A primary responsibility of our expert witnesses is to assist the court. The expert witness is called to testify before the court not because of any prior involvement in the case or litigation but because of the knowledge, expertise, and/or skill they have related to the issue, so as to inform and support the court.
Expert witnesses become involved in cases with the assistance of the participating attorneys. They review the case to which they have been assigned to confirm whether they agree with the attorneys’ conclusions. If not, the expert cannot move forward with the case in an efficient manner.
If the expert agrees with the attorneys’ conclusions, they begin working on the case, reviewing official documents and conducting independent research. The expert witness meets with the attorneys to discuss and decide on a course of action, including possible interrogation or cross-examination, or the performance of key tests.
The expert also assists counsel in evaluating any exhibits that are to be presented during the trial stage of the case. Additionally, they examine the opposing party’s documents and exhibits.
Before the trial begins, the expert might be deposed by opposing counsel. If so, the expert answers questions under oath, and a transcript of the deposition is made by the court recorder.
During the trial, the expert explains their qualifications to serve as an expert in their field for the court. The court then proceeds with the case, and the expert provides their opinion, based on their understanding of the facts of the case.
The expert might also consult with counsel as to the different propositions and whether they are related to the expert’s domain of understanding.
The expert sits in on the trial stage of the case to better understand the intricacies involved and provide assistance as needed.