Expert witnesses offer valuable insight into court cases. They often work for either the prosecution or defense, but they offer unbiased insight based on the evidence of the case. If you need an expert witness for your case, you want the best available. Therefore, these are questions you should ask your prospective witnesses.
Have You Testified in Other Cases?
When you are purchasing expert witness services, you need someone who is adept at navigating the court process. These individuals should be able to clearly and concisely explain their analysis and conclusions and use the evidence to prove that their opinions are correct. They need to be able to answer questions from both the defense and prosecution. These professionals need to be so thorough in their investigation of the evidence that neither party can sway their opinions or conclusions. Their communication skills also need to be exceptional. Therefore, your expert witness should have extensive court experience.
What Qualifies You To Be an Expert Witness?
This is often the first question you ask a prospective witness. You need to ensure that the individuals you choose have the educational foundation, licenses and certifications necessary to contribute to the case. They also need extensive practical experience in their fields. They may have even published scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals. Find out if they are members of professional organizations or have received recognition or awards for their work in the field.
Do You Have any Conflicts of Interest With the Current Case or Subject Matter?
You need to identify any conflicts of interest immediately. If the witness has actually argued for the opposite side in another case, that witness may lose credibility by arguing an opposing view. In addition, the expert witness shouldn’t have any form of relationship with the opposite side of the case. For example, if you are suing an insurance company on a workers compensation claim, your expert witness cannot have any prior relationship with that company.
Be sure you inform your prospective witnesses about all the parties involved in the case. Then, ask whether any of these individuals have testified for any of these parties in the past.
Is There Anything in Your Past That Could Prevent You From Testifying?
Expert witnesses are not typically allowed to have criminal records. They also shouldn’t have any disciplinary action against them from members of their field. For example, you may avoid witnesses who have lost their professional licenses. However, try to understand the circumstances of these instances and whether the professional has effectively recovered from them.
When you work with expert witnesses, do your due diligence and ask the right questions so that you find the best witness for your case.