Expert Evidence 2018


Course Date: May 11, 2018

Total: 5h 20min

Welcome and Introduction

Expert Evidence Case Law Update

  • the essentials: relevance and admissibility
  • R. v. Mohan
  • current issues and new developments
  • the use of experts in civil and criminal proceedings

Wendy E. Dawson, QC — Crown Counsel, Ministry of Attorney General, New Westminster 
Graham J. UnderwoodLegal Services Branch, Ministry of Attorney General, Victoria 

The Role of the Expert Witness 

  • do you need an expert?
  • identifying strategic and tactical issues at the outset
  • what does the court expect?
  • qualifying the expert witness
  • long v. short form CV

C. Geoff Baragar, QC — Crown Counsel, Ministry of Attorney General, New Westminster
David J. Wallin
 — Whitelaw Twining Law Corporation, Vancouver

Break

Contesting Expert Evidence 

  • new tools for excluding expert evidence
  • how to deal with bias

Richard S. Fowler, QC — Fowler and Blok, Vancouver
Nikos E. HarrisUniversity of BC and Peck and Company, Vancouver 

Professionalism and Ethical Issues with Expert Evidence 

  • impartiality and experts — international problems and solutions
  • dealing with drafts and updates of reports
  • access to your expert by the other side

Claire E. Hunter — Hunter Litigation Chambers, Vancouver

Networking Lunch

Retaining and Working With Your Expert Witness 

  • finding an expert and doing background checking
  • the qualifications of your expert
  • the letter retaining the expert witness
  • notice and filing requirements
  • tendering the expert report and/or calling the expert

Jonathan Van Netten — Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Vancouver

Direct Examination of the Expert Witness 

  • preparation and best practices: effective presentation of opinion, outlining the evidence
  • avoiding pitfalls: jargon, appearance of bias, exclusive reliance on accused/client, failure to consider alternative hypothesis, inadequate data
  • tips to avoid setting up your expert for failure or a devastating cross-examination

John D. Cliffe, QC — Cliffe Tobias Barristers & Solicitors, Vancouver 
Winston L. Sayson, QC — Crown Counsel, Ministry of Attorney General, Surrey 

Break

Cross Examination of An Expert Witness 

  • preparation and best practices
  • restrictions on cross examination
  • dealing with the different types of "problematic" experts

The Honourable Mr. Justice Nathan H. Smith — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
John D. Cliffe, QC
 — Cliffe Tobias Barristers & Solicitors, Vancouver
Andrew MacDonald — Crown Counsel, Ministry of Attorney General, New Westminster

Dangers of Expert Evidence

  • wrongful convictions
  • opinions from unqualified experts
  • "miscarriage of justice"

The Honourable Mr. Justice Nathan H. Smith — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Wendy E. Dawson, QC
 — Crown Counsel, Ministry of Attorney General, New Westminster 
Graham J. Underwood — Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Attorney General, Victoria 

Closing Remarks