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4) What is the role of a “perito”?

Judges, prosecutors, and lawyers specialize in law but not in other fields, such as medicine, calligraphy or architecture.

Very often, judicial cases need a perito as an expert witness who provides an expert report, which explains to the court the circumstances of the case and responds to the questions of the lawyers for the latter to prepare the defense/case.

For instance, in inheritance proceedings with a famous painting of Dali, it can be that our lawyers will need an expert witness who knows about art and the value of the artwork.

In a case requiring the assessment of property, a real estate agent would determine the value of the real estate; in a medical negligence case, a medical specialist would need to act; document forgery cases would require an expert witness on calligraphy to determine the authenticity of a signature; etc.

Peritos are essential in Spanish proceedings, and our lawyers advise you about them and their fees when required.

The courts also possess a list of peritos who, sometimes, may be requested in court.

The lawyers of the firm will help you determine whether it is relevant or not to use a perito and to decide which one is the most appropriate for your case. In some cases, the perito is a piece of vital evidence, and in other cases, may help increase the chances of winning the case. Not all cases require a perito. For instance, the use of expert witnesses is not needed in most divorce proceedings (except in cases in which psychologists are, and in those cases usually the perito of the court is free of charge) or in most of debt recovery proceedings.

For example, in a recent case in Marbella, our lawyers used a team of court-appointed psychologists to determine which custody was the most appropriate for the child. In another case in Barcelona (Catalonia) our lawyers used a real estate expert to assess the value of a property/immovable.

Our lawyers have worked with peritos from Barcelona, Madrid, Marbella and many other cities of Spain to obtain the best results for our clients.

5) Are foreign public documents valid in Spain?

Foreign public documents need to be “validated” to assert their unique evidential value.

This makes sense, given that neither civil servants nor lawyers know the public documents in every single country of the world. The Spanish lawyers know the public documents of Spain, but not those of Thailand, UK or Colombia.

In Spain, there are many cities with a high percentage of foreigners (for instance, Marbella, Barcelona, or Madrid).

When dealing with international issues, it is common that for all types of legal matters, our lawyers need to use foreign public documents.

The solution is to certify the documents with the “The Hague apostille,” and in case of countries which are non-signatories to the Convention, to legalize the document.

Our lawyers can advise you on what is required in your country (apostille or legalization of the document) and on each step which needs to be followed, on the procedure.

The lawyers of Piñera del Olmo often deal with foreign clients, since the majority of those clients are non-residents who live in countries from all around the world and thus, they are used to assist them regarding the legalization of documents.