In Guidelines For The Expert Witness, Judge Timothy T. Daley, Family and Youth Court Judge Province of Nova Scotia, offers trial preparation guidelines including:
Guideline #12 – Answer only what is asked.
Be precise and do not offer gratuitous comments. Answer only what counsel or the court asks. If clarification or interpretation is needed, do so as necessary. It is better to acknowledge lack of expertise in a specific area than to risk misleading responses. Failure to acknowledge a possible second interpretation may result in a loss of credibility. Do not assume that counsel or the court are familiar with the profession, its descriptions and prescriptions. Assume that the evidence and the manner it is presented, will be assessed for validity and weighed against other evidence.
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