Expert witnesses; extends application of two evidentiary statutes applicable in certain cases. (HB829)

Introduced By

Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Expert witnesses in criminal cases.  Extends the application of two evidentiary statutes applicable in civil cases ( 8.01-401.1 and 8.01-401.3) to criminal cases.

Va. Code 8.01-401.1 allows an expert witness to render an opinion or draw inferences from facts, circumstances or data made known to or perceived by such witness at or before the hearing or trial during which he is called upon to testify, provided that such facts, etc., are of a type normally relied upon by others in the particular field of expertise in forming opinions and drawing inferences, need not be admissible in evidence. The expert, upon cross-examination, may be required to disclose the underlying facts or data upon which his opinion is based. Va. Code 8.01-401.1 also provides that statements contained in published treatises, periodicals or pamphlets on a subject of history, medicine or other science or art, established as a reliable authority by testimony or by stipulation shall not be excluded as hearsay to the extent called to the attention of an expert witness upon cross-examination or relied upon by the expert witness in direct examination. However, if admitted, the statements may be read into evidence but may not be received as exhibits and if the statements are to be introduced upon direct examination, copies of the statements shall be provided to opposing parties 30 days prior to trial unless otherwise ordered by the court.

Va. Code 8.01-401.3 allows a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education to testify in regard to such knowledge, etc., if scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.

The bill also contains a second enactment clause that delays its effectiveness until rules adopted by the Supreme Court of Virginia providing for reciprocal pretrial discovery of all expert testimony consistent with required disclosures in civil cases become effective. Amends § 19.2-267, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/13/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10102284D
01/13/2010Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/19/2010Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
02/08/2010Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
02/16/2010Left in Courts of Justice