Introducing Expert Testimony in Domestic Violence Cases

Popular perceptions of how victims should respond to physical and emotional trauma often conflict with the way victims actually behave; these misconceptions can severely affect the fact finders’ assessment of victim credibility and, ultimately, the case outcome. Introducing expert testimony to explain victim behavior is a way to dispel myths and assist the jury in making an informed decision based on the evidence. This webinar describes common victim behaviors and dynamics in intimate partner violence cases, as well as their impact on fact finders’ assessments of victim credibility. The presenter discusses the law related to the admission of expert testimony to explain victim behavior and suggests ways to identify qualified experts. The presentation highlights the importance of deciding whether to introduce expert testimony in a case and explains the value of consulting with experts during trial preparation regardless of whether such testimony will be introduced.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1 hour of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.