Early Expert Contact: Hiring a Legal Expert Witness

Hiring a legal expert witness early in a case will enable you to become experienced with the technical jargon in a complex case. Additionally, expert witnesses can offer insight as to how opposing expert witnesses may interpret the expert’s testimony. Even if your expert is renowned across the world for his work, knowledge, and skills, preparation is still key to the success of a trial.

In especially complex cases, the earlier you hire an expert witness, the better. Having an expert witness is not only necessary for convincing a judge and jury of your position at trial—an expert witness can help you tailor your preparation for hearings, depositions, and even drafting memoranda and briefs. Expert witnesses will help you prepare responses to arguments opposing counsel may make, or for detailed questions judges may have. In many instances, experts are present at mediation to provide opinions on settlement proposals. This is another benefit of hiring an expert early.

As you interview potential expert witnesses, ask about their experience testifying in previous trials of a similar nature, and how the court ruled in those instances. Ask the expert how they answered tough questions on cross-examination, and how they prepare for trial. You should also study how the expert answers your questions, as this is likely how the expert will address a courtroom—so if you have trouble following his or her answers, a jury probably will, too.

Expert witnesses are not only hired for testifying in complex disputes, such as medical malpractice cases, construction cases, or environmental cases. Legal experts are also hired in cases involving legal representation. For example, if you have a client who disputes fees charged by a previous attorney, a legal expert can perform an audit of the case.

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