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CAI Executive Director Co-Authors Chapter on Expert Testimony in Pediatric Forensics

   

CAI Executive Director Robert C. Fellmeth has co-authored a chapter entitled Expert Testimony in Pediatric Forensics with co-author David L. Chadwick of The Chadwick Center for Children and Families, of Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego. The chapter is part of Forensic Pathology of Infancy and Childhood (Kim A. Collins, Roger W. Byard, Editors), an up-to-date text covering all facets of the forensic pathology of infancy and childhood with contributions from international experts. The book covers the variable manifestations of natural conditions resulting in unexpected death from in utero life through to adolescence, and discusses a wide range of topics including mimickers of child abuse, lesions and injuries, metabolic disorders and their evaluation, scene examination, autopsy photography and expert evidence.

The chapter authored by Fellmeth and Chadwick defines expert testimony in legal proceedings as it occurs in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries. It explains the different classes of litigation that are likely to affect infants and children -- especially infants and children who may have been victims of maltreatment. These classes include criminal proceedings affecting both adult and child defendants, dependency proceedings to protect affected infants and children, tort cases in which persons seek redress for the harms of child maltreatment, probate proceedings, and civil rights proceedings.

The chapter explains how expert testimony is controlled by law and by the policies adopted by professional societies. It defines responsible and irresponsible expert testimony and provides advice to potential expert witnesses on how to provide responsible work. Finally, it points out the problems created by responsible testimony and provides some general advice on how testimony can be improved.

The book and/or chapter are available for purchase from Springer Reference.

 


 

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