A lawsuit of any nature is built upon facts and each side’s ability to present those facts in a convincing manner. When the facts involved in a lawsuit are particularly complex or difficult to understand, an expert witness is often called upon to lend their acute knowledge of the subject matter. From education to experience and from training to a specific skillset, the expert witness’s opinion is valued tremendously by the court.
An expert witness’s involvement in a case can offer favorable evidence, provide more credibility to the fact finders involved, and can make the case stronger as a whole. In addition to serving inside of the courtroom, an expert witness may also be called upon outside of the courtroom. In these scenarios, the non-testifying expert serves as a consultant to counsel, educating them on the various issues at hand.
No matter what capacity an expert witness may serve, the value that they bring to the legal process is noteworthy. Choosing the right expert witness means assessing their qualifications and ensuring that they will play a role in crafting the legal team’s strategy.
How an Expert Witness Helps a Case
The majority of those involved in the legal field would agree that expert witnesses are important, but some reasons why may be less obvious than others. The combination of both practical and court experience, paired with industry-specific expertise, makes these people vital to the presentation of facts in the case. Their ability to present those facts in a clear and concise manner, free from complex jargon, makes their presence in the courtroom invaluable.
Whether in a deposition or a trial, an expert witness’s opinion and work product are beneficial to all parties involved in the legal proceedings. Their knowledge and expertise can be called upon from the inception of the case through litigation. The following are some of the most prominent examples of the value that an expert witness brings to the table:
- Develop general case strategy
- Review all materials and evidence involved in the case
- Highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the claims involved
- Draft reports
- Assist in evidence preparation
- Estimate probable damages
- Guide the case to settlement prior to proceedings
- Provide an unbiased and impartial testimony, therefore holding strength in the eyes of the court or jury
- Utilize facts to deliver valuable insight
- Provides unmatched credibility to the case
- Often delivers necessary burden of proof
When an expert witness is both highly credentialed and articulate, the outcome of the case is greatly impacted. In addition, jury members are inclined to place greater emphasis on the expert’s conclusions and typically arrive at their own conclusions based upon their understanding of the expert testimony.
Selecting the right expert witness means looking for credentials and qualifications, education and professional experience, and a strong history of court experience. In addition, the best expert witnesses are both analytical and articulate, able to assist in both the strategy prior to litigation and the persuasion during the litigation.
At Ellrich, Neal, Smith & Stohlman, P.A., our litigation services include that of expert witness engagements. Expert witness engagements include any situation where a member of the firm renders a professional opinion in deposition or at trial. The expert’s opinion and work product are subject to discovery and are open to cross-examination. To learn more about these services, contact our Palm Beach Gardens of Miami offices.