The annual expert witness survey report, produced by Bond Solon and the Times newspaper, has been released. The Times has led with the headline, "barristers are less aggressive during remote court sessions", and some 42% of respondents ,who had given evidence remotely, thought that barristers were less aggressive during online hearings. Expert witnesses are therefore being given a 'lighter grilling'!

I'm interested in people's experiences - I have given evidence remotely and I can see how the experience would be more intimidating in person, but part of that is because of the context of the place. Being at home makes a difference, I think. However, I still found it quite a grilling. Preparation - reading and re-reading your reports - really is in my view key to giving evidence/being cross examined, as well as staying focused and calm. But it will always be a nerve-wracking experience because by its nature it is unpredictable. 

Interestingly, in answer to the question "if you have given oral evidence remotely in the past 18 months, how did this experience compare to giving such evidence in person", the results were fairly evenly split between about the same, worse, and better. 

So it seems that barristers are less aggressive, but experts still have varying experiences of giving evidence, and a fair proportion online have been found worse than in person. Is that because those experts enjoy the 'theatre' of the courtroom and missed it, or for other reasons?