and grinding away your credibility, piece by piece, is a truly lonely place. To be a successful expert witness is both technically and psychologically demanding, with many consultants seeing the appearance in court as the pinnacle of professional practice. The following article was adapted .from an item first published in The ARB Magazine, the quarterly magazine for members of the Arboricultural Association (www.trees.org.uk).