5 Top Mistakes that Expert Witnesses Make and How to Avoid Them

If you are dealing with an investment case, then choosing an investment expert witness who is qualified will help your case. However, that alone won’t guarantee you that he will be an asset in your case. Fact is that even the most qualified experts are human and they are deemed to make mistakes. Deposition can be quite stressful, and it can lead to mistakes which may have been avoided with enough preparation and coaching.

Here are some of the mistakes that expert witnesses make.

  • Failing to bring all the required documents

One mistake an expert witness will do is failing to deliver to court all the necessary documents and file just because they are heavy or because he could not travel with all the records. Leaving behind specific files will make the opposing counsel suggest that some documents were intentionally left behind. It’s better to bring everything in the courtroom no matter how hard it is for both the expert and the lawyer to be safe.

  • Failure of disclosing past negative information about themselves

As an expert if you know that you have any negative information in your background or if you have a criminal record it would be wise if you notified the lawyer immediately you start working together. This will save your face in court when the it learns about the criminal record, and it might lead to being withdrawn as an expert witness.

  • Lecturing during deposition

Experts at times may believe that deposition isn’t adversary proceedings instead of a classroom lecture. There are many instances where an expert will be required to offer information on various subjects in educating the jury but not during cross-examination. An expert should not volunteer information when being cross-examined.

  • Arguing with a cross-examiner

One of the biggest mistakes that experts make is arguing with the cross-examiner. Arguing a point will make an expert more of an advocate instead of an expert and no matter how articulate the argument is it will undercut their credibility. An expert might also be too stubborn to make the right concessions and inconsistently taking positions in the trial which is not good for the case.

  • Opinions in emails

Email has become the standard mode of communication in businesses. It’s easy for an expert to send an email to the retaining lawyer stating his opinions about certain aspects of the case. The opposing counsel can find the emails or the expert will be required to produce them during deposition. In case the emailed opinions are different from the experts report the opposing counsel can use the discrepancies to disrepute the expert. The expert should first seek the advice of the retaining lawyer before committing to writing anything either an email message or another mode of writing.

Although you might procure the best expert witness for your case, you should know that they are also humans and they are also subject to making mistakes. Before going to trial, you should discuss some of these mistakes with the expert and look for ways in which you can avoid them.

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