Court halts S.C. law requiring licensing of expert witnesses

November 1, 2006

South Carolina's Supreme Court has asked the state legislature, when it reconvenes in January, to reconsider a law that affects physicians who serve as expert witnesses. The law requires physicians from out-of-state to have a South Carolina license to testify as expert witnesses in the state's courts.

South Carolina's Supreme Court has asked the state legislature, when it reconvenes in January, to reconsider a law that affects physicians who serve as expert witnesses. The law requires physicians from out-of-state to have a South Carolina license to testify as expert witnesses in the state's courts.

In its order, the court said "the law casts doubt on a physician's ability to offer testimony if the physician lives out of state, and it fails to address certain situations such as a physician who at one time was licensed in South Carolina but has since moved to another state," reported American Medical News (9/11/06).

The state Board of Medical Examiners disagrees with the court's position, noting that the intent of the law is to ensure that physicians who serve as expert witnesses have a state license to which they can be held accountable.