Expert witnesses are some of the least understood workers in any given court case. Whether they’re an economic expert helping a company recover or an expert in classic cars: they’re here to bring forward information the average person wouldn’t know. Although many people think this is the work of lawyers, these experts can decide court cases and turn the table on an outcome because of popular movies and television shows.
If you’re still unsure what their role is in any given court case- here’s what they do.
Research Before The Court Case
Expert witnesses have a high hourly rate in court, ranging from one hundred to seven hundred dollars, and many think that’s high: until they consider that’s not where most of their work is done. Although they’re trained and intelligent in whatever they’re giving testimony about, expert witnesses still have to study. They’ll take the time to go over the numbers, compare different viewpoints, and figure out what the evidence is trying to say. This can take ten to a hundred hours outside of court, which is why they must be paid fairly for their time.
Provide Information Without Bias
In court, if you give misinformation or you bias information- that can be considered perjury. Not only is this a crime that can be subject to legal punishment, but it can also ruin an expert witness’s reputation and put them out of work. If you hire an expert witness and put them on the stand, you need to make sure to read their findings first. Although you can’t withhold evidence, it’s important not to put a witness on the stand that might hurt your case. These experts can’t lie for you, and they will not skew facts to help you or your company look better.
Simplify Complex Information
A large portion of the job for expert witnesses is to simplify information for the jury and judge. This humanization is so vital because someone who uses six-syllable words every other second and toss out endless numbers and equations without explaining them is going to unbalance and overwhelm anyone they’re talking to. All of these facts and figures are vital, but they must be understood at the same time.
This plan doesn’t mean that they think the judge or jury is dumb or that they look down on anyone in the courtroom, just that they have to convey this information in a way that’s easily digestible to anyone who isn’t an expert.
Offer Insight Otherwise Unseen
The most important thing they do is offer information that most people don’t know. They usually have extensive training and insight into a specific type of information, and by working with them, you’re gaining access to that knowledge. By agreeing to be witnesses, these experts are working to help give a court case the most clarity possible while ensuring that they give up unbiased yet simplified information. If you want that professional on your side, an expert witness is where it’s at!