In our culture we are urged to “trust the expert” – even in a court of law. The simple fact that the testimony of an expert witness is admissible in a trial shows how much we value the opinions of people who are considered authorities in their fields. This can have a very persuasive effect on a case, as long as the experts are carefully chosen and thoroughly prepared. Here are some tips for using an expert witness successfully.
• Examine the case and determine what kind of expert you need.
• Search trade organizations, referrals, and the Internet for expert witness options.
• Analyze potential experts based on the following: reputation, experience, qualifications, scholarly work
• Choose as many as necessary, and make sure to fully understand their opinions.
• Help the expert witness become familiar with the case.
• Work with the expert on his or her report through guidance, but it should reflect his or her own opinions.
• Prepare the witness for examination.
From selection to a successful testimony at trail, there is a lot of research and preparation that goes into finding the best expert witness. Just because a person has a lot of experience in his or her field doesn’t necessarily mean he or she has what it takes to deliver a successful expert witness testimony. Interview every option and spend time talking with them to find experts who have pleasing yet firm personalities and perform well under the highest degree of pressure.