When you are tasked with winning a case, every step you take can make or break your chances. One step, in particular, that could weigh heavily on your success is finding the right expert witnesses to help make your case. Choose wisely and you can walk away victorious. Choose poorly and you may not only lose your case, but you could be embarrassed in the process.
So how do you find and choose the right expert witness for your case? What should you look for? Here a few key things to remember to make sure you make the right choice.
1. Find Expertise and Experience
By definition, your expert witness must have specialized or technical expertise in the appropriate subject matter. Finding a witness that has the credentials to show that is, of course, important. But if you stop there, you are doing yourself a disservice.
You must also find someone who has experience as a witness. The witness stand and deposition room are both very intimidating places and for someone not used to it, cross-examination can be extremely stressful. Experience in those situations should be given a premium in your search.
When you find someone with experience in expert witness services, you find someone you know can deal with that stress.
2. Do Your Homework
Do your due diligence on every potential candidate to avoid being surprised and embarrassed during your case. You should be scouring your candidates’ publication history, speaking history, and affiliations to find any potential conflicts with your client, your opponent, or the topic of testimony.
When you fail to do your homework, you risk being embarrassed by your opposing counsel and throwing away not only your case but the money you may have spent on the spoiled witness.
3. Narrow the Field
As mentioned above, expertise is, of course, vital. But not all expertise is created equal. Narrow your search as much as possible to the very specific expertise you need relevant to the case at hand. Don’t just find a financial expert for your credit fraud case, find someone with credit fraud expertise.
The closer you can hone in on the topic at hand, the more weight the testimony will carry. There are experts out there in nearly everything.
Don’t risk leaving the hunt for the right witness to chance. Do the leg work and your case, your client, and your win-loss record will thank you.