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Expert Witness Who Consult and Experts Who Testify

There is a significant difference in an expert that consults on a case and a professional that is able to testify in the courtroom about the subject material. Knowing which person handles what types of claims is important for the lawyer and the client so that he or she is aware of the limitations and abilities of both in these matters.

The large difference in the two types of experts is how they function with the plaintiff. The expert that consults is no longer qualified to present testimony or the lawyer hires him or her only to find another expert or on the evidence or testimony of another. The expert witness hired to testify in the courtroom has the qualifications and credentials to present testimony. He or she may run through various tests and methods to connect the evidence to the defendant or plaintiff. His or her conclusion of the case explains to the judge or jury panel why the plaintiff is a victim of the defendant’s actions and should receive compensation for the claim.

What Is a Consultant?

Consultants hired for a case do not need the designation of an expert witness. These professionals may provide advice and guidance into certain matters. They give confidentiality in
matters related to the subject material. The opposing lawyer is not able to disqualify a consultant, and they have no option to hired them when already working for the plaintiff’s legal team. However, these experts may not present testimony in the courtroom or talk to the jury or judge about their opinions on certain matters. Their testing methods cannot explain the evidence or become part of the proceedings. However, they may explain or confirm the strength of another expert’s claims.

Difference in a Designated Expert Witness

For testimony to remain admissible in a case, the expert witness is part of the case. He or she has a designation as an expert witness, and his or her methods are brought before the judge and opposing counsel for qualification and questioning. The judge and other lawyer may determine that the professional’s credentials are lacking or that his or her testimony and processes are not enough to remain in the case. Reports are often necessary with certain steps and sections. He or she needs to conclude the claim based on the evidence with an opinion of what happened and how much compensation is necessary. After he or she speaks in the courtroom, the jury may have more faith in the plaintiff’s case.

The Connection between the Two

When an expert cannot qualify as a designated expert witness, he or she may still remain with the case as a hired professional. His or her information and knowledge are then necessary as a utilization to determine what expert would help. Someone with better credentials may become necessary or with testing methods more reliable. Relevance to the claim could alter what person should undergo interviews. Additionally, a consultant in legal matters may sit in on interviews to help determine if the expert has qualifications better suited for the claim. The consultant may use his or her knowledge of the subject matter to check over the expert’s processes and details.

It is important that any expert hired for a case remains a designated expert witness. Once he or she loses the ability to present admissible testimony, he or she cannot take part in the proceedings. Additionally, if an expert is withdrawn from the claim after the jury is aware of the professional, this could harm the credibility and confident the panel places in the plaintiff’s legal team. The transition of a designated expert to a consultant may have these individuals question the methods of the lawyer. The weight of the new expert’s testimony may suffer harm through these actions.

Proceeding to the Trial

Once an expert remains as a designated expert, the consultant may take a backseat to all matters pertaining to the case. However, the professional may still need to check over testimony and methods. It is crucial that no Daubert challenge is successful against the expert witness. Otherwise, all credibility for expert witnesses in the case is shot when testimony is no longer admissible by the professional hired to provide it in court. Progressing to the conclusion is important. Keeping the confidence of the jury or judge is equally important, and this is only possible if the designated expert remains to present his or her opinion on the subject matter of the claim.

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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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