The use, abuse and boundaries of expert evidence


“MAPS Medical Reporting has a well-established panel of medico-legal expert witnesses who are familiar with the requirements of Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules, as well as their wider duties to the court."

Lord Hodge, Justice of the Supreme Court, used his guest lecture at Middle Temple to focus on the use, abuse and boundaries of expert evidence in civil cases.

He highlighted the heavy responsibility placed on expert witnesses due to their ability to influence the court’s decision. He also warned of the serious harm and injustice which can follow from the abuse of that power.

While he recognised the indispensable role of medical practitioners in injury cases, he noted that expert evidence involved considerable expense and should be deployed with care.

He reminded the audience of the experts’ legal responsibility to provide the judge with the necessary scientific criteria for testing the accuracy of their conclusions in order to let the court exercise its own independent judgment, and not just to be bound by the expert’s view.

Lord Hodge also reiterated the duty of the legal team to make sure that the expert was aware of the duties imposed on an expert witness.

“At MAPS Medical Reporting, we are aware of the part we have to play in the wider responsibilities facing our expert witnesses,” says David Stothard, managing director of MAPS Medical Reporting.

“We take steps to ensure that all of our expert witnesses understand Part 35 of the Civil Procedure rules, the Civil Justice Council’s ‘Guidance for the instruction of experts in civil cases’, as well as the guidance from their own professional bodies, such as the General Medical Council.

“MAPS Medical Reporting has a well-established panel of medico-legal expert witnesses who are familiar with the requirements of Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules, as well as their wider duties to the court.

“We recognise that these duties set the parameters for medico-legal reports. While the overwhelming majority of personal injury and medical negligence claims settle by negotiation without having to go to court, the evidence our experts provide can be relied upon to meet the rigorous court standards and the expectations of our specialist customers. Our experts are accomplished at presenting the key issues with clarity to benefit everyone concerned.”

MAPS Medical Reporting provides quick access to reputable experts and high quality, specialist medical and medico legal reports to provide its customers with robust medical evidence to expedite both treatment services for the victim and the claims process. Contact us to find out more about how we can support you.