Being the Expert Witness

Course Number: BS-3013
Credit: 3 PDH
Subject Matter Expert: Calvin T. Brannon, P.E.
Price: $89.85 Purchase using Reward Tokens. Details
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Overview

In Being the Expert Witness, you'll learn ...

  • To familiarize the engineer with U.S. civil litigation and trial procedures and legal vocabulary
  • To prepare the engineer to give truthful and compelling testimony in areas in which he or she has unique experience or education
  • To explain the legal and ethical implications of serving as an expert witness and the pitfalls that must be avoided
  • To assist the professional engineer in choosing for himself whether or not he will participate in litigation as an expert witness

Overview

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Credit: 3 PDH

Length: 32 pages

Tens of millions of lawsuits will be filed this year in the U.S. alone and the outcome of many of these cases will hinge literally on the testimony of a single expert witness. And many of these experts will be practicing engineers from the private practice sector, the government sector, academia or the industrial sector. “Being the Expert Witness” is a course for engineers of all disciplines who have an interest in the inner workings of America’s legal system and in meeting that system’s demand for qualified experts.

The opening section of the course covers briefly the background of the American jurisprudence system and the history of jury trials in particular. It is, however, far from being a history course. Legal terminology is defined and discussed. The civil trial process is described from the filing of the first pleading through the jury verdict to the appellate court. Vital information for determining the expert witness fees is presented. The reader will find the text written from an engineering perspective. It is not a law manual by any means. The author shares his experiences in court and offers up sound advice for the professional engineer who chooses to serve as an expert witness including what to say and what not to say.

How a deposition is conducted and the legal ramifications of depositions and engineers’ written reports are dealt with at length in the study. The roles of the expert witness in alternative dispute resolution cases such as arbitration and mediation are likewise discussed. The course explains recent legal precedent whereby experts have themselves become defendants for malpractice of their profession because of their testimony. Engineering ethics issues with respect to expert witness testimony are presented as well.

Civil trial is a multi-billion dollar per year industry and engineers can and should take part. Unfortunately some of those engineers will be defendants and a foundational knowledge of the legal system derived from this course will make the ordeal go smoother. This study course will begin your preparation for the task, whether your role is witness or defendant.

Specific Knowledge or Skill Obtained

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • To familiarize the engineer with U.S. civil litigation and trial procedures and legal vocabulary
  • To prepare the engineer to give truthful and compelling testimony in areas in which he or she has unique experience or education
  • To explain the legal and ethical implications of serving as an expert witness and the pitfalls that must be avoided
  • To assist the professional engineer in choosing for himself whether or not he will participate in litigation as an expert witness

Certificate of Completion

You will be able to immediately print a certificate of completion after passing a multiple-choice quiz consisting of 15 questions. PDH credits are not awarded until the course is completed and quiz is passed.

Board Acceptance
This course is applicable to professional engineers in:
Alabama (P.E.) Alaska (P.E.) Arkansas (P.E.)
Delaware (P.E.) Florida (P.E. Other Topics) Georgia (P.E.)
Idaho (P.E.) Illinois (P.E.) Illinois (S.E.)
Iowa (P.E.) Kansas (P.E.) Kentucky (P.E.)
Louisiana (P.E.) Maine (P.E.) Michigan (P.E.)
Minnesota (P.E.) Mississippi (P.E.) Missouri (P.E.)
Montana (P.E.) Nevada (P.E.) New Hampshire (P.E.)
New Mexico (P.E.) North Carolina (P.E.) North Dakota (P.E.)
Oklahoma (P.E.) Oregon (P.E.) South Carolina (P.E.)
South Dakota (P.E.) Tennessee (P.E.) Texas (P.E.)
Utah (P.E.) Vermont (P.E.) Virginia (P.E.)
West Virginia (P.E.) Wyoming (P.E.)
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PDHengineer Course Preview

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Credit: 3 PDH

Length: 32 pages

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