Technology and the value of expert evidence in arbitration – Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration – Australia – Mondaq News Alerts

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Australia: Technology and the value of expert evidence in arbitration

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Ruby Lee and David Van Homrigh discuss the advantages of
virtual arbitral hearings with ACICA Review.

Expert evidence – the value-add of virtual

Forensic experts Ruby Lee and David Van Homrigh were recently
featured in the Australian Centre
for International Commercial Arbitration’s (ACICA)

publication, ACICA
Review
.

Until recently, practitioners largely agreed that the process of
hearing expert evidence during arbitration, particularly in large
and complex matters, would be hindered by the virtual environment.
Concern centred around the effectiveness of explaining technical
issues and the limitations of cross-examination and determining
witness credibility.

Practicalities during the current pandemic have forced an
earlier adoption of virtual arbitral hearings than the industry may
otherwise have accepted. Forensic experts Ruby Lee and David Van
Homrigh shared their insights with the ACICA Review into the value
of expert input in arbitration, particularly in the virtual
space.

“The early input of the quantum expert can assist in
establishing where lay evidence may be required, and better
informing decisions about settlement strategy.”
Although
this may affect costs early in the case, Ruby and David note that
it often saves time and, therefore, money in the latter stages. The
adoption of technology makes meeting with experts early in the case
more efficient as travel and associated costs are no longer
required.

Where joint expert reports are required, best practice dictates
an initial meeting of the experts is best done face-to-face,
“…to maximise mutual understanding of each expert’s
approach in the development of their opinions.”
With this
mutual understanding gained, the adoption of virtual meeting and
document-sharing platforms have proven effective in the efficient
preparation of the joint expert reports as they facilitate timely
contact, where required, simultaneous access to materials and
document version control.

Financial models enable non-technical individuals, including
members of an arbitral tribunal, “… to better understand
the complex analysis, the sources of the information, underlying
assumptions and how the calculations relate to the factual evidence
and/or the actual financial position.”
Ruby and David
advise the virtual environment enhances the power of these models
as it focuses attention to the on-screen model or dashboard showing
trends and conclusions.

“While there are some perceived limitations in the
ability to engage a tribunal and effectively explain large and
complex technical matters in a virtual hearing, the opportunities
that technology provides to enhance the presentation of impactful
and credible expert evidence are great, though yet to be fully
applied.”


You can read the full article, as featured in ACICA Review,
here
.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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