The KZN Branch of SAMLA held an Expert Witness Workshop on 6 May 2017. The event far exceeded expectations, with in excess of 50 attendees.
The half day seminar commenced with an introduction to Court craft, which will take delegates through pleadings, pre-trial procedures for the admission of evidence, with a focus on court appearance and cross examination.
Adv. Ian Dutton took delegates through the legal theory governing the role of the expert witness, and the duties of expert witnesses, while Dr Herman Edeling taught delegates how to be an unbiased witniess.
Adv Rajesh Choudree SC dealt with how Judges assess expert evidence and how expert witnesses can assist the Judge.
Dr. Charles Nelson, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, taught expert witnesses how to write a report.
Ms Andiswa Gowa, occupational therapist talked about consulting with opposing experts, and taught expert witnesses how to prepare a joint minute.
Munro Actuaries gave an explanation of the role of an actuary in determining the quantum of a case while Raymond Meneses and Adv. David Aldworth discussed the current healthcare crisis in South Africa.
The seminar will concluded with a buffet lunch, with many enjoying opportunities for networking ad socialising.
Some of the best quotes on the day:
The tune is not paid for by those who engage the piper – Adv Rajesh Choudree SC
It is not for the witness to draw the conclusion of negligence – Adv Ian Dutton
Advice to the expert: Stay calm and objective, don’t argue; Don’t get sucked into the story;
Expect the situation to be unfair – Dr Herman Edeling
Let’s talk to one another as if we are not enemies – Raymond Meneses
The Workshop has generated much enthusiasm in KZN and was a breakthrough event for the Province. This is demonstrated by the high numbers of attendees at the Postgraduate Course event for Saturday 13 May.
The Branch looks forward to the remainder of its programme for the year growing enthusiasm and membership through the remainder of the year.