An expert witness is an individual that is an expert in their particular field and they are called to testify at a trial. There is something about that trial that suggests this individual could be helpful in establishing the guilt or the innocence of the defendant. For instance, a dentist may be called upon to talk about bite patterns or to testify regarding the dental records of a victim. A neurologist could be called to testify about abnormalities in the defendant’s brain that caused them to commit the crime. There are so many types of expert witnesses that could be called to the stand.
But when hiring an expert witness, it is important that the lawyer doing the hiring asks certain questions before telling that person that they can testify. Those questions include:
– They should be asked to clarify their profession, which is the field they are an expert in. They should also be asked to show their credentials if the lawyer is not already familiar with them.
– They should also be asked to clarify how long they have been in their profession. Longevity can help quite a bit. Then again, there are some individuals just leaving college who have fresher knowledge on the field that they are in.
– The potential expert witness should be asked if they have any personal involvement with the case. It is important that they don’t have some sort of relationship with the defendant. If they do, they will not be called to be an expert witness. It is important that they are in an unbiased situation so that they may present an unbiased opinion on the case. They are expected to give their expert opinion and that is it.
– They should be asked if they have received any information on the case before the interview. This is because being given any advanced information can cause bias. That is why jurors tend to be asked if they have any information regarding the case before the interview. That information can cause an opinion that could compromise the case.
– They could be asked if they have participated in cases such as this before. Experience always helps when trying to find someone who will be comfortable enough to give their opinion on the witness stand. They should also be aware of how to give the necessary details when asked.
– They should also be asked if they have an issue being under oath. Some individuals do have an issue with being under oath due to specific beliefs that they may have. Most do not have an issue with it, though.
– There may be questions specific to their specialization that may be asked to ensure that the potential expert witness does know what they are talking about. It is important to have questions ready that prevents them from pretending that they are the expert.
It is very important to ensure that the potential expert witness is someone who can make some sort of impact on the case. Whether they are working behind the scenes as a non-testifying witness or they are a testifying witness, they have to know what they are talking about. They can’t just pretend that they know what they are talking about just because they want to be involved in the case in some way. Sure, they may get some publicity for it, but that is not a reason to get involved with a case. It is important to ensure that the potential expert witness wants to testify because they genuinely want to help the case. They want to offer some insight that will determine the guilt or innocence of the individual at trial.