Introducing Expert Testimony in Domestic Violence Cases
Presented by John Wilkinson, AEquitas Attorney Advisor
Public perceptions of how victims should respond to physical and emotional trauma often conflict with the way victims actually behave, and these misconceptions can severely affect the fact finders’ assessment of victim credibility and ultimate case outcome. Experienced professionals familiar with victim behavior understand that victims have individual responses to trauma that are often counterintuitive to public expectations, but may be unable or unsure of how to explain this to the jury. Introducing expert testimony to explain victim behavior is a way to dispel myths and assist the jury in making an informed decision based on the evidence.
This recording described common victim behaviors and dynamics in intimate partner violence cases, as well as their impact on fact finders' assessments of victim credibility. The presenter discussed the law related to the introduction of expert testimony by the prosecution to explain victim behavior and how to identify experts qualified to testify on this issue. The recording also highlighted the importance of deciding whether to introduce expert testimony in a case. In addition, it identified ways to work with experts to prepare a case for trial even if the testimony will not be introduced.
Allied justice system professionals, including but not limited to prosecutors, law enforcement officers, community-based service providers, medical and mental health practitioners, probation and parole officers, and judges, are encouraged to view the recording.
This recording should qualify prosecutors for one (1.0) hour of continuing legal education credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.
Click here to view the recording of the October 29, 2015 webinar.
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