Overview: This online course addresses expert testimony with an open mind towards broadening the perspective of how to be a scientist in the legal arena, as well as improving expert witness capabilities on the stand. Inevitably, there is a clash of professional cultures, and this course is intended to provide a broader perspective of the varying viewpoints. Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to: Describe the differences between an expert and lay witness. Discuss the difference between civil and criminal cases. Define discovery and depositions. Describe the different cultures of law enforcement officers, scientists, and lawyers. Describe how an expert witness should prepare for testimony. Discuss why laying the foundation of the expert's science is important. Describe how to prepare for cross-examination. Discuss how to respond to cross-examination. Describe the ethical issues and problems experts face. Describe unethical conduct. Course Structure and Schedule: Average completion time for the class is 15 hours. A certificate of completion will be issued to students successfully meeting course requirements. Table of Contents: Unit 1: Overview of Expert Testimony & Being an Expert Witness Unit 2: Attorneys & Scientists - A Natural Friction Unit 3: Preparation for Expert Witness Testimony Unit 4: Direct Examination Unit 5: Cross-Examination Unit 6: Important Cases for the Expert Witness Unit 7: Ethics. Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this class. A printable version of the course content is available in PDF format in the course library for future reference. Course readings are also available in PDF format. Frequently Asked Questions: Why is my answer marked wrong, when I know it is the correct answer? Answer: All quizzes are reviewed and manually graded by the instructor which can take up to 72 hours after the quiz is submitted. Keep in mind grading is not performed on weekends, holidays, or after close of business. The updated grade will appear in the 'my grades' tab in the course once it has been updated. Computer Requirements: Mozilla Firefox (recommended) or Internet Explorer, Adobe Acrobat Reader, QuickTime, Macromedia Flash Player, and Java (Free software plug-ins are available in the Getting Started area of the course.). Basic computer skills required (i.e. turning on your computer, navigating to websites, etc.). The course is user-friendly but support is available if needed. All Students: Using Internet Explorer (IE) 10? Read info on eCampus Main Page https://ecampus.wvu.edu/'
. Technical Assistance: 304-293-4444 (non-credit eCampus stude. You will be receiving email with your online course access information within five working days. Please check your spam or junk folder in case the confirmation email was misplaced there. Course Reviews: I did enjoy both classes that I signed up for - Perspectives in Expert Testimony and Principles of Death Investigation. Upon completion of the courses I emailed both Kelly Ayers and Samantha Neal to thank them for their enthusiasm, insight, and comprehensive coverage of the subject matter. In most areas of Law Enforcement a person with my years of service (30 years) is considered a 'dinosaur or relic' and past the point of being interested or teachable in most if not all matters concerning the various aspects of Law Enforcement. While this belief has certainly been true with me as of late, I feel I owe a debt of gratitude to both Kelly Ayers and Samantha Neal as well as to WVU for providing courses related to my current assignment and for re-kindling my interest. I found both courses informative and challenging, and I believe that I took away valuable information that will be of use to me as I continue on the path that I started on three decades ago. While participating in both courses I realized that for the first time in 2-4 years that I will miss my job when I'm forced to retire in a little over 15 months. I again want to thank all involved for reaffirming that the career choice I made so many years ago, was the right one.