4 Tips When Selecting an Expert Witness
An expert witness can be very beneficial when you’re trying a case in court. But what if you’ve never chosen this kind of person before? How can you be sure that you’re finding and selecting the right professional for the job? Here are just a few considerations before you put someone in front of a jury.
1. Check Their Credentials
Court isn’t a place where you can pull a fast one. If your witness claims to have a certain degree or work history, it needs to be backed up with dates, documents, records and certificates. If you can’t find this proof, they might not be as much of an “expert” as they claim.
2. Vet Their Background
The professional life of an expert witness isn’t the only one that you’ll want to review. They need to be free of scandal in their personal life, too. If they’ve been jailed or cited for criminal activity, you can bet that your opposing counsel will use this information to discredit them, and you don’t need the jury doubting your case.
3. Meet With Them
You might be working with your expert witness for long stretches of time before and during the trial. If you hate their guts, this duration will be a problem. Make sure that you’re compatible with your witness in a way that ensures a productive work environment and a successful case.
4. Give them a Trial Run
Before you set your witness on the stand, put them through a fake trial where they have to answer questions and conduct themselves like they’re in front of a jury. Do they sweat or stutter? Do they fidget in a distracting way? Are they able to speak calmly even if a lawyer is getting aggressive with them?
These are just a few things to keep in mind when choosing someone like a bank expert witness. As you can see, there’s more to the process than simply calling up an old friend and asking for a favor. You’ll need to be careful about your selection and completely sure that it helps your case.