Being deemed an Expert Witness in today’s legal system is an honor not to be taken lightly. Regardless of your discipline, you have reached gold medal status among your peers. Years of education, training, skill, experience and achievement have propelled you to the forefront of your field, and legal professionals consistently rely on your expert opinion. ForensisGroup works with a premier group of highly qualified expert witnesses, here are ten signs that you’ve “made it” as an effective Expert Witness.
1. You are often invited to speak at conferences and events in your industry, training and educating your peers. It shows that you have proven credibility and competency.
2. You can explain and articulate complex concepts in your discipline in a way that a 7th grader can understand. At trial, you are adept at conveying scientific and technical concepts to jurors.
3. You are a natural and meticulous record-keeper. Experts must keep track of attorney communication, billable tasks for invoicing, possible deposition questions/responses, and any other details related to the case.
4. You know and understand the Daubert standard and how it applies to your area of expertise, such that others can officially and legally rely on your specialized opinion. The best experts are familiar with the scientific methods, industry best practice, and rules of evidence regarding the admissibility of expert testimony.
5. You have the ability to stay calm in a tense and hostile environment. A good expert will need to withstand difficult cross examinations by opposing counsel in a deposition or trial setting.
6. You are professionally unbiased and do not take “sides” when retained to review and opine on a legal matter.
7. You utilize a clear and well-drafted expert witness retention contract. A solid contract will help prevent problems with fee disputes, conflict of interest, travel, cancellation, and other issues.
8. You have a habit of responding promptly and reliably to your clients’ needs. Attorneys often have urgent, time-sensitive issues that must be addressed promptly by an expert.
9. You have a professional appearance and demeanor that reflects your expertise and credibility in court.
10. You know when to say “no”. A good expert has high ethical standards and integrity, he or she knows where to draw the line.