Can the right Expert Witness mean Failure or Success for the case?

Can the right Expert Witness mean Failure or Success for the case?

Expert witnesses are routinely used in litigation. How do you choose the right Expert? Selecting the right expert is vital to the success or failure of cases. Experts can and often do make or break a case, so ensuring you have planned and secured the correct Expert is extremely important.

Do your research.

Finding the correct Expert can take time, once located the Expert will also need time to be able to look at the case and establish whether they would be the correct Expert to instruct. The other benefit to instructing the correct Expert early is the ability to inform the Expert of any specific information that needs to be provided which will give the Solicitor an advantage with formulating document requests and deposition questions. This may strengthen or force an alter in positions.

If the Expert is instructed after discovery has been completed, the Expert is then unable to have the opportunity to gain information needed or assist with depositions.

Understanding your Expert’s qualifications and experience.

The right Expert must have relevant experience not just in their field but also experience testifying at depositions and in court in cases that are similar. In discussing the case, the expert should be able to answer questions in a clear, direct and concise manner, understand both sides’ positions, and be able to explain why the other side’s position is not correct. The Expert should know the standards required for expert testimony in court and be able to explain how their methodology will satisfy them.

Expert’s can provide you with previous reports that have completed on similar cases if requested. This will give you a better view into the Expert’s understanding of the issues, opinions and ability to explain themselves.

In addition, counsel should request and read all of the expert’s publications relevant to counsel’s case. Publications may contain positions that conflict with counsel’s case.

The other side will investigate your Expert closely .

So carefully investigate the prospective expert. Ask the Expert to provide names of the Solicitors and Insurance companies that they were involved with in recent cases in which they were used as an Expert. Call the companies who have used the expert, as well as any companies that deposed and cross-examined them. Find out what these companies, especially prior opposing counsel think of the expert? In addition, counsel should search the Expert on the internet and in court records. This eliminates any chances of surprises later on during proceedings.

Meet your Expert in person. 

You can they see the way in which the Expert conducts themselves, their mannerisms and appearance. Are they confident? Do they appear nervous?   

Confidence and professionalism need to be shown from the Expert. Is your Expert prepared for the meeting? Are they enthusiastic about the case? How does the Expert respond to tough questions? How does the Expert present themself? All of the above information is crucial in instructing an Expert.

It is important that you prepare as much as possible to select the right Expert to help you successfully dispose of the litigation. Researching and finding the right Expert is time consuming and should not be left as the last instruction to make before court proceedings.  

Find out more about Circle Case Management's Expert Witness Service and the Experts we have available for instruction by clicking: Expert Witness Service

Posted on December 20th 2021

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