Today’s legal environment is increasingly complex as a result of advancements in technology, increased regulation and burden of proof requirements. Therefore, hiring an expert witness, such as a banking expert witness, has become a common practice for many attorneys. If you are involved in a lawsuit, there are a few things you should know about hiring these witnesses.
Evaluating Your Need for a Witness
Not every case needs an expert witness. Therefore, you may follow a few guidelines to determine whether your case would benefit from such a professional. First, does your case deal with common sense facts, or are the concepts somewhat difficult for the layperson, such as the judge and those in the jury, to understand? If your case involves specialized knowledge, such as accounting, banking or law enforcement practices, it will benefit from hiring a witness.
Conflicts of Interest
Expert witnesses analyze your case documents and provide a detailed summation and conclusion. Just because you hire these professionals does not mean they are required to agree with your conclusions. In fact, the opposing side will do what it can to sway their views during discovery and on the stand. Therefore, you need to do your due diligence. Look over all the cases your prospects have testified in to identify any conflicts in either testimony or beliefs. Also, look for any conflicts of interest, such as personal or professional connections to either party in the lawsuit because these conflicts can damage their credibility.
Types of Experts
Most experts fall into three categories: practitioners, professional experts or academics. Practitioners have extensive experience working in the field. They understand the industry and its practices based on years of working within the trade. Academics have advanced degrees and may have published either journal articles or books in the field. Much of their knowledge is theoretical or methodological, and they use statistical analysis or other assessment processes to develop their conclusions. Finally, some experts started their careers in academics or industry, but they have transitioned into legal consulting roles.
Lawsuits are stressful. If you face a legal battle, consider working with a qualified expert.