5 Qualities That Make a Great Expert Witness
In some cases, it is a good idea to have an expert witness testify in order to help explain an idea to the jury. But in many cases, expert witness testimony is an absolute necessity; there are situations where a decision in the plaintiff’s favor would not be valid unless key issues were established by the testimony of an expert witness. Given the importance of experts, here are few tips on what to look for in an expert witness.
What to look for in an expert witness
- Credentials in an area that will be helpful for the jury. An expert needs to have specialized experience, skill, or training in an area that is outside the scope of knowledge of the average juror. But, importantly, the testimony must assist the trier of fact so it should not simply restate arguments the attorneys will be making in closing arguments.
- Composure under pressure. Opposing counsel will try to undermine the expert’s authority and/or conclusions in deposition and at trial. A great witness will stay calm in these situations and even turn the attacks into opportunities to further explain their methodology and conclusions.
- Appearance of independence. The best expert witnesses still practice in the field of their expertise. They also offer testimony on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. Experts who spend most of their time consulting as witnesses and only testify for either plaintiffs or defendants often lack credibility in the eyes of jurors.
- Presents well in front of a jury. Jurors pick up on seemingly minor details and it can influence their opinions of those testifying. It might be a dishevelled tie, a nervously tapping finger, or some other seemingly trivial thing, but jurors often form negative opinions based on these signs.
- Compatibility as part of the team. An expert witness needs to be able to communicate effectively with the client’s attorney. Working style and personality are both factors that affect how compatible the expert is with the team and, as a result, how prepared they will be.
Working with an expert witness in NY personal injury cases
Retaining an effective expert witness is an exercise in balance and judgment. An experienced personal injury lawyer draws on a bank of professional knowledge in selecting the ideal witness. For example, an expert who has vast academic experience, like a professor, may not have much experience testifying and handling attacks from opposing counsel. An expert who testifies often may appear to be a “hired gun” who parrots whatever opinion benefits the client.
Aronova & Associates know what it takes to prove a personal injury claim. For 10 years, we have fought for the rights of personal injury victims and we have the resources and knowledge to enlist the best expert witnesses for the job. We work with a team of experts in our Garden City and Manhattan offices to make sure they are prepared to help put on your best case.
Call today to speak with a New York personal injury lawyer at Aronova & Associates.
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