This final conference deals with the final issue any computer forensics examiner or any other witness to an event will face – testifying under oath to what you know. Each person who testifies is a witness and as we discussed several weeks ago, will present testimonial evidence. As an expert witness, which is how a computer forensic examiner will be generally be presented, you are not providing eye-witness testimony to a crime, but are testifying about what you as an expert found or did not find during your collection, preservation, and examination of physical evidence. When you testify on behalf of the government or defense, you will first testify on direct examination- that means the attorney who called you to the stand has to lay certain groundwork to get your testimony about your examination of the evidence before the jury. What are some of the questions do you think you would be asked initially on direct examination? Once the preliminary questions have been asked and answered the attorney handling the direct examination will then turn over examination to the defense. This is often done before you are allowed to answer questions about the actual evidence or case before the court. The reason this is done in this matter is that you are first being presented to the court as an expert in some field. The opposing counsel gets to cross-examine you to try to defeat your being named as an expert. Inc ases where you ahve already been determined to be an expert by the court on previous occasions, there is less chance the ooposing counsel will be successful. But, for a new examiner, the first couple of times before the court will be mor demanding as to your expertise. What kind of questions do you think the opposing counsel will ask you? Remember on cross examination opposing counsel can ask leading questions to challenge your expertise. After both sides had a chance to question your bone fides as an expert, the counsel wishing you to be accepted will make a motion that you be accepted as an expert. Once that is complete, you will be asked about the matter at hand. This is also where the opposing counsel will be especially alert for any weakness ir contradictions in your testimony. How do you think it is important for you to testify to limit any contradictions?
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