[ RadSafe ] Credentialling and court

Shawn Hughes (Road2) srh at esper.com
Sun Jan 1 15:03:45 CST 2006


Something on here that *I* can speak about with some authority. I have
testified in Federal, State and City Criminal Court numerous times, and
State Civil court a few times. You do not HAVE to have a degree in order to
be accepted as an expert in a field , or a topic.

The Federal Rules of Evidence, which is what most state and local courts
pattern themselves after, says: "Article VII, rule 702 - Testimony by

If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the
trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a
witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or
education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if
(1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony
is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has
applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case."

So, while having a sheepskin definitely helps, 'taint a necessity. I will
say that if you don't have a degree, you better have a good answer why you
don't. Mine has always been that I have been too busy doing to stop and hear
somebody tell me their theories on how it should be done..... ;)

Shawn (FINALLY! A post.....) Hughes


Sandy wrote:  Sad how some automatically judge a person by their
credentials, without any real evidence, background or knowledge. Not very
scientific ... is it?

Mitchell wrote:  What is sad is that so many take stock in a piece of
paper than an individual's true knowledge base.  Was this argument
hypocrisy?  I do believe it was.

Sandy then wrote:  ...degree is essential. For whatever reason, when in
front of a jury, 
the credentials are absolutely necessary, when very technical issues 
are discussed. I don't always agree that this is the case, but in 
many instances it is. There's nothing wrong with credentials. 
However, the case we're discussing here is criticism of an individual 
because of what is credentials are perceived to be. That is not 
correct either.

Shawn R. Hughes
Special Projects Consultant
near Oak Ridge, Tennessee
(865)335-7992 voice
srh at esper.com primary email
www.shawnrhughes.com fledgling webpage
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