COLUMBUS, OH - Reminger attorneys and Capital University Law School Adjunct Professors Zachary Pyers and Michael Valentine were featured in a Columbus Dispatch article that highlighted new courses being offered this semester at the school which will benefit not only law students, but members of the Columbus Police Department (CPD) as well.
Pyers and Valentine are teaching a course entitled ‘The Use of Expert Witnesses in Litigation’ to about 15 law students. The course focuses on the legal and practical considerations involved in the use of expert witnesses in litigation. Students evaluate case law, best practices concerning the use and exclusion of expert witnesses in litigation, the retention of experts, expert reports and depositions of expert witnesses. In addition, the students draft various legal documents, including expert retention letters, expert reports, deposition outlines, and deposition summaries. The students take several mock expert depositions, with the final culminating in the deposition of an outside expert based on the expert’s report. These experts are trainees who are training to be qualified as expert witnesses
The CPD wanted to train about a dozen of their officers to be able to serve as expert witnesses. After learning about the depositions course that Zach had taught, they approached Capital about the offering of another interdisciplinary course: legal research and writing for police.
“We were happy to oblige when Dean Rachel Janutis approached us about the teaching of our course in tandem with a course for the CPD,” noted Pyers. “We provide expertise in the use of expert witnesses in a variety of fields. The CPD brings a practical policing experience to the course. We utilize a fact pattern where it is alleged that police officers violated an individual’s constitutional rights. The police officers serve as expert witnesses, reviewing the facts, drafting reports, and providing expert opinions on whether the officers in the fact pattern violated an individual’s constitutional rights.”
This mutually beneficial teaching arrangement allows both groups of “students” to learn from the other. The CPD does not have any direct instructors in their program. Instead, another Capital instructor is teaching the CPD the legal research and writing course, which was featured in The Columbus Dispatch.
“So far, the students are excited to be engaged in a class utilizing expert witnesses and having the opportunity to work alongside an expert through a case file,” said Pyers. “The experience focuses more on the use of the expert from initial screening and engagement, through trial, which is essentially the life cycle of an expert’s engagement.”