In the United States, as well as Australia and the United Kingdom, expert witnesses are utilized in trial or deposition to lean on their opinion. Qualifications of an expert witness depend on things like education, experience, training, skills, and certification. Whether the judge looks to the expert witness to gauge their opinion about facts or evidence, their viewpoint can weigh heavily on the outcome of the case.
Expert witnesses have become an integral part of the legal proceedings in cases ranging from finance to science to technology and more. In complex cases, it can be difficult for judges and jurors to sift through nuanced information and complex details in the case. As such, the expert witness serves to not only shed light on these complexities, but to add a level of credibility and objectivity otherwise not attainable.
Choosing the right expert witness is critical to the outcome of the case. With this mind, the legal team will select someone who is experienced, qualified, articulate, and able to strengthen their case as best as possible. The following are some of the most notable benefits inherent in hiring an expert witness who will:
- Offer a true level of expertise
- Operate efficiently and effectively during discovery
- Perform an in-depth investigation
- Write straightforward reports that are defensible
- Understand critical legal terms and concepts
- Thrives during both trial and deposition
- Utilizes a methodology that will hold up in court
- Adheres to all ethical requirements set upon an expert witness
- Has the ability to enhance and support evidence that is submitted
- Serve to clarify theories to the jury
- Add an overall legitimacy and credibility to the case
An expert witness is typically used in two capacities: 1) a consultant and 2) a testifying expert. As a consultant, the expert witness will serve to support the litigation team with research and information based on their experience. As a testifying expert, the expert witness will submit their prepared reports to the court and then testify. The same person can perform in both of these capacities to best serve the case. It is important to note that an expert witness will provide written support and require designation, this typically comes in an Expert Report.
A properly trained expert can truly transform a case. As an independent, unbiased party, the expert witness advocates not for the client, but for the facts of the case at hand. At Ellrich, Neal, Smith & Stohlman, P.A., our 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. Contact our Palm Beach Gardens or Miami offices to learn more about your options.