lay witness

Discussion in 'Legal Terminology' started by pachanga7, May 28, 2009.

  1. pachanga7 Senior Member

    Southeastern U.S.
    U.S. English
    Otra pregunta:

    ¿Cómo se refiere a este tipo de testigo, para distinguirlo de un testigo perita? Sería alguien que no ostenta competencia especial en algún campo relativo a su testimonio. He visto "lego" pero Google no rinde NADA como resultados para "testigo lego" ni "testigo de lego"

    ¡Gracias de antemano!
  2. avizor

    avizor Senior Member

    Córdoba, España
    Spain, Spanish
  3. David

    David Banned

    I would just say "witness". If you need specifically to distinguish between a "perito" and a "testigo lego," you could say "a witness other than an expert witness..."
  4. pachanga7 Senior Member

    Southeastern U.S.
    U.S. English
    Gracias avizor, ese enlace me ayudó. Quedé con una combinación de "testigo inexperto" y "dar testimonio (sobre cocaína) sin una prueba química" según el contexto.

    David, yo necesitaba algo más exacto para una traducción jurídica en que figura la distinción pero gracias de todos modos.
  5. Sherlockat

    Sherlockat Senior Member

    Castilian (Patagonian)
    BE CAREFUL :warning:
    Lay Witness would be TESTIGO NO LETRADO, but in a particular field, or rahter "testigo que no es experto en el campo al que se llama a testificar" (but it's an expert in good standing.)
  6. RicardoElAbogado Senior Member

    SF Bay Area, California
    American English
    In the US, I would say that we more often refer to witnesses who are not expert witnesses by referring to them as "percipient witnesses" rather than calling them "lay witnesses." We would, however, use "lay witness" in the context of distinguishing a witness specifically from an expert witness when that distinction was the subject of the discussion.
  7. Anwar Boylston Senior Member

    New York
    U.S.A.; English
  8. pachanga7 Senior Member

    Southeastern U.S.
    U.S. English
    Thanks to all of you for that additional info!

    In all my years interpreting in state courts in the Southeast I had not once heard the term "percipient witness" before now. Even the familiar term "eye witness" is perhaps more used in the media than in court. In my experience, and as David suggested above, in court we would usually just say "witness" or "expert witness" to distinguish between types. From the recent contributions we see that some witnesses such as a chemical analyst would be a percipient witness AND an expert witness.

    Here is what wikipedia says about these kinds of witnesses (italics added):

    A percipient witness or eyewitness is one who testifies what they perceived through his or her senses (e.g. seeing, hearing, smelling, touching). That perception might be either with the unaided human sense or with the aid of an instrument, e.g., microscope or stethoscope, or by other scientific means, e.g.,a chemical reagent which changes color in the presence of a particular substance. ....

    An expert witness is one who allegedly has specialized knowledge relevant to the matter of interest, which knowledge purportedly helps to either make sense of other evidence, including other testimony, documentary evidence or physical evidence (e.g., a fingerprint). An expert witness may or may not also be a percipient witness, as in a doctor or may or may not have treated the victim of an accident or crime.

    I believe I recall that the document I was translating when I first asked this question made reference to a police officer identifying cocaine without the use of chemical testing. So the distinction in that case would be not of whether the person had firsthand knowledge through his or her perceptions, but rather the degree of expertise exerted in relation to the evidence or opinion being offered. Good point, Sherlockat! The source material in English referred to a "lay witness" and I had to render that into Spanish.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013

Share This Page