An expert witness is someone who has mastered a specific field and has enough knowledge to testify in front of a judge and jury regarding specifics of a case being presented. A lawyer or legal team may solicit expert witness services to help solidify their case.
When to Hire an Expert Witness
Expert witnesses are used to contributing their unbiased input in legal matters within their area of expertise. They are used whenever this input could potentially help to resolve a case more quickly. Although opinions tend to be hearsay when it comes to court cases, expert witnesses have the rare ability to share their opinions in court due to their extensive knowledge that must be proven to a judge in a preliminary report.
One legal team may hire an expert witness, but it is the goal of the other legal team to discredit that witness. Although an expert witness is extremely knowledgeable in a certain field, the oppositional legal team will work hard to cause some sort of a slip up which would allow the jury to question anything that the expert witness had said. This could be as simple as a minute detail of the case.
It is important that the legal team that hires an expert witness thoroughly prepare that person with the details of the case. These witnesses may not be keen on the idea of preparation since they are experts; however, something as simple as saying a car was green when it was really blue could put enough doubt in the minds of the jurors to discredit anything the expert witness has said.
Expert witnesses are a valuable part of the judicial system. Their opinions are highly valued as experts in their field. Enlisting the help of an expert witness could potentially reduce time spent in the courtroom, thus allowing the court system to function more smoothly.