Expert Witness

What Makes a Good Expert Witness?

Identifying what makes a good Expert Witness requires basic knowledge of a few fundamental questions:

  • What is an Expert Witness?
  • What does an Expert Witness actually do?
  • What makes a person or entity an Expert Witness?
  • What are the different types of Expert Witnesses?
  • When to use an Expert Witness?

Your goal should be to identify an Expert Witness that can support your initiative, has the expertise and credibility in your industry, and has hands-on experience that matches or closely matches your area of interest.

What is an Expert Witness?

An Expert Witness can be anyone who contains expertise in a particular field that goes beyond the norm, or is above the layman level of knowledge.

Expert Witnesses are used to give their unbiased opinion regarding a specific matter or matters that are being disputed. Simply put, they will provide the Court their expert opinion, which can be used to support or nullify a particular item of dispute.

Expert Witness are typically not a standard member of any party’s initial preparation for a case, they are typically brought in by a given party to substantiate or deny an item that has arisen into dispute.

Expert Witnesses often serve as the “tie-breaker” mechanism for the item in dispute.

Keep in mind: While the Expert Witness has the normal legal obligations to the court, they are indeed supporting the initiatives of the party that hired them.

By definition: an expert witness is a person who is a specialist in a subject, often technical, who may present his/her expert opinion without having been a witness to any occurrence relating to the lawsuit or criminal case.

What does an Expert Witness actually do?

  • Expert witnesses provide independent opinions based on subject-matter expertise. Our opinions follow instructions from counsel or the court. Opinions must be truthful and impartial, regardless of how they might impact the outcome in a dispute.
  • We issue written expert reports or evidence as required.
  • We uphold an overriding duty to the court or the authority charged with dispute resolution.

What doesn’t an Expert Witness do?

  • Expert witnesses do not act as legal representatives, going out in search of evidence or advocating and arguing cases. Nor do we act as a negotiator.
  • We do not issue opinions outside our area of expertise. Nor do we issue advice.
  • We do not engage in activities that introduce a conflict of interest that cannot be resolved through disclosure.
  • We do not compromise our independence by agreeing to terms based on the outcome of a case, such as conditional fees or success fees.
  • We do not provide service until agreeing to written contractual terms, including terms of payment, and receiving detailed instructions.

Types of Expert Witnesses in the United States

The United States has recognized expert witnesses in the following industries:

  • Medical Experts
  • Vocational Experts
  • Engineering Experts
  • Forensic Experts
  • Financial Experts
  • Mental Health Experts
  • Parenting Experts
  • Securities Experts

While the above represent the most common areas in which an expert witness is used, it does not automatically disqualify you from using an expert witness on subject matters not listed above. However, your legal counsel and the Court must approve the use of any expert witness, regardless of the area of expertise.

When to use an Expert Witness?

In cases where the subject matter is more complex than the average juror can understand. Some cases require it, while on the other hand, if the subject matter does not exceed the complexity threshold, using one can be disfavored. It is most common in industries that inherently require a higher level of education or specialized education, as mentioned above.


A Good Expert Witness is someone who…

In summary, a good expert witness is someone who has the requisite expertise in the same field as your dispute, can provide unbiased and accurate reports to the court, does not have a conflict of interest in anyway, and ideally, has an expert opinion that enables the court to make a fair and reasonable decision for your dispute.


Learn more about Expert Witness:

To learn more about Expert Witness:


CA Small Business Enterprise

Certification ID:

Bidder/Supplier ID:

NAICS Codes:
541330 – Engineering services
541340 – Drafting services
541490 – Other specialized design services
541618 – Other management consulting services
541690 – Other scientific and technical consulting services
541990 – All other professional, scientific, and technical services

D-U-N-S number:

811024, 81101701, 81101516, 81101604, 43232614, 81101505

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