What Are the Two Most Important Things to Know When Selecting an Expert Witness?

If you believe that your legal expert witness will be called at trial, you need to spend some time selecting the right individual. There are two critical aspects to selecting the right witness for your case: finding someone who is qualified but also an individual with expertise that mirrors the issues involved in your case. This is because these qualifications allow such an individual to provide accurate and informed testimony, but also because he or she should be someone with which the jury can identify.

This aspect of demeanor is why you or your attorney should meet with the expert witness in person before agreeing to work together. You need to be looking for someone who has a pleasant and authoritative overall demeanor with no irritating habits that could be distracting to a judge or jury. You also should look for someone with solid communication skills who can relay complex ideas to a lay audience. All of these factors are important in your selection of an expert witness.

If your legal expert witness is not expected to actually testify in trial, there are other considerations you may look at instead. In a consulting role helping counsel in the pre-trial stages, for example, a legal expert witness would not need to be as qualified in terms of explaining complex ideas to a general audience.

Bear in mind that different expert witnesses may arrive at different conclusions in your case, so it is important to identify someone who supports theories and opinions in line with your own.

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