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How to Explain the Role of the Expert Witness at an Initial Consultation

The initial consultation is when the prospective client is considering hiring the lawyer, but this phase may also require a better understanding of the expert witness that may need to become part of the proceedings in the courtroom and behind the scenes. The lawyer may need to introduce this professional later after the consultation completes.

The Initial Consultation

When a person needs to seek the services of a lawyer, he or she will usually do so in an initial consultation that is often free or has no obligation to hire the lawyer. In these meetings, the two parties get to know one another and the issue is laid bare. The lawyer will often assess the situation and determine if there is any validity to the claim or if the other party seeking to litigate has a legitimate claim against the person. There is the question of needing an expert witness based on the complexity of the case as well. the lawyer may need to explain what this person is and how he or she will affect the case.

The Explanation and Connection to the Case

The expert witness needed for the case usually has a direct connection to something confusing about the evidence, case materials or the aspects and elements of
the case. For civil matters, the expert may need to connect liability or explain something technical. In criminal cases, the expert may need to unravel the confusion surrounding the accused to defend his or her situation better. The expert usually has one field of study that he or she excels at better than others. In this field, the expert witness can provide additional information and explain matters so that the average person understands the factors present.

Evidence in the Case

The lawyer will need to explain that the expert witness usually works with evidence and case materials rather than interviewing others to help the claim or case. This professional may interview others, but it is to better understand what happened, to clear confusion and to support the tests and results. The expert witness will also usually need to compile a report that may explain what occurred through a timeline or a reconstruction of the accident. This is something the professional will build based on facts. Then, the professional will determine what to do next and what evidence is the most important and relevant.

Testing and Results

The primary function of the expert when gathering evidence is to test it to determine certain aspects of the case. This can provide one method over another that other professionals in the same field have already tested before. Additionally, the expert can consider which facts provide the best information and how to apply the results of these tests. One job with tests and results is to explain to the courtroom or through a report how the evidence connects to the event and how the scene depicts a certain story. The expert witness can support an opinion based on these results.

Reconstruction of the Accident

In many situations, the person suffering injury will contact a lawyer. If the accident needs reconstruction to better understand what happened, the victim may have an expert witness accomplish this feat. The lawyer will explain that the reconstruction helps to determine what happened when and how it occurred at the scene. Certain factors are better at connecting a person or company to liability than others such as someone speeding in a car accident instead of weather playing a bigger part. The more the expert can connect the other party to the claim, the better the chances of convincing the courtroom.

Testing with Bodily Fluids

Some cases rely on the testing and results of body fluids such as urine, blood, saliva and semen. The expert witness will need to use these tests to determine something specific with the case such as blood alcohol content in blood or breathe or the relevance of semen in or on a person with instances of assault. The expert’s tests are relevant to these cases, and the lawyer will need to explain why the professional is necessary for the case from the beginning.

Hiring the Expert

The lawyer may not hire the expert during the initial consultation, but he or she will explain why the hire is necessary and
something needed early on to test evidence, reconstruct the accident and to perform other services that are important to the case to ensure a better chance of success.

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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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