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Direct Examination of Your Expert Witness: Key Strategies

     By HG.org

To make the most of the expert witness for the case, it is important to hire this professional early and explain the specifics of the direct examination. When it is clear that a trial case is the likely outcome, the expert witness may need an early hire to work through the evidence and other materials quickly to support the argument in the courtroom.

Sufficient Facts

When an expert witness will take part in the courtroom processes and assist in supporting the plaintiff or defendant, he or she will need a sufficient basis to provide a valid argument. This comes from facts, evidence and supporting items such as eyewitness testimony. The testing methods that this professional will use often depend on the background of the expert and the specific case materials. Hiring the expert early and explaining everything in the beginning usually increases the effectiveness of this professional along with ensuring a better and strong relationship between legal professionals and experts.

Expert Qualifications

To avoid challenges and objections later, it is important for the expert’s qualifications to present appropriately to the opposing lawyer and the judge. The initial questioning phase generally starts with an inquiry about the expert’s professional experience, background and knowledge of the case materials and relevant details. By properly explaining and presenting these qualifications, it helps the expert show that he or she is capable of providing accurate opinions about evidence. The expert may also testify about educational matters, a science field and how the evidence connects to liability and damages. The association of these qualifications is what may show that the professional is trustworthy.

Removing Confusion in the Case

One way for the expert to increase use in the direct examination within the case is to use normal average language when explaining complex and difficult concepts. The average person does not have the expertise or experience that the professional will, and when he or she uses jargon within the field of study, this could confuse others. However, by speaking on the same level it is possible to remove this confusion and discuss or detail something during a direct examination. Through this, the legal team can increase the effectiveness of the expert and make use of other key strategies as well.

Testimony in the Expert’s Scope

It is important to use key strategies with the expert and also ensure that testimony that this professional provides is within his or her scope of experience and background. Asking an economic expert about medical issues is normally of less value than asking about monetary and economic problems. The lawyer and expert will need to remain within the governing rules of evidence and refrain from giving information or testimony about a field of study the expert did not receive education in or experience from in the topic. By staying in this scope, the expert’s testimony is usually reliable and relevant to the subject material.

Visual Aids

There are several ways to effectively use an expert witness in the courtroom, and one of the primary ways to increase the testimony is that of visual aids or demonstrative evidence in a visual manner. These items usually illustrate the testimony and remove confusion for those that learn visually rather than aurally. Visual aids in the courtroom may take the form of photos, video files, computer programs, diagrams and models or recordings in either video or audio format. These items will make use of the courtroom members’ senses. Additional evidence through visual aids may increase the understanding of the matter as well.

The Case Theory and Testimony of the Expert

While the more complex material is usually at the beginning of the case with the expert’s explanation of certain items, this professional usually will mirror the lawyer’s case theory later in the court case with opinions and testimony backed by scientific and fact-based information. The expert will still maintain his or her own voice while connecting the data to the lawyer’s argument.

The expert then must present his or her testimony after testing evidence, understanding the case materials and determining the best course of how he or she will explain certain items. This professional will usually summarize specific avenues of details and expose liability or help to defend a person in the criminal case. Through unbiased testimony that has a foundation in facts and science, the expert may assist through direct examination and provide a valuable assessment of case materials and testing results for the relevant issue in the case.

Copyright HG.org


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.

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