Dateline: April, 2011, Issue 2

How do jurors handle conflicting expert testimony?

Jurors with no specific expert knowledge routinely need to evaluate complex and conflicting expert testimony.

Vidmar (1995) conducted extensive post-trial interviews of jurors in five different medical malpractice cases to determine how jurors handled a "battle of experts".

Jurors handled conflicting expert testimony by:

Jurors also were skeptical about the truthfulness of technically worded answers by one side's experts when an opposing side's experts presented straightforward answers.

Vidmar concluded that jurors actively and critically weigh expert testimony, rather than automatically deferring to the opinions of experts.

Source Vidmar, N. (1995). Medical Malpractice and the American Jury. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.