If you have a complicated case, you may consider hiring an expert witness, such as a banking expert witness. However, working with witnesses can be stressful. Therefore, consider a few tips on working with an expert witness.
First, you should identify why you need an expert. Do you and your legal team understand the scope of the case and its details, or do you need an industry expert to clarify common practices? Do documents or data need to be analyzed? You should also identify early in the case, before the depositions are taken, whether your witness will testify in court. Also, will you need multiple witnesses?
You may need to help the witness appear confident and knowledgeable in court. For example, you don’t want a witness who fidgets, has shifty eyes or speaks without authority. You also don’t want your attorney to appear arrogant.
Your expert should not use industry jargon and present abstract concepts. Although they are experts, they need to speak to a jury of people who are not. Using higher-level speech and terminology may confuse the jury. They should use lay terms and drill down difficult concepts so the average person can understand them. They do not have to sound like industry experts, which may appear condescending. You also want your witness to answer the questions without providing extra information.
Although you may be friendly with the expert, you both must remember that your relationship is professional. It cannot appear that you are friends or antagonistic toward each other when the witness is on the stand. Therefore, your sessions should focus on the witness’s testimony, including how and what information is delivered. If you have constructive criticism, deliver it with kindness and provide solutions rather than focusing on the problems.
If you use expert witnesses, consider spending time working on how they will act and what they will say on their depositions and in court.