The litigation process has many actors, from defendants and attorneys to litigation support and expert witnesses. The compilation of a legal team can have a significant impact on the case outcome. The right expert witnesses can mean the difference between a win and a loss. Therefore, these are questions you should ask these professionals before hiring them.
What Is Your Expertise?
Your first task should be to evaluate your witnesses’ expertise and experience. For example, if you need someone who understands financial documents, you need a financial expert witness, whereas a medical expert witness may be needed to review medical records. You should also ask how long the witnesses have practiced in their fields as well as how long they have been working on lawsuits as experts. Learn whether they have experience testifying in front of a jury and the success rate of the cases they have previously testified on.
Has a Judge Ever Denied Your Testimony?
Some expert witnesses testify so much that their testimonies may be considered suspect or “bought.” In addition, individuals with criminal records or those who have received any legal or professional discipline may be discredited or denied the right to testify. Be sure to research the backgrounds of any person you are considering as a witness, especially if you plan to put them on the stand in court.
Do You Have any Conflicts of Interest?
You want witnesses who have not testified for the opposing party or on the opposite side of the case. Anyone who serves as a witness for both sides, both the plaintiff and defense, can lose credibility. Therefore, share the parties of the case and ask whether the witness has ever been hired by any of them.
Are You Deadline Focused?
You need to be sure that your expert can meet the deadlines of the case. Your case could depend on ensuring that all your documentation and trial preparation is completed on time.
Give yourself the best opportunity for a win by fully vetting your expert witnesses.