Expert witnesses are something that you’ll want to personally oversee as an attorney. They can make or break your case, so they’re too important to leave to assistants and associates. But what if you aren’t sure where to start with choosing an expert witness? Here are just a few things to consider before you start making lists and scheduling consultations.
- Find a Specialist
This is one of the most critical aspects of hiring an expert witness: making sure that they live up to the “expert” in their name. If you’re dealing with a money laundering case, hire a financial expert witness. If you’re fighting a medical malpractice lawsuit, call in another doctor. Don’t put someone on the stand unless you’re completely certain that they look, talk and can answer questions like a highly-accomplished professional in their chosen field.
- Check Their Background
You don’t want something embarrassing in their past to come out during the trial. For example, if they have any legal actions pending against their company, it will take the wind out of their sails if you’ve put them on the stand as a squeaky-clean business person. Do your homework about your witnesses and whatever unsavory things that they might have in their pasts. This is especially important if you think that they might have criminal activity in their background.
- Practice Their Testimony
Do they sweat under bright lights? Are they easily flustered by unexpected questions? Do their eyes shift? Do they tug at their collar? Would you trust them? Try to look at your expert witness through the eyes of a jury. If they seem unreliable or unstable, you’ll either need to find a new witness or grill this one until they’ve got their testimony down pat.
These are just a few things to keep in mind as you seek an expert witness. They can make all the difference in your case, so don’t rush your decision. Take your time and choose carefully. Put someone on the stand who will represent your interests in the best possible way.