Identifying what makes a good Expert Witness requires basic knowledge of a few fundamental questions:
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.
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.
The United States has recognized expert witnesses in the following industries:
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.
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.
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.