Expert witnesses play key roles in both criminal and civil cases. In order to convince the judge or jury that your side is right, your position must be supported by evidence. In some cases, this evidence needs to be interpreted by experts. This is where expert witnesses are going to be essential. In order to find the right expert witness, there are a few factors to consider.
Being the Search Early
It is critical to start the search as early as possible. Some of the most common fields that require expert witnesses include finance, medicine, engineering, and energy. These are professional fields in which experts are extremely busy. They might require months of notice in order to have enough time to review the evidence and clear their schedules for court. For example, a finance expert witness might not be able to provide assistance during tax season because his or her job is too demanding during this time. Starting the search process early is essential.
Understand the Relevant Qualifications
Not all expert witnesses are the same. This includes professionals who practice in the same field. If someone requires an expert witness for the field of medicine, not all doctors are the same. For example, a pathologist is a completely different physician than a radiologist. A surgeon does not treat the same patients as pediatricians. Even though all of these doctors are MDs, they practice in different fields of medicine. Therefore, it is important to understand the expert’s qualifications and how they are relevant to the issue at hand.
Investigate the Expert
Finally, keep in mind that these experts are going to be on the stand as well. In order for the judge and jury to believe the conclusions of the expert, he or she needs to have a clean reputation. Dig into the background of the expert and make sure that he or she is still in good standing with the relevant professional organizations. Ask about any disciplinary action that might have been taken in the past. The witness needs to be as credible as possible.
Meet the Expert in Person
If all goes well, then it is time to meet the expert. This should be done in person. The expert is a professional and he or she deserves this courtesy. This will also give the legal team a chance to ask any last-minute questions. Then, leverage the expert to help your court case.