An excellent post by Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm examines the concept of “blind expertise,” a notion set forth by Christopher Robertson in a 2010 New York University Law Review article as a solution to the problem of bias in expert witness testimony. As Robertson explains, blind expertise refers to the practice of keeping the expert blind as to the identity of the client until after the initial expert report is completed.
Now a study, which will be published next month, shows that, in the eyes of jurors, blind experts are deemed more credible and significantly more persuasive. The use of blind experts not only increased the likelihood of a favorable verdict, it doubled the chance of a favorable verdict and led to higher damages ($163,000 more in a mock medical malpractice case presented to mock jurors) even when the blind witness did not discuss pain and suffering.
The proposition of a blind expert is a compelling one because, at least in theory, it should not be difficult to put into practice. It’s also a reasonable solution to those who have legitimate concerns regarding expert bias and credibility. And, if the recent study is correct, blind experts could have a significant impact on jury trials and awards.
What do you think? Would you ever hire a blind expert? What advantages or disadvantages do you see from using a blind expert?3 Comments Tags: Expert Witness News · Expert Witness Practice 3 responses so far ↓
Interesting thought, there seems to be a lot in favor of using "blind experts"... I'd like to hear the argument against it.
Hi Jill, I'm one of those who are in favor of "blind experts". I strongly believe that they would be impartial in any case.
Hmm, this sounds like a very interesting prospect. I think this would certainly play a big role in making a difference in a trial. Somehow, there won't be any prejudices and premature assumptions that would affect a decision.
FERC similar to Federal court litigation - View the Competing Views on Scope of Expert Witness Discovery
(5/17/2013 at 11:48 AM)
William Mitchell Expert Witness Training Academy receives funding for 2 more years from National Science Foundation
(5/16/2013 at 12:12 PM)