Date of Award
Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations
Vocational expert witnesses are retained to perform vocational assessments and provide vocational rehabilitation counseling services to disabled individuals. They are often required to testify as expert witnesses at trials on cases in which they have evaluated disabled individuals or provided rehabilitation counseling services to disabled clients. The purpose of this study was to identify characteristics of effective vocational expert witnesses. Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRCs) who were members of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (IARP) were asked to complete the Rehabilitation Counselor Questionnaire and Survey and nominate effective vocational expert witnesses for this study. A total of 346 certified rehabilitation counselors participated. Ninety five of the 346 respondents were nominated by their peers as effective vocational expert witnesses. Results of this study determined that rehabilitation counselors who were nominated by their peers as effective expert witnesses were more effective than rehabilitation counselors who were not nominated as effective expert witnesses in a number of areas: Rehabilitation counselors who were nominated as effective expert witnesses have more self-confidence, enjoy debating more, enjoy conducting research more, enjoy administering tests more, utilize subjective sources more often in forming opinions, are more comfortable speaking generally or before a judge or jury, more often identify providing expert testimony as one of their favorite tasks, and get anxious less often before they testify. Rehabilitation counselors nominated as effective expert witnesses are significantly different from rehabilitation counselors who were not nominated by their peers as effective expert witnesses in that nominated counselors have a high number of court appearances annually, hold a state license as a counselor more often, and have been a rehabilitation counselor for a long time.
Younger, Crystal, "Characteristics of Effective Expert Witnesses in Rehabilitation Counseling" (2005). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 278.