Should You Use Voir Dire With Opponent’s Expert?

After opposing counsel attempts to qualify an expert witness, you can ask the court to let you conduct voir dire on the expert. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Although the term “voir dire” is generally associated with the examination of prospective jurors, it’s also used to describe questioning of opposing experts to determine whether they should be allowed to testify. Voir dire of the expert takes place after opposing counsel attempts to qualify the expert (see Evid C §§720(b), 721), either in or out of the jury’s presence (see Evid C §402). Voir dire of experts can be used to Show that the expert is unqualified to testify. Experts are infrequently found to be unqualified to give testimony, but they may be found qualified to testify in one field, e.g., accident reconstruction, but unqualified to testify in another field, e.g., suitability of an automobile design. Block opinions based on improper matter. Expert…

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