The expert witness in legal proceedings is both a historically necessary part of modern legal proceedings in a society increasingly influenced by science and technology, and a much maligned figure often accused of purporting ‘junk science’ and of acting as an ethically empty mercenary. While much of the social action that attempts these various subjectifications is done outside of courtrooms, the present report takes as its object verbal interaction in actual court proceedings that involve an expert witness. The study takes a combined conversation analytic (specifically, non-sequential, or membership categorization analyses) and discourse analytic (specifically post-structural) perspective. Findings focus on the particular use of categorizations by lawyers, judges and the expert witness in terms of rules of the law and of relevant science in the process of court proceedings and the way those categorizations are then used in subsequent court activities and decisions.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/donald_winiecki/7/