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Expert Witnesses

The Important Work Expert Witnesses Do Before Testifying

Expert witnesses accomplish much work before the act of testifying is needed. They work up a report, analyze evidence, connect the incident to certain persons and actions and many other tasks long before they are called in the court room. Many of these professionals adhere to scientific methods to determine certain aspects of a case.

Along with these duties, they are needed to examine and inspect the testimony of others and associate it with the evidence and proof that was supplied to help the case. Conferences with the lawyer are helpful, and communication must keep contacts and others connected to the important information.

After all the pre-trial preparations have been gathered and are ready for the expert to present, then he or she must be prepped by the lawyer. This may require in-depth sessions, or it could be a matter of educating both the professional and the legal representative on legal and subject matters relevant to the case. Constant communication and a strong relationship between the two parties protect the case and may ensure that each has the information and knowledge about all relevant matters. Many questions may be asked by the lawyer to ensure the expert witness
is ready and prepped to provide testimony.

The Written Report

Much of the testimony that an expert provides in the court room is dependent on the written report he or she supplies the lawyer and judge that comprises his or her diagrams, timeline, incident reconstruction and opinions with a conclusion based on all these elements. This written report is usually drafted long before the expert sets food in the court room. Standard procedures are used to connect the professional’s opinions to the evidence and create a solution to the matter. This may mean an association to the responsible party, or it may be more details about how the evidence is not connected to the plaintiff or defendant.

Other matters may be included in the written report to include what statements the expert witness may explain in the court room through his or her testimony. The credentials and experience of the expert are provided to the judge so that he or she may determine if the professional is reliable and qualified as an expert witness. Once approved, the expert works through important processes to reconstruct the incident, create a timeline or understand the evidence connected to the incident. This may also require questioning or examining testimony given by other witnesses. This goes into the report so that it may be relevant to the case and assist in understanding what transpired.


A great deal of work that the expert does before he or she is taken to the court room to testify is to ensure that no challenge is brought forth for their report or work. This means that their methods, procedures and processes must be standard or reproducible by others. Often, this may translate into the procedural way of connecting the events or evidence being similar or exactly the same as the scientific community. However, they must be reliable and relevant to the case. This usually permits the testimony that an expert witness will provide in the court room to be admissible. If a challenge is issued and the expert fails this, he or she is no longer considered an expert witness.

If no challenge is brought forth, or it has been knocked down, then the expert is considered part of the case as an expert witness and no other challenges may be issued. Because the professional has started connecting evidence, testimony and other times to the reconstruction, timeline or diagrams of his or her report, it is best to ensure that his or her work is admissible in court. Credentials are tested early, and if there is any question about the education, practical experience or expertise of the professional, they are answered before the initial work begins in most cases.

The Expert Witness’ Work

The governing rules over expert witnesses press these professionals to ensure that all evidence and testimony that they work with is relevant to the claim or case. Procedures and opinions must be backed by reliable data or reproducible means. This also means that another expert in the same field might be able to draw the same conclusions based on the processes and details given. The opposing counsel may attempt to disqualify the expert, and much of the work these experts do is to prevent this from occurring. Through hard work before testimony is given, they may be used in court for a subject.

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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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