When it comes to a car accident, medical claim, job claim, business lawsuit, or real estate issue, a credible professional can go a long way in assisting your client’s case. But how do you find someone who actually supports your case and doesn’t become a distraction?
The importance of an expert
Experts can assist your case in several ways:
- Improving the understanding of the jury: Many legal proceedings require research into a complex, nuanced subject that judges may not initially or intuitively understand. An expert can help fill this void by providing the juries with the context and insight they need to understand the evidence. This also has the potential to turn the case in your favor.
- Ensure credibility and objectivity. Experts also provide a realistic basis for your case. They can offer credibility and objectivity in ways that persuasive arguments such as lawyers simply cannot. This can add much more confidence to your arguments.
- Expand your resources. As you build a case, you need as many independent people, facts, and arguments as possible working together to create a coherent narrative. Every expert in your arsenal contributes to that power.
Of course, these benefits all depend on your ability to find the “right” experts. How can you do this?
Find the right experts
Here are some of the most important steps you can take to find the right experts for your case:
- Work with a process consultancy. One of the first steps is to work with a process consultancy like Knowles Group. These companies can provide some kind of shortcut to help you find the experts you need. They often already have relationships with credible experts in a variety of fields and can refer you to someone they trust for professional, clear, and objective statements.
- Understand the subject. Next, make sure you understand the topic in question personally. For example, if you are looking for an expert who is familiar with a particular type of surgery, you should at least understand the basics of that surgical procedure. That way, you can ask the right questions and understand the terminology they are using.
- Understand the federal rules. Federal regulations governing the provision of expert opinions can be complex. For example, rule 703 states that experts can comment on “facts or data in case the expert has been informed”, rather than just the facts or data they have personally observed. There are many nuances of these rules that you need to fully understand before choosing an expert for the job.
- Do your due diligence. Not all experts in a particular field are suitable as experts in your case. You must exercise your diligence to reveal their past and current disposition for this type of business. For example, has this person ever had a criminal history? Have you ever served as an expert witness in the past and do you have different experiences in court? Do you have any company affiliations? What kind of licenses and / or certifications does this person have? What exactly makes you an expert in this field? The answers to these questions can determine whether that person is an asset or not.
- Choose your “type” of expert. In general, you can think of experts as one of three main categories. First, there are academics who study this subject professionally; You tend to have a deep theoretical understanding of the field, but may have limited field experience. Second, there are practitioners who are regularly involved in this field. They have a lot of practice, but may not be as well trained as academics. Third, there are “professional experts” who spend most of their time giving expert statements. They’re great for courtrooms, but in some ways they can also have no contact with the field.
- Conduct interviews. When you’ve found a handful of candidates who could act as experts on your case, take the time to do a few interviews with them. How does this person react to critical questions about their area of expertise? Do they seem confident and able to withstand pressure? What do you think of the details of your case? The more you talk to them, the clearer their “fit” should become for your case.
With the right experts by your side, you are much more likely to get the results you want. If you are not completely satisfied with the witnesses you find initially, keep searching until you find the right fit. There is no shortage of experts in most areas.