Once in a while, we hear that scientific experts are partial, that they “lean toward their client’s side” because they are paid by their client to perform an expertise of some sort.

In any given claim, scientific experts are totally independent professionals who are mandated to determine the cause of a loss. In order to carry out their expertise, the scientific experts will have to read confidential documents submitted by their client or by other individuals mandated by this client. They will familiarize themselves with these documents and determine which information has a direct link with the project and/or could make it progress further. As required, scientific experts can perform simulations, create data or observation tables and corroborate their information with a view to produce an expertise report.

This process in which scientific experts are involved must be done with an orientation totally independent from the one that the client would like to give it. Scientific experts must be aware of the fact that it is crucial for them to weigh their words carefully and to choose words that are their own, since they might have to defend their expertise report and debate on their conclusions and opinions before other parties and perhaps different courts of justice.

It is necessary for scientific experts to remain upright throughout their expertise process, whether it pleases their client or not. They must write a report that is consistent with their observations/information. By doing so, the profession stays independent in thought, even if, like some people say, the experts are remunerated by their client.