As many practitioners know, disputes rarely go the distance limiting opportunities for expert witnesses to speak before a tribunal. For over 2 decades it has been my experience that well presented evidence helps to bring disputes to a close without the need for a hearing. But recently I found myself presenting evidence under cross-examination in the Technology and Construction Court twice in quick succession.
The first hearing quickly lead to my standing in the witness box under a barrage of innuendo (thinly veiled as questions) from a surveyor-turned-barrister who sought to question my worth rather than my evidence and to persuade the Court to prefer the reported opinion of an absent engineer to any contrary views expressed by a mere architect. He sought for a whole day to disparage my honesty, skill and impartiality. Having served as the grinding wheel to this blunt cross-examination on the first day, I returned the following morning to hear the judge dismiss the surveyor-come-barrister's submissions, acknowledge the assistance my authoritative and honest evidence provided to the court and appoint me to decide the acceptability of the work done in discharge of the award then given of specific performance.