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Expert Witness's Concern for Their Reputation - Is It Getting in the Way of Your Case?

There are certain ways to keep an expert witness focused on the task of the case rather than seeking to protect or further his or her reputation when performing for the lawyer, and it is vital to employ these to safeguard the case. It is crucial to build a strong relationship with both professionals and to seek to further the progress of the case.

Focus on the Testing

The expert witness in many cases will apply testing methods to materials and evidence to acquire results that can assist in understanding certain aspects of the case and what happened in the accident or at the scene. This coupled with other actions and the need to create a report or testify in the courtroom can keep an expert witness busy enough that he or she does not have time to think about boosting their reputation. Focusing on the different tasks that can assist the case is vital to any legal relationship with the lawyer and case, but it can also enhance the relationships with the lawyer and client.

The Reconstruction of an Accident

Some experts must reconstruct an accident to better understand what happened. This may even create a timeline of activities and actions during the incident. A report generally details what
this reconstruction means and how it applies to the case. By using the reconstruction to take time and to concentrate solely on the case, the expert witness can alleviate fears of a reputation harmed by the courtroom drama. Additional considerations may also arise by reporting facts and opinions that have fact-based foundations to defer harm from the expert during his or her presented testimony.

Build the Relationship to Enhance the Career

Often, the lawyer and expert are on the same page to begin with in the early stages of the case. This is essential to progress through the legal matters and ensure they both work together better. However, if the lawyer can build a relationship with the expert, and the expert understands the importance of this, it is possible that the case itself could increase the reputation of the professional and enhance his or her career in the future through a solid success with the case. When the lawyer and expert appear to know all aspects of these processes and are able to present them appropriately in the courtroom, others can see this
and may help each person’s reputational success.

Empathetic Response

Sometimes, the expert may only think about his or her career and reputation until there is something specific in the case that he or she can empathize with which causes a response. Sometimes, this is a different aspect of the case, the injuries to victims or the criminal elements of the case in the courtroom. No matter what it is, the professionals may need to assess the case materials to determine how to get the expert witness more involved in these issues for that empathetic response so that he or she thinks more about the problem than his or her reputation.

Recognizing the Expert

By recognizing the processes, results for testing and testimony of the expert, the lawyer can ensure that this professional keeps his or her mind on the case rather than working to ensure that his or her reputation is what surpasses the case. This is possible by presenting qualifications, certifications and education to the courtroom and the judge and then focusing on the expert’s situation while still maintaining a professional relationship. Keeping the focus on the expert during testimony is another important aspect of showcasing this professional. If the expert has awards or can succeed a challenge or objection in the courtroom, praise can help in these situations.

Impressing the Needs of the Case

The lawyer and expert may need to refocus on the needs of the case. The more materials there are and the more confusing the case aspects are, the more these two parties will need to both interact and stay focused on trying to acquire a successful outcome. By impressing these needs on the expert, the lawyer can try to refocus attention away from reputational issues and the importance of winning the case. The lawyer and expert may need to have preparations in place, need to prepare by practicing testimony or through dialogue about the case materials. The more attention remains on these matters, the more the expert could stop thinking about reputation and career and increase the chances of success in the courtroom.

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Disclaimer: 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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