In the language of the Federal Rules of Evidence, an expert is one who possesses "scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge [that] will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue."' When the jury is sorting through evidence and conflicting party claims on disputed issues, such persons are potentially useful sources of information. At the same time, attorneys' widespread use of expert witnesses has troublesome aspects. To the chagrin of some, expert witnesses have come to dominate civil trials, particularly those involving technical issues where large amounts of money are at risk. The Sabia case is just such a case. As would be expected, experts dominate the litigation. This portion of the symposium will discuss the role of experts and their interaction with the attorneys who hire them, as well as the attorneys who prepare to cross-examine them.



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