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Tips for Hiring an Expert Witness to Save Time and Money

Hiring an expert witness is often difficult when the subject matter is a complex problem for everyone involved, and there are certain tips that exist to provide assistance in both saving time and money with this process. These usually entail performing research online and locally to lower costs of travel along with cutting out expensive professionals services.

The Four Possible Selections

There are four different ways a lawyer can hire an expert witness without using more money and spending extensive amounts of time accomplishing this task. The first is the use and research throughout online directories. These are available to anyone with access. The second is that of contacting professors and professionals at both local colleges and universities. Another is a list server which is usually only available through special access that lawyers have. The last is using the personal network of the lawyer such as other colleagues and expert witnesses from past experience. Each has certain drawbacks and benefits.

The Use of Online Directories

Online access to directories of professionals is available and often easy to use. However, this option may take more time if the lawyer is unaware of what to look for
or which special knowledge the expert must have based on the subject material of the case. Other issues occur with needing to schedule, conflicting information and the time necessary to hire a single expert. However, the online directory can give the lawyer a better idea of what to look for and can assist him or her in hiring an expert either directly through the directory or by contacting one expert to find another.

Professor Assistance

Depending on the subject matter in the case, the lawyer can hire a local professor or contact one of these professionals to find someone that can support the claim or case at a college or university. Some experts are taken from particular fields of study that are ongoing such as research assistants, a researcher under a grant and even professors themselves. Each usually has a different type of knowledge and specialty that the lawyer will find useful in either as an expert witness for the case or to help find someone that can assist in the case. Some professors will work as consultants to discover the best professional for the subject material or the field of study.

The Listserv

A listserv is a way to acquire information online through a mailing list or a directory. Subscribers receive mail and information through the listserv and can become subscribers to specialized details such as experts in various fields of study. By subscribing to the listserv that provides this type of data, the lawyer can come into contact with different experts who have a connection to the information the lawyer is looking for with the case. Often, this will take time. However, if the lawyer is already a subscriber to the correct listserv or knows which one to attach to, he or she can find the professional that matches the case quickly.

The Lawyer’s Personal Network

Many lawyers have more professionals in their network than they are aware of at first. By contacting other lawyers and even professors from the past, the legal professional can find an expert in some field of study. This expert can explain the need for specialized knowledge based on the subject matter in the claim or case. He or she can also help with finding new contacts that will support the research to discover the best fit with expert and lawyer. By expanding a personal network, the lawyer can meet additional professionals and others that can become expert witnesses in the case or in future cases

Types of Processes in the Case

Generally, the lawyer will need to hire an expert witness based on the type of process necessary. Not all of these professionals need to testify. Some need only create and submit a report or explain matters in the pretrial process without the need to present opinions to the courtroom. Others will support the claim or explain confusing information to increase the chances of insurance settlement negotiations. In federal cases, the expert must follow the fact-based opinion rules and only provide details involved in fact.

The Expert and Lawyer Connection

Once the lawyer has found the correct method for his or her search, it is time to connect with the expert and hire the professional to support the case. This can take time and will require a strong relationship to increase chances 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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