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The new strain of coronavirus was officially named “COVID-19” on the February 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO).  Since that time, the transmission of the virus has altered virtually all aspects of public life.  This disruption may eventually lead to usual court, dispute resolution, and arbitration processes to become less practical because of public health measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus.

Because of the coronavirus, expert witnesses may be forced to testify by video conferencing.  This could likely be done at the deposition stage.  Although video taping of expert depositions is commonplace, it may become the rule rather than the exception to limit social interaction.  If the expert deposition will be videotaped, counsel should remind their expert about their facial expressions, and their tone.  It should also be noted that in this time of video posting, counsel should consider obtaining a protective order to prevent the video deposition from being posted on the Internet. See Paisley Park Enters. v. Uptown Prods., 54 F. Supp. 2d 347 (S.D. N.Y. 1999) (where the court ordered strict limits on the dissemination of the video deposition of musician Prince.)

Plaintiff filed suit against the defendant related to a personal injury claim.  Plaintiff hired a Human Factors Engineering Expert Witness to provide testimony.  Defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.  The court denied the motion in part and granted it in part.

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In his article: Date Rape Drugs: Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Law – Weaponized Chemistry, a Medicine Cabinet of Assault, Forensic Psychiatrist Sanjay Adhia, M.D. examines the use of drugs and/or alcohol by sexual predators to render a victim incapacitated.

Dr. Adhia points out that drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) is more easily reported while the drug is still in the victim’s system, and thus more easily testable.    The article examines the effects of  alcohol consumption and “date-rape” drugs on a person, and how one can proactively defend against such assaults.