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September 26, 1896


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(13):680-683. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430910010001b

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With the rapid growth of knowledge and the steady development of new forms of industrial activity, the employment of expert testimony for the instruction of the courts is becoming more of a necessity every year. This is admitted by all. The present method of securing this testimony is acknowledged to be both defective and inadequate. On account of this faulty method, expert testimony itself is occasionally most unjustly criticised and ignorantly ridiculed. From the method of its engagement to the system of expert testimony in general the blame has been transferred, and some narrow minded jurists have even cast slurs and insults upon the experts themselves, thus completely losing sight of the real cause of their dissatisfaction, namely, the ancient and absurd method in which the expert is brought before the court. Lord Campbell revealed a partial comprehension of the trouble, when he said that "skilled witnesses come with such

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