Class Certification and Expert WitnessesBy HG.org
Some expert witnesses will need class certification for class action lawsuits or when using specific and specialized knowledge for various cases that demand certification for the subject matter. Some professionals work with larger cases that encompass multiple or dozens of plaintiffs against a company that increases the standards the expert is put to within the claim.
Class Action LawsuitsFor a class action suit to occur, there are certain prerequisites. These generally include a class with numerous plaintiffs where each individual case is impracticable, there are common laws or facts for the class and case and both claims and defenses for the class are representative of the parties in a typical claim. The parties represented in the case will have interests protected and are fair to the class. There are federal rules within the civil lawsuit that also affect evidence and expert witnesses. The party that seeks certification
for a class action suit must prove the common connection of facts or laws within the claim.
It is with the expert witness that a class certification is or should be granted by the courts. The professional will need to connect the laws or common facts of each claim and ensure that everything has an interrelated linking between everyone that takes part in the class action suit. If multiple lawyers represent the clients, the expert may need to work with and for all legal professionals. Communication is key and may require additional work for the expert in keeping everyone informed of updates and changes. Through the knowledge and experience of the expert witness, the class action lawsuit may receive the necessary class certification.
Daubert StandardsFor class certification, plaintiffs will offer the expert testimony to support the necessary federal civil court requirements. This connects the claim to a common question of laws or facts relevant to these procedures. The Daubert factors standard for these types of lawsuits involve a theory or method that is or can undergo testing, those subjected to peer review or publication and known rates of error. The testing must remain reliable with error rates below the standard that may remain s set percentage. There must exist a standard that controls the tests and an acceptance of testing methods in the relevant scientific community for the expert.
Expert Testimony in Class ActionsThe professional must have a relevant field of study or experience with the subject matter to remain on the case. The Daubert analysis is often necessary for evaluating and retaining admissible expert testimony when in class action lawsuits. Additional approaches and concerns may require the expert to satisfy other requirements such as how to deal with multiple clients and submitting orders for additional paperwork or necessary material evidence connecting a company or person to a class certification claim. Some experts may need to undergo more than one interview for a connection to the case as relevant with reliable testing methods.
Expert Witness ConsiderationsThere are several issues that the legal party will need to consider for class certification issues. The expert will need to review his or her prior testimony for possible hires with the class action lawsuit. He or she may need to ensure that the presentation of evidence and testing is within the federal guidelines and relevant to the case materials. The expert’s credentials are important as well as opinions that remain within the subject matter of the claim. Scientific and specialized knowledge may help remove confusion or explain something that the judge or jury is unaware of within the claim.
The expert’s knowledge is important. For class certification in class action lawsuits, he or she may have a specialized knowledge that is sufficient rather than a degree in the field of study. Testimony and reports require careful examination before subjected to the critical eyes of the opposing legal counsel and the judge. Some points may need clarification along with answers to questions during the interview process. It is crucial to remove as many misunderstandings about facts, laws and details as possible. The expert may also need to work closely with the lawyer to better comprehend legal processes.
Class Action Expert AssistanceWhen tasked with working for a class action lawsuit, the expert may have a better understanding of the situation than the client or lawyer based on the subject matter. His or her testimony may become crucial to understanding, awareness of the facts and how best to proceed through the claim. Through the knowledge or specialized comprehension of the materials, the expert is often invaluable.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.