YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsExpert Witness

Expert Witness

As personal ads go, they're not very sultry: no busty blonds, no wealthy widowers, no soulful singles seeking companionship. These pick-up lines lean toward the dry and technical: "Author of 'The Slip and Fall Handbook,' " or "Extremely competent tile & natural stone problem investigations." Though they're drab, they serve their matchmaking purpose well. After all, lawyers who scan these ads on the back pages of trade journals aren't looking for lovers.
An expert witness delivered the most dramatic and potentially damaging testimony against the defense at the Mapplethorpe obscenity trial Thursday when she compared two of the photographs at issue to child pornography and said none are fit to hang in an art museum. Judith Reisman, a mass media researcher with links to anti-pornography groups, contradicted the testimony of other arts experts who extolled the late Robert Mapplethorpe as one of the most important photographers of his time.
February 28, 1991 | From United Press International
Expert witnesses gave conflicting testimony Wednesday about Christian Brando's story that he accidentally shot and killed his half-sister's lover during a struggle over a gun. Testifying at a Santa Monica Superior Court hearing that will help the judge decide Brando's sentence on his guilty plea to a charge of voluntary manslaughter, a forensic pathologist called by the prosecution said victim Dag Drollet was probably lying down when he was shot.
July 9, 2013 | By Michael Muskal and Tina Susman
The medical and scientific evidence shows that Trayvon Martin was leaning over George Zimmerman when the neighborhood watch volunteer fired the fatal shot into the unarmed teenager's chest, a forensic pathologist testified Tuesday. Dr. Vincent Di Maio, an expert testifying for the defense, gave a version of events that was consistent with the defense's theory of the deadly confrontation between Zimmerman, 29, and Martin, 17, on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murder, maintains he shot Martin in self-defense after the teenager attacked him. PHOTOS: The controversial case in pictures Di Maio said that he had examined the autopsy, toxicology and photographic evidence and concluded that the evidence was consistent with Zimmerman's statements to authorities that Martin was straddling him and that Zimmerman fired his gun with his right hand.
Once dominated by doctors and science professors, the world of expert witnesses is branching out to topics ranging from artifacts to aquatics, forklifts to forestry. In the last six years, the number of categories of experts in a national directory of witnesses has doubled to more than 400. And although the Y2K category is no longer included in the Northern California-based advertising directory, next year's edition will boast a timely new heading: domestic terrorism.
February 18, 2014 | By Elaine Woo
When Lewis Yablonsky was growing up in New Jersey in the 1930s, he was beaten by poor whites for being Jewish and by black gangs for being white. He committed petty thefts, ran crooked card games and carried a switchblade for protection. Some of his closest friends wound up behind bars. "I wasn't sure where I belonged," he told The Times years later. "But when my best friend went to prison for hijacking a fur truck … I realized I had to get on one side of the law or the other. " Yablonsky chose the straight path, using his rough-and-tumble youth as a springboard to a distinguished career: He became the "Sociologist With Street Smarts," as one headline described him, an authority on youth gangs, hippies and drug addicts whose personal experiences gave him insights other scholars lacked.
December 10, 1996 | From Bloomberg Business News
In a blow to Universal Studios Inc., a key witness was disqualified as an expert witness in a Delaware Chancery Court trial after the judge said he dodged questions about errors in his resume. Andrew Rosenfield, president of Lexecon Inc., was to testify as an antitrust expert for Seagram Co.'s Universal Studios, which sued Viacom Inc. in a partnership dispute over USA Network. The case ended Friday after a month of testimony, and the judge could take several months to make a ruling.
December 9, 2004 | From Dow Jones/Associated Press
An economist testified Wednesday that an expert witness in a closely watched shareholder lawsuit overvalued stock options granted to former Walt Disney Co. President Michael Ovitz. Frederick C. Dunbar, a senior vice president at National Economic Research Associates and an expert witness for the defense, said he valued about 5 million options granted to Ovitz at about $60 million, although an expert witness for Disney shareholders valued the stock options at about $90 million.
September 17, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
A black man dragged to his death behind a pickup truck, allegedly by three white supremacists, was alive until he struck a culvert and was decapitated, an expert witness said in Bryan, Texas, before the prosecution rested in the trial of Lawrence Brewer. Forensic pathologist Tommy Brown, who conducted an autopsy on James Byrd, 49, said he could only pray Byrd was not conscious at his death. Brewer's prison friend, John King, was convicted of the murder in February and was sentenced to die.
October 26, 1987
A forensic psychiatrist who specialized in testifying as an expert witness for the defense in drug cases was found dead in his Hollywood home, clutching an empty hypodermic syringe in one hand, the Los Angeles Police Department said today. Police tentatively listed the death of Dr. Donald Martin Trockman, 46, as an accidental overdose and said traces of what appeared to be cocaine residue were found in the psychiatrist's bedroom, where his nude body was found.
Los Angeles Times Articles