Legal cases can be complex. Any way you can simplify complicated topics and fields will help the jury and legal team understand your case. Therefore, many legal teams regularly use expert witnesses with knowledge of the legal process in addition to their fields.
Expert witnesses focus on one field of study or practice. For example, a finance expert witness is able to analyze and draw conclusions from financial documents. They should be well-renowned in the industry and have enough knowledge to conduct a scientific analysis of the case. Although they may be paid by one side, their analysis must be unbiased, thorough and based wholly on the evidence.
Because expert witnesses have experience testifying in court and through depositions, they should be effective communicators. In addition, they should have excellent written communication skills that are useful when writing reports.
These individuals can take complicated concepts, analysis and conclusions and disseminate them into easy to understand explanations even for someone with no prior knowledge of the subject. They also break complicated methodologies and theories into smaller, more easily understandable sequences to show how they arrived at their conclusion. These witnesses also discuss any missing data or evidence that may have affected their conclusion.
Difficult concepts may require visual aids. As experts, these witnesses can produce visual aids to prove their points or explain the evidence so the jury understands how they came to their conclusions. Visual aids are especially valuable when explaining relationships and categorizations. They reveal the logical flow of theories and methodologies while highlighting key points and conclusions.
Because expert witnesses conduct scientific analysis of the case evidence, they are able to easily defend their conclusions. They implement clear, accepted methodologies in their analyses, which prevents bias. Therefore, the legal team will be better prepared to present the case and question the witnesses.
Because they use scientific analysis to evaluate the case, they can also reveal any holes or counterarguments prior to trial. This helps the legal team search for any missing information and prepare for any questions or challenges to their conclusions and case.
Expert testimony must be based on data, and experts must use a proven, accepted methodology that leads to a logical conclusion. Any significant case will typically involve expert witnesses. However, make sure your witness has the appropriate qualifications, confidence and communication skills necessary to stand up to cross examination.