Bringing or Defending a Civil Case
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3. What should be noted about expert witnesses? Should I call them to give evidence for my case?

Sometimes, a case may involve technical matters which are likely to be outside the experience and knowledge of the parties and the judge. Examples include: a doctor to explain a medical report, a surveyor to advise on the value of a property, an engineer to explain a mechanical & engineering problem, a psychologist to explain the mental behaviour of a victim, etc. The parties and the judge may therefore find it beneficial to have some experts in the particular field of knowledge involved to help them understand the relevant issues. The major shortfalls on calling expert witnesses are the extra costs and time incurred.

If the parties want to call expert witnesses to give evidence at the trial, they have to apply for leave (permission) from the court. The court may grant leave to the parties with appropriate directions (e.g. the number of expert witnesses from each side, the time allowed for the parties to file and exchange their expert reports, etc). A party who fails to comply with these directions may be disallowed to give expert evidence at the trial. Alternatively, the court may order that judgment be entered against a defaulting party who deliberately refuses to comply with the directions of the court without a valid reason. If the court makes that judgment, the defaulting party will have lost the whole case.