Thinking inside the box

This piece at the Spectator is an interesting look at the challenges, based on Dalrymple’s experience, of being an expert witness in a trial. The best expert witnesses, he says, are not necessarily the most esteemed in their fields, because those kinds of experts are often too busy to pore over the details of the case and are unaccustomed to having their opinions questioned:

What is needed, then, is not a star, but a jobbing but competent plodder who does not consider himself too important to read 2,000 largely irrelevant pages, if only because he fears being decimated in the box. Caution, fear and a certain degree of fight (but not too much) are what make a good witness in the game of law.

The law is not only a game, however: much that is real depends on it. But strategy and tactics are as necessary for the witness to carry his point as possession of the truth uttered with the certainty of an Old Testament prophet.

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