Webinar Archive: Expert Witness Series
Webinar date: April 18, 2013
This webinar is designed to help participants think critically about the possible benefits and drawbacks of utilizing domestic violence and/or sexual assault advocates as expert witnesses.
This webinar begins by reviewing some current realities about community-based advocates (e.g., advocates are, in fact, experts; advocates are being asked to testify as experts all the time; practitioners and victims of battering find that expert testimony can have a positive impact; many anti-domestic violence programs and state coalitions are recognizing and responding to the need for expert testimony by providing training, support to advocate expert witnesses; and that many advocates and other anti-domestic violence professionals are doing amazing work testifying and training other experts). It includes a discussion of possible drawbacks and benefits of community-based advocates serving as experts. It ends by acknowledging current realities and examines issues community-based programs need to consider when assessing if, and when, they will provide expert services.
About the Presenter
Cindene Pezzell is the Legal Coordinator at the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women (NCDBW). Before joining NCDBW in 2008, Cindene was an assistant public defender in Philadelphia, where she focused primarily on trial work. Cindene is Lead Staff on NCDBW's Expert Project, which is funded by the Office on Violence Against Women, and has been working in that capacity to develop resources designed to increase the availability and effectiveness of expert testimony for victims of ongoing battering. In addition to coordinating the Legal Team at the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, Cindene provides direct technical assistance to defense teams, researches and develops legal materials, and conducts training programs.
When Advocates are Asked to be Expert Witnesses:
Weighing Possible Drawbacks and Benefits
This webinar series is supported by Grant No. 2011-TA-AX-K129 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.