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Expert Witness & Conflict of Interest

Does anyone have info on what is required/accepted to make a finding of conflict of interest for an expert or single expert witness?

The mother has applied for suspension of contact until my home is inspected for safety. Child is 9yo and has Down syndrome. He has been spending time with me at my house for 2 years for periods of 4 hours. He has suffered no injury. The mother has nominated a specific OHS expert for the inspection. This in response to an order that she supply two names to me and for me to pick one. (this order from February).

A senior member of the nominated organization is a long term and very close personal friend of my new (defacto) wife's ex-husband. We know that my ex and her ex have previously been in contact over our respective Family Court proceedings. This would seem to constitute a conflict of interest to me, however in my submissions to court so far I get the impression that the mothers legal rep, the ICL and Judge are not impressed with this argument.

Mother has been consistent in obstructing contact for last seven years.

Last edit: by FBuzzard

Hi Fbuzzard. Your request prompts more questions than it does answers.

You mention that the Mother had to submit 2 names. Are they from the same organisation?

Why is an OH&S company reviewing the safety of your home? One would think that with a downs child an occupational therapist would be more appropriate.

If you have concerns with the mother's 2 nominations, they need to be rejected with reason and a request for an additional two choices submitted to her legal team.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
There has been an interim order made for the mother to supply two names and for me to choose one of them to inspect my residence with regards to safety issues. This order was made in February 2008, with the mother to supply a name within 7 days. The mother eventually supplied one name and notified me on 23/4/08 - this is an OT who works for an OHS company. Her cv indicates she is as well qualified for this as someone can be.

My new (defacto) wife lives with me in the house, with her two daughters. She has also been through a very acrimonious FC process - her ex attempted an appeal to High Court - despite a decision of shared care. She refuses to have anyone from the nominated institution enter the house as a senior member of the organization who works in the same office is a long term personal friend of the ex. She is concerned that any finding would then be used against her by her ex. She has already written an affidavit to that effect - this is yet to go back to the judge who made the interim order. My impression from 2 other interocutory hearings before Registrars in the meantime was that the mothers lawyer and ICL (and ? Registrar) were not impressed with my argument of conflict of interest (COI). This suggested to me that there may be some accepted standard for COI, but so far I can find no cases to suggest this - it is this area I am specifically looking for help with.

Try not to be intimidated by the attitude of ICL and the Registrar. Present the facts and your concerns clearly.

It seems odd that only one name would be provided, and that late in the piece.

You need to relay your problem with accepting the one name provided and request that another name from a different firm is forwarded.

Meantime, I would arrange for an independent assessment from an OT yourself. This way, if you go back for the next hearing and the ex complains that you are not genuine and are being difficult you can present the report. Of course, you will have provided the ex's solicitor with a copy of this also.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
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