October 31, 2017 article

Tips for Hiring Expert Witnesses Without Wasting Your Time or Your Client’s Money

By Adam Matheson

Your case reaches the pivotal point—you realize you will need an expert to defend against an emotional distress claim, prove damages for a breach of contract in a business dispute, or interpret medical records based on an injury. Whatever the reason for the expert, how do you find a qualified expert without wasting your time? How do you compete with a large firm without breaking the bank? This article explores four tools a solo or small firm can use to find qualified experts in efficient and cost-effective ways: (1) online directories, (2) professors at local colleges and universities, (3) listservs, and (4) your personal network.

As an initial matter, the rules of procedure for admitting an expert are generally minimal. For example, Federal Rule of Evidence 702, among other requirements, provides:

A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if [ ] the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue. . . .

Fed. R. Evid. 702(a).

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