3 things to consider before choosing an expert witness

| Nov 16, 2020 | Civil Litigation |

If you’re handling a case in which you need to demonstrate an important issue of fact with expert witness testimony, you have to be very careful about how you select an expert. In addition to evaluating an expert’s authority on the case’s subject matter, you must consider how a juror will perceive his or her testimony. Here are some key considerations that you should weigh when you select an expert witness.

1. Experience

Credibility is one of the most important qualities of a good expert witness. Education and accreditation alone may not be enough to convey credibility. Ideally, you should select a witness that has many years of experience in his or her field. Also, it’s helpful to look for an individual who has worked with well-respected companies or organizations.

2. Demeanor

It is very important that you speak with an expert witness prior to working with them. You need to evaluate how clearly an expert can communicate about concepts that may be difficult for a layperson to readily understand. In addition, it is preferable that an expert’s demeanor is pleasant and engaging so that triers of fact will not struggle to listen closely to his or her testimony.

3. Past publications and statements

Do some research about anything that an expert has written about the subject matter involved in your case. If he or she has previously advanced a position that contravenes yours, it could create a serious conflict. Bear in mind that opposing counsel may be able to introduce a record of prior testimony into evidence.

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