Revised to January 1, 2008
We have had in this case the testimony
of expert witnesses. Expert witnesses, such as engineers or doctors, are people
who, because of their training, education, and experience, have knowledge beyond
that of the ordinary person. Because of that expertise in whatever field they
happen to be in, expert witnesses are allowed to give their opinions.
Ordinarily, a witness cannot give an opinion about anything, but rather is
limited to testimony as to the facts in that witness's personal knowledge. The
experts in this case have given opinions. However, the fact that these
witnesses may qualify as experts does not mean that you have to accept their
opinions. You can accept their opinions or reject them.
In making your decision whether to
believe an expert's opinion, you should consider the expert's education,
training and experience in the particular field; the information available to
the expert, including the facts the expert had and the documents or other
physical evidence available to the expert; the expert's opportunity and ability
to examine those things; the expert's ability to recollect the activity and
facts that form the basis for the opinion; and the expert's ability to tell you
accurately about the facts, activity and the basis for the opinion.
You should ask yourselves about the
methods employed by the expert and the reliability of the result. You should
further consider whether the opinions stated by the expert have a rational and
reasonable basis in the evidence. Based on all of those things, together with
your general observation and assessment of the witness, it is then up to you to
decide whether or not to accept the opinion. You may believe all, some or none
of the testimony of an expert witness. In other words, an expert's testimony is
subject to your review like that of any other witness.