Any good litigation strategy involves the use of expert witnesses, but many plaintiffs and defendants might not fully realize what that means. As a plaintiff or defendant, take the time to learn about what makes a good expert witness so you can be fully informed as you participate in strategic decisions with your legal team.
When you are searching for your expert witness, make sure that they are not just generally acquainted with your subject matter; they should have extensive and specialized experience in the disputed subject matter. Your banking expert witness should be extremely familiar with banking laws, just as the expert witness you call on to value the worth of a home in a divorce proceeding should be an appraiser familiar with the local market. Be sure to anticipate opposing counsel’s questioning of your witness’ credentials and choose a witness with both real-world and courtroom experience.
It’s not enough to simply choose an expert witness with the most impressive curriculum vitae; you also need to hire one that works well with you and your legal team and understands the driving force behind your case. Your lawyers will be spending a lot of time with the expert witness, so listen carefully to their recommendation since their ability to get along and craft a strategy with the expert witness could make or break your case. Consider the decision to hire an expert witness like a major purchase; take your time to evaluate alternatives, consider their history and imagine your case trajectory if you were to hire them.
When it comes to hiring an expert witness, take your time, do your research and trust your lawyers. An expert witness is a substantial investment in the overall outcome of your case, so don’t skimp or ignore the advice of those you’ve hired to guide you in your legal matter.