An expert witness is a witness who has knowledge beyond that of the ordinary lay person enabling him/her to give testimony regarding an issue that requires expertise to understand. Experts are allowed to give opinion testimony which a non-expert witness may be prohibited from testifying to. In court, the party offering the expert must lay a foundation for the expert’s testimony. Laying the foundation involves testifying about the expert’s credentials and experience that qualifies him/her as an expert. Sometimes the opposing party will stipulate (agree to) to the expert’s qualifications in the interests of judicial economy.

Experts are qualified according to a number of factors, including but not limited to, the number of years they have practiced in their respective field, work experience related to the case, published works, certifications, licensing, training, education, awards, and peer recognition. They may be called as upon as consultants to a case and also used to give testimony at trial. Once listed as a witness for trial, the materials they rely upon in forming an opinion in the case is subject to discovery by the opposing parties. Expert testimony is subject to attack on cross-examination in the form of questioning designed to bring out any limitations in the witness’s qualifications and experience, lack of witness’s confidence in his opinions, lack of the preparation done, or unreliability of the expert’s sources, tests, and methods, among other issues.

Experts in a wide variety of backgrounds may testify, such as construction, forensics, gemstones, and many more areas. They are allowed to be compensated for their time and expenses in preparing for and giving testimony, as long as they are not being paid to perjure themselves. (

Premises Liability

Premises liability may range from things from “injuries caused by a variety of hazardous conditions, including open excavations, uneven pavement, standing water, crumbling curbs, wet floors, uncleared snow, icy walks, falling objects, inadequate security, insufficient lighting, concealed holes, improperly secured mats, or defects in chairs or benches”. As “ExpertLaw” puts it: “Premises liability law is the body of law which makes the person who is in possession of land or premises responsible for certain injuries suffered by persons who are present on the premises”.

For premises liability to apply:

  1. The defendant must possess the land or “premises“.
  2. The plaintiff must be an inviteeor, in certain cases, a licensee.[1] Traditionally, trespassers were not protected under premises liability law.[1] However, in 1968, the California Supreme Court issued a vastly influential opinion, Rowland v. Christian, 69 Cal.2d 108 (1968), which abolished the significance of legal distinctions such as invitee, licensee, or trespasser in determining whether one could hold the possessor of a premises liable for harm. This opinion led to changes in the law in many other states in the United States, and is viewed as a seminal opinion in the development of the law of premises liability.
  3. There must be negligence—a breach of the duty of care—or some other wrongful act. In recent years, the law of premises liability has evolved to include cases where a person is injured on the premises of another by a third person’s wrongful act, such as an assault. These cases are sometimes referred to as “third party premises liability” cases and they represent a highly complex and dynamic area of tort law. They pose especially complex legal issues of duty and causation because the injured party is seeking to hold a possessor or owner of property directly or vicariously liable when the immediate injury-producing act was, arguably, not caused by the possessor or owner.

Expert Litigation Support & Premises Liability Services Include:

  • Advice and feedback regarding current law enforcement events
  • Crime scene examination and evaluation Insight into police procedures
  • Crime Scene Procedures and Techniques.
  • Criminal Investigations.
  • Deposition preparation and support
  • Evaluation and opinion of police practices and procedures based on experience, training and nationally accepted law enforcement standards
  • Interviews and Interrogations.
  • Negotiation preparation
  • Police and court document interpretation
  • Report preparation
  • Review of actions by law enforcement personnel
  • Trial, depositions and hearings testimony

Bukata & Associates services also include:

  • Document review.
  • Drafting of deposition questions.
  • Initial case review and assessment.
  • Opposing expert evaluations.
  • Oral and written reports.
  • Report preparation
  • Review of law enforcement investigative procedures