September 29, 2020 Articles

Preparing Your Expert Witness to Testify

Practical considerations for preparing your expert to be convincing and to make a positive impression.

By Michael R. Lied

First, a Question

Given the title of this article, this question may seem silly: Do you even need an expert? This author’s opinion is that—usually—the fewer the witnesses, the better, to minimize the chance of witness contradictions or other problems. Nevertheless, there are certain types of cases—for example, medical negligence—in which the law requires expert testimony. In many other cases, it may be a practical necessity to use one or more experts, but that is not always true. So you should consider whether an expert is needed or worth the cost under the circumstances. Answering the question will assist you in focusing the expert’s presentation to what is truly needed for your case.

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