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(CDR-2344) Of Quantum Shades of Gray - A Dilemma for the Expert Witness

Primary Author: Jeffery L. Ottesen, PE CFCC PSP
Co-Author(s): Kenji P. Hoshino, CFCC PSP; Greta A. Martin, PE PSP

Audience Focus: Intermediate
Application Type: Practice
Venue: 2016 AACE International Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON, Canada

Abstract: Testifying as an expert witness involves resolving many conflicts, both external and internal. This paper discusses one of the internal conflicts. Conveying objectivity is paramount to maintaining credibility with lawyers, judges and other decision makers. Arguments exist that there is often an implicit understanding between the hiring client and the expert that the expert will find a way to leverage the client’s strong positions, and minimize or negate the weaker ones. Consequently, the expert is often caught in an internal conflict between performing objectively on one hand and meeting the client’s expectations on the other. When does an expert cross the line (assuming it exists) from ‘objectivity’ into unwarranted advocacy? This paper presents one paradigm in effectively dealing with this conflict in a way that allows the practitioner to stay true to the AACE Canon of Ethics.