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Dr Bashir Qureshi. Expert Witness in Cultural, Religious & Ethnic issues in Litigation and also in GP Clinical Negligence, London.

Expert Witness Blog

The value of the informed expert

The value of the informed expert

By arboricultural consultant and accredited expert witness Mark Chester of Cedarwood Tree Care.

The role of the expert witness in advising on claims is a key element. Having an informed guide to give counsel on the merits of a case can ensure that wise decisions are taken either to pursue or defend a claim. What may surprise is that arboriculture, my own specialism, is unregulated. During my two decades as an Arboricultural Consultant, I have encountered evidence, sometimes quite limited being given undue merit, as those instructing are unaware of the limitations of the ‘expert’.

When I am instructed to review a case, a starting point is to explore existing evidence and its merit. I have found...

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Expert Witness News

Expert Witness Legal News

How can the Paralegal Sector help law firms get back on their feet, post Covid-19? By Amanda Hamilton, NALP

How can the Paralegal Sector help law firms get back on their feet, post Covid-19? By Amanda Hamilton, NALP

As we all know, Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown has affected our lives in many ways and forced many law firms into hardship.

Some practices are in a catch 22, wondering whether or not to invest in remote working facilities when their financial situation is so vulnerable. I’m aware of one commercial business owner that has 300 employees and a massive weekly payroll. She has to make just that decision: should she financially invest in supplying internet, computers and phones for them to work at home when there is little/no income coming in? Furthermore, there is the knowledge that this situation will not last indefinitely.

When the lockdown is fully lifted, and it will lift eventually, law ...

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Expert Witness : Building and Property

Downsizing or expanding? Make sure your lease terms are clear

Downsizing or expanding? Make sure your lease terms are clear

Karen Mason is a highly experienced commercial property lawyer and co-founder of Newmanor Law, a specialist real estate law firm. Here she outlines the importance of Heads of Terms in negotiating new commercial leases.

As businesses return to workplaces once again, many occupiers will be looking to either renegotiate lease terms or agree new leases to redefine their situation, given a growing acceptance that remote working will form part of the working week.

The question of space utilisation may lead some businesses to downsize, whilst others looking to space their people apart may ironically need bigger offices, or more locations.

Different requirements will mean new agreements, requiring Head...

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Expert Witness : Criminal

More psychologists are in court – and that’s a good thing!

More psychologists are in court – and that’s a good thing!

Vulnerable offenders with mental health, alcohol and substance abuse problems are increasingly being diverted from short-term custodial sentences and towards treatment that aims to tackle the causes of their offending.

In the pilot areas – Birmingham, Plymouth, Sefton, Milton Keynes and Northampton – psychologists are working collaboratively with the existing panels of justice and health officials. Together, the professionals ensure that magistrates and judges have the information they need to determine whether an offender should be required to receive treatment for their mental health, alcohol or drug issues.

They help to ensure that Community Sentence Treatment Requirements (CTSRs) are issue...

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Expert Witness : Medico Legal

Latest MoJ report short on detail, expert complains

Latest MoJ report short on detail, expert complains

In September the Ministry of Justice published the results of a consultation on medical reporting within the package of whiplash and small claims track reforms – due to be implemented in April next year for road traffic cases. The consultation ran for a month in April-May, and the resultant document sets out the government’s policy choices.

It is, however – as seems par for the course in this area – very light on detail. That is the conclusion of Alistair Kinley, director of policy and government affairs at law firm BLM.

“Given that the thrust of the proposals is much as was outlined in the consultation in the spring, it’s regrettable that the MoJ announcement of the measures has come in early...

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Expert Witness : Technology

Government to plug mobile phone loophole

Government to plug mobile phone loophole

The government has confirmed it will close a legal loophole which has allowed drivers to escape prosecution for hand-held mobile phone use while behind the wheel.

At present, the law prevents drivers from using a hand-held mobile phone to call or text.

However, people caught filming or taking photos while driving have escaped punishment as lawyers have successfully argued that the activity does not fit into the ‘interactive communication’ currently outlawed by the legislation.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that he will urgently take forward a review to tighten up the existing law. The revised legislation will mean any driver caught texting, taking photos, browsing the internet ...

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Expert Witness : Environment

The fundamental right to be protected from the dangers of air pollution

The fundamental right to be protected from the dangers of air pollution

The British Safety Council welcomed the news of the High Court quashing the verdict of the 2014 inquest into the death of nine-year old Ella Kissi-Debrah, who suffered a fatal asthma attack. Her mother Rosamund has since campaigned for a fresh inquest, believing Ella’s death was caused by high levels of air pollution near her home in southeast London. It means that Ella could become the first person in the UK to have air pollution mentioned as a contributory factor on her death certificate.

Lawrence Waterman, Chairman of the British Safety Council, commented: “The ruling of the High Court is proof that since 2014 we have become much better informed about the dangers of air pollution. Air poll...

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Expert Witness : Animal & Farming

Dr WHO? by Dr Debbie Marsden

Dr WHO? by Dr Debbie Marsden

Dr Debbie Marsden, a leading equestrian expert with over 20 years professional experience of expert witness work, offers some advice on selecting the right expert in cases involving animals

In animal related cases, a veterinary surgeon is often the best expert, being generally regarded as an authority on animals and easily recognized by the word 'veterinary' – a protected title – and the letters MRCVS (Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) after various degrees.

As with all professions, when seeking an expert it is best to use a specialist; and vets are not allowed to describe themselves as a 'specialist' until they have taken considerable further study and been further examined ...

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Parliament, Legislation And Public Sector

Home Office GDPR exemption risks new Windrush, says Law Society

Home Office GDPR exemption risks new Windrush, says Law Society

The Law Society of England and Wales has criticised the decision to exempt the Home Office from data access rules in the new Data Protection Act, which implements the widely-publicised GDPR. The move will inevitably lead to miscarriages of justice, the society has warned.

Law Society president Joe Egan said the immigration exemption in the legislation stripped accountability from Home Office decision making.

“Since legal aid was removed for most immigration cases in 2012, it has become increasingly difficult to challenge immigration decisions – decisions which evidence shows are often incorrect,” he said. “Subject access requests are the final recourse for people trying to deal with a complex,...

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Expert Witness: Events

Expert witness conference is hailed a success

Expert witness conference is hailed a success

On 8 November Bond Solon held the 25th Bond Solon Expert Witness Conference at Church House in Westminster. Demand for the conference had been particularly high, leading to a fully-booked event. Nearly 500 expert witnesses were in attendance and there were over 50 expert witnesses on the waiting list.

That upsurge in demand for places was in part due to the expert witness guidance issued in May by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. The guidance stated that healthcare expert witnesses must undertake formal expert witness training and keep that training up to date with appropriate refresher courses and activities.

Demand was also driven by a number of high-profile cases involving expert witn...

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 Your Expert Witness Issue 68


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