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Do We Need a Lawyer's Code of Expert Ethics?

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By Jason Beahm on March 22, 2011 6:46 AM

It's a topic that FindLaw contributor Robert Ambrogi is an expert on, and he's been kind enough to weigh in on the subject. 

In this post, we're providing a few key takeaways from Ambrogi's work. If you are intro to the proposed Lawyer's Code of Expert Ethics, there is plenty more where it came from.

Proposed code 1: "an attorney should withdraw from a case if the opposing side's expert is a former client, unless the expert consents to the attorney's continuing involvement."

Proposed code 2: "an attorney should not retain an expert who the attorney opposed in another case if the attorney would have to alter his position on the expert's credibility."

Proposed code 3: "an attorney shall not draft or dictate the contents of an expert's written report."

Proposed code 4: "an attorney shall do nothing to interfere with an expert witness's independence and objectivity. An attorney shall not attempt to influence the content of an expert witness's testimony."

Proposed code 5: "an attorney shall not seek to pressure an expert witness, [directly or indirectly,] to change an opinion, even when the opinion is detrimental to the attorney's case."

Proposed code 6: "an attorney shall not knowingly permit an expert witness to present testimony that is false or misleading.

Proposed code 7: "in communicating with expert witnesses, the attorney shall at all times ensure that the preservation of client confidences remains paramount.

As we said at the outset, the proposed Lawyer's Code of Expert Ethics is quite thorough. If you deal with experts on a regular basis, you should certainly check it out.

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