Verifying the Credentials of Your Expert Witness

If you represent a client who is involved in a dispute over the reasonableness of attorney’s fees or firm retention and selection policies, an expert witness can offer insight and expertise into legal practices that a judge and jury may use to decide the fate of the case.

Some individuals who claim to be expert witnesses, however, may not be qualified to serve as experts in a courtroom. Hiring a legal expert witness may be vital for the resolution of your case, so you should invest the time necessary to select a skilled, experienced expert. Unfortunately, since several under-qualified individuals may inflate their experience and education, it is wise to verify the credentials of each expert you consider.

Fortunately, this is a relatively simple process. As you verify the credentials of your potential expert, you will gain a deeper understanding of each expert’s background and experience. True professionals will likely already have their credentials published on their websites, and, with a few simple phone calls, you will be able to confirm that this information is accurate and current.

When you are consulting with a new expert witness about the possibility of working on your case, you should ask them other types of cases they have testified in and how those cases were resolved by the court. If they already have a background in providing testimony in similar cases, this is a strong indicator that their knowledge and experience will be a positive contribution to your case.

It is very likely that you will find that your expert witness was truthful about his or her credentials, education, and background, but it is better to take the time to carefully verify your expert witness’ credentials than to have opposing counsel do it for you during trial

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