The best Expert Witness is a person who by virtue of education, training, experience and practical knowledge can assist the Trier of fact in understanding issues relevant to the litigation. An Expert Witness is an important component in the litigation process. The Expert Witness’ opinion and testimony can carry great weight in the final outcome of litigation. An Expert Witness must be knowledgeable person in her field, have exceptional communication skills and be a fair and objective individual. There are very few instances in civil litigation or criminal prosecution when an Expert Witness is not required.
An underlying principle of being an Expert Witness is that an Expert must always accept and comply with the direction of the attorney retaining their services. However, it is equally important that the Expert retain his/her objectivity and remain neutral. The Expert Witness is not an advocate; that is the role of the lawyer. The Expert Witness is not paid for his/her opinion but for the time it takes to research the evidence and come to an independent opinion. Attorneys use an Expert to support the litigation team in an ethical, fair, and objective manner to analyze and explain in human-comprehensible language all technical language and issues.
For the Plaintiff
The Expert can assist the litigation team in the preparation of pre-litigation claims.
As the case moves forward, the Expert works with the litigation team in developing the case.
The Expert Witness is very useful in attending the depositions of fact witnesses and the deposition of the defendant’s Expert to assist the litigation team in developing relevant questions and understanding the testimony of the participants.
For the Defendant
The Expert can assist the litigation team in the preparation of a response to the pre-litigation claims.
The Expert’s skill and experience can be used in the analysis of plaintiff’s claims.
The Expert assists the litigation team in identifying and analyzing prior acts that can be used to develop validity arguments.
The Expert Witness is very useful in attending the depositions of fact witnesses and the deposition of the plaintiff’s Expert to assist the litigation team in developing relevant questions and understanding the testimony of the participants.
The process of identifying exactly the criteria needed in your expert, conducting a search, narrowing the available choices, interviewing candidates and vetting finalists is a time-consuming task. Many clients are reluctant or simply refuse to pay an attorney’s hourly rate to conduct a search for an Expert Witness; they expect you to know who and where the Experts are that will support the litigation. Atkinson Advocate provides a free 30-minute consult for new clients.