Strata Management Services – NSW are able to act as an “Expert Witness”
The main reason an expert opinion is needed is that if the matter goes to litigation and a witness is not professionally qualified in the area of dispute the Tribunal or Court will not accept the evidence of the witness as an expert witness.
If evidence is found to be based upon speculation, inference, personal and second hand views it will be rejected by a Court or Tribunal.
From a recent state Government survey more than 80% of new buildings are subject to building defects and remedial works on older buildings are also commonly subject to dispute over defects and therefore obtaining expert evidence is becoming more important than ever for strata schemes to obtain a satisfactory outcome to any litigation or preferably resolving a matter prior to reaching the expense of litigation.
The purpose of obtaining an expert opinion is to ensure that if the matter reaches a Tribunal hearing or Court proceedings the strata scheme is in a position to provide acceptable evidence to Tribunal or Court and that evidence is able to be provided in accordance with the Expert Witness Code of Conduct as determined in the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW).
It should also be noted that the code of conduct not only requires an expert to be professionally qualified in the field of dispute but must also be impartial to both parties to dispute.
It is therefore very important when engaging an expert for an opinion and as a potential witness to an action to ensure that the professional is properly informed of all the issues, relevant facts and documents in the dispute in order to ensure the expert can assess whether or not they can be of assistance.
It is also important that they have very specific instructions on what is required of them in the matter as, under the Code of Conduct of a professional witness, they are required to be impartial when expressing an opinion based on the facts and if found to be biased the Tribunal or Court can discard the experts opinion.