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The latest from Your Witness Issue 82: The relentless erosion of legal aid in England and Wales over the last two decades has resulted in a significant growth in alternative methods of funding for parties to litigation. The range of funding options on offer can be somewhat bewildering – not only for litigants, but for lawyers and other professionals too. Following a number of related queries from experts to our Register Helpline, in this issue we offer you a brief guide to what’s on offer. The exercise of the court’s wide powers to control the number of expert witnesses instructed in a case often gives rise to procedural challenges. Here we consider a recent Court of Appeal judgment when it heard a case against a refusal to permit expert evidence. We also review the compellability of expert witnesses. In theory, the law makes no distinction between witnesses of fact and expert witnesses, but in practice the courts exercise discretion in deciding whether an expert witness should be compelled to appear. And we revisit the question of experts keeping papers from old cases – what should you keep and for how long? And finally, how can a judge be compared with Goldilocks from the tale of the three bears? We strangle this particular simile to draw out the lessons from some recent judicial guidance on what constitutes a good expert report.

Recommend a lawyer Do you have a favoured lawyer you would like to get the printed Register? (from eWire Issue 93, January, 2016)

Budget Statement Blues for Medco? Is St George (of Osborne) about to slay the (Medco) dragon? (from eWire Issue 92, November, 2015)

Instructing me instructing you Are you seeing instructions from MROs that are themselves instructed by an MRO? (from eWire Issue 93, January, 2016)

Criminal Procedure Rules Update A new number and a new duty too (from eWire Issue 92, November, 2015)

Well, I never! Some Legal Aid Authority nuggets you might not have noticed... (from eWire Issue 92, November, 2015)

Data protection and the expert Most expert witnesses will be processing personal data as part of their forensic practice and so should be registered with the Information Commissioner (from eWire Issue 93, January, 2016)

Criminal burden shifting Is Streamlined Forensic Reporting increasing the risk of inadequate forensic evidence being presented to the court? (from eWire Issue 93, January, 2016)

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