Expert witnesses can be a valuable addition to your case, especially if you need to prove a point or bolster your credibility. But what if you’ve never hired an expert witness before? What do you need to know to get started? Here are just a few tips when looking into expert witness services.
1. Ask for Help
While there are services to track down whatever kind of expert witness that you need, it’s better if you can find someone organically. Does a friend or colleague know someone in witness networks? Can anyone refer you to a trusted professional who is willing to act as an expert witness for a fee?
2. Ask About Payment
Speaking of fees, most witnesses will expect to be paid for their time, so it’s best to work out these financial details in advance. They might bill you by the hour, including pre-trial prep time; they might ask for compensation if the trial requires them to travel to another distract or spend multiple days in depositions. You’ll want to know all of these requirements before you sign on the dotted line.
3. Check Their Background
Another important consideration when hiring an expert witness is their overall credibility. If they have skeletons in their closet, you can bet that your opposing counsel will find them and drag them out; it will help their own case if they can make your witness seem like a questionable figure on the stand. Do your homework when considering different expert witnesses.
4. Train Them for Cross-Examination
Never put your witness on the stand without performing mock trials. You want them to be fully prepared for whatever is thrown their way, and they can’t sweat or look nervous if things go off-script. They’ll lose face in front of the jury. Drill them on the importance of staying calm and maintaining their authoritative presence.
Hiring an expert witness isn’t always easy. However, they’ll be worth the effort if they help you win your case. Use these guidelines to track down the perfect witness for your prosecution or defense.