Dealing with an expert can seem intimidating to young lawyers, but it doesn’t need to be! Follow these four solid tips to help boost your confidence level in your dealings with experts.
In the world of litigation, young lawyers often find themselves presented with new challenges and opportunities for growth as their practice expands and their experience level increases. One important step for young lawyers developing into seasoned litigators is learning to deal with expert witnesses and an expert’s deposition testimony. Regardless of what kind of expert you are working with—medical, engineering, product liability—the tips below are widely applicable and can be used in almost any instance.
The first “big” case I was involved in had to do with injuries claimed as a result of a fall from an allegedly defective ladder. I quickly found myself learning more details about ladders than I ever thought possible. I can still recall small details I learned in that case, including the surprising length of time a thorough expert could spend on a ladder inspection! In later cases I worked on, I encountered issues involving medical conditions, treatment options, and engineering components embedded in larger products. Having dealt with numerous experts on these files, I now see that, regardless of the subject matter (and regardless of how much or how little I know about the subject matter), my approach to the use of experts and their testimony is largely the same.
What follows are four key tips I have learned over the years that can help you increase your comfort level when dealing with experts: