Cook County Expert Qualifies in Court via Skype
Chicago, IL and Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands are 7,230 miles from each other, but expert witness William Pelarenos testified in court without leaving his home state. Saipan is the most populated island in the group of Mariana Islands and has been a U.S.Commonwealth since 1978.
Early last spring, Mr. Pelarenos, was contacted by Saipan’s Office of the Public Defender and asked to testify in a DUI case. The only catch was that he would do so via the internet telecommuting program called Skype. Skype allows the users to view conference participants via the camera on their computer or tablet and audio is transmitted via the microphone.
Pelarenos is a former police officer, DUI instructor and has testified as an expert throughout Illinois. He was qualified by the Saipan court as an expert in the field of standardized field test sobriety tests and the NHTSA DUI Detection Manual.
Pelarenos testified in the Saipan court for more than 2 hours regarding proper testing procedures and answered questions from both attorneys with respect to NHTSA standards.
While expert witness testimony is not commonly requested via Skype or other similar telecommuting services, it might become more commonplace now that most municipalities have internet and Wi-Fi readily available to their attorneys and judges. Furthermore, accessing an expert in a particular field becomes increasingly easy, if one does not have to be concerned with flying the expert into town for the proceedings. Theoretically, attorneys could retain the top experts in a particular field for any court proceedings, if travel and locale are not a factor.