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Webinar Archive:  Expert Witness Series

Webinar date:  May 13, 2013



This webinar helps advocates understand the range of skills and knowledge needed to be an effective expert witness, how to begin to develop and enhance these skills, and ways that advocate-experts can evaluate whether they are an appropriate expert for a particular case.  This webinar also reviews some of the important factors that advocates and community-based programs must consider when deciding if and under what circumstances they will provide expert testimony.  It is most helpful for community-based domestic violence advocates who are interested in testifying as an expert witnesses.

Presenters explore a) who is an expert; b) considerations for community-based programs (including agency's mission, capacity, role, and impact on organization and community); c) how to develop an agency policy regarding agency staff serving as experts; d) procedures on when to agree to testify, when to pass, and why; e) process considerations for advocate experts; f) experts as consultants; g) working with the attorney; and, h) things to do before you get involved in a case.

About the Presenters

Laurie Schipper has worked within the Battered Women's Movement for 30 years and is currently the Executive Director of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV).  Ms. Schipper graduated in 1985 with a B.S. in Social Work from Iowa State University.  Prior to Ms. Schipper's work with the Coalition, she worked in a battered women's shelter and rape crisis center in Ames, Iowa for 10 years.

Ms. Schipper provides technical assistance and training to domestic violence advocates and other professionals who interface with battered women and their children.  In addition, Ms. Schipper participates in training and curriculum development and consults on public policy as it relates to violence against women.  Ms. Schipper has assisted thousands of battered women and their children and based on that experience, has testified as an expert witness or trial consultant in hundreds of cases involving domestic violence and the impact on children.  She has developed training programs for new and experienced experts, and conducts state-wide training programs for experts and legal practitioners.

Kirsten Faisal has been the Director of Training and Technical Assistance for the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence since 1995, where she works on developing public policy, and provides professional support to agencies that impact battered women and their children.  She is on the steering committee for the Batterer's Education Program for the Iowa Department of Corrections; has trained for the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and the Department of Human Services; served as chair for the Iowa Domestic Abuse Death Review Team and has provided expert witness testimony in civil and criminal domestic abuse cases.  She graduated with honors from Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in anthropology and spent eleven years doing crisis intervention work with survivors of abuse.

Click here to access recording.  A copy of the PowerPoint (and any other documents from the webinar) is available by clicking here.


Considerations for Aspiring Experts at Community-Based Domestic Violence Programs

Click here to access recording (which includes the PowerPoint). 


A copy of the PowerPoint (and any other documents from the webinar) is available by clicking here.

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.

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