Expert witnesses play a vital role in the litigation process. They can really make or break a case. So, it is crucially important to choose a qualified professional when preparing for a trial. Needless to say, selecting the right professional witness isn’t an easy task. Here are 5 factors to consider before picking an expert witness!
Qualifications: Ask the expert about his or her educational background (including degrees, licenses, and certifications), associations and memberships, publications, awards, etc.
Experience: Beyond credentials, the right expert witness must have relevant experience. Ideally, an expert should have both deposition and trial experience. It is a good idea to ask for any reports the expert witness has prepared for similar cases, as well as the expert’s deposition and trial transcripts.
References: Ask the expert witness to provide names of the attorneys he or she has worked with. Contact the attorneys and find out what they think of the expert.
Disciplinary History: Well, this one is obvious. Find out whether there are professional disciplinary actions against an expert witness and (if yes) the reasons for them.
Expert’s Demeanor and Appearance: Is the expert shy, confident or nervous? How prepared is the expert for the meeting? Is he or she enthusiastic about the case? Can the expert answer tough questions? Is he or she dressed and groomed appropriately? You can certainly find out answers to all these questions once you meet the expert witness in person.
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