EXPERTS: Shiny and New—Like the Very First Time

Vol. 40 No. 2

The author is a partner at Venable LLP, Baltimore, and a senior editor of Litigation.

The best expert witness is often the one with no expert experience.

In a recent case my expert, an academic, had spent most of his career doing precisely the kind of analysis we needed—without ever having made a profit from doing it. My opponent, by contrast, used a “litigation consultant” who made more than 90 percent of his income by testifying, almost always for the same kind of client and almost always for the same side.

Guess whom the court in this bench trial found more credible? After our 10-day trial ended, the court issued a 50-page opinion in which it mentioned specifically that our expert had never testified before and had no ties to the industry that hired him. We won on every issue, in part because we won the battle of experts.

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