4 Legal Contours of Expert Testimony

Forensic Psychology


  1. Steven K. Erickson JD, PhD, LLM, ABPP1,
  2. Charles Patrick Ewing JD, PhD, ABPP2

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop211004

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Erickson, S. K. and Ewing, C. P. 2012. Legal Contours of Expert Testimony. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 11:I:4.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Widener University, School of Law, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

  2. 2

    State University of New York at Buffalo, College of Law, Buffalo, New York, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


Forensic psychologists often provide expert testimony at trials, hearings, and administrative proceedings. Good practice entails sufficient knowledge of the method by which the legal system regulates expert testimony embodied within the various rules of evidence. These rules provide the structure by which expert testimony may be admitted or barred, who is deemed qualified to proffer the testimony, and the basis for expert testimony. Customary skill, proficiency, and care by the expert require familiarly with the developments and doctrine of the rules of evidence. This chapter reviews the growth and development of psychological experts, the legal doctrine that regulates their testimony, and typical areas of pitfalls to be avoided by the ethical expert.


  • evidence;
  • legal procedure;
  • expert testimony