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What to Expect From Your Expert Witness

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Expert witnesses, such as a financial expert witness, have received advanced training in a specific field and are able to effectively discuss their analysis of complicated concepts with juries and judges during both criminal and civil court cases. Because expert witnesses must present conclusions based on scientific processes, they are not required to support the legal team that hired them. Therefore, anyone hiring these witnesses should understand what to expect during the discovery, pretrial, and trial processes.

Discovery

Expert witnesses review countless documents and search for any missing or incomplete information. They analyze all the necessary data and may ask others in the field for advice on their approach and conclusions. Every theory the witness uses should be clearly defined, and alternate theories should also be discussed so the witness is able to counter them in court.

Pretrial

Experts calculate proposed damages, including opponents claims. Witnesses must produce a document that discusses the relevant and missing data, research process, and their analysis of the case. The statement will also compare the facts in the case to scientific evidence to prove their opinions are correct. A Daubert hearing ensures these individuals are qualified and their evidence is admissible in court. As long as the conclusions are based on scientific processes and evidence, they are typically admitted. Any change in opinion must be shared with both parties immediately. Finally, these individuals work with their teams to prepare their arguments and counterarguments based on scientific data analysis.

Trial

During their direct questioning and cross examination, experts must answer with clear, concise, unbiased opinions and analysis. If they are asked questions outside their field of expertise, they must state this prior to or in lieu of answering these questions. These witnesses may also develop and present visual aids to help the judge and jury follow their reasoning.

If you need an expert witness, find someone who has the appropriate training and understands what must be done during the discovery, pretrial, and trial processes.

 

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