If you’re headed to the courtroom, an expert witness can be a valuable addition to your case. But what if you aren’t sure how to find one? Here are just a few tips for locating and selecting a high-quality witness.
1. Determine Your Budget
Expert witnesses will expect to be compensated for their time, so you’ll want to figure out in advance how much that you can afford to spend on their testimony. Keep in mind that depositions can run long, and judges can order witnesses to stay in town for additional days. Your budget should have enough wiggle room to deal with these kinds of unexpected events.
2. Hire an Actual Expert
Don’t put someone on the stand unless they have a strong background in their field of study. You’ll want them to actually put the “expert” in expert witness. If they don’t have the skills, experiences or credentials of a qualified professional, your opposing counsel will be able to undermine them in front of the jury.
3. Look in the Right Places
If you’re seeking a financial expert witness, put out some feelers in the business world and see what names are referred to you. If you need an expert witness in the medical field, ask your colleagues if they know any doctors who are willing to testify for a good cause.
4. Perform a Trial Run
You won’t know how your witness will perform on the stand until you actually interrogate them like a lawyer in front of a judge and jury. Consider it a trial run before the actual trial. Ask them questions; call out their bluffs; see how they respond to unexpected curve balls. Prepare them for what it will be like on the big day.
These are just a few considerations that you’ll want to mull over as you seek out an expert witness. Having the right person on the stand can make or break your case, so whatever you do, don’t rush your decision. Take your time and choose carefully from all of the expert witnesses available for hire.