There are two types of witnesses that frequently appear in a trial: fact witnesses and expert witnesses. A fact witness speaks to their firsthand knowledge of a specific event. An expert witness, on the other hand, offers their opinion on the information based on their specific expertise in a certain area. Experts are often used to interpret data, provide medical analysis, or define what the standards and practices of a certain industry should be.
Expert Witness: An individual with knowledge, expertise, training, and experience in a particular field that is beyond what is expected of a layman. Their job is to help the court and jury understand the evidence offered and give impartial, informed opinions on portions of the matter which are within their area of expertise.
An expert is able to give their informed opinion on a situation, something a fact witness cannot do. These opinions are generally both written, as part of the expert’s report, and spoken during deposition and trial. The expert reviews the evidence gathered during discovery and depositions and then is able to offer interpretation and opinions on that material. They are generally employed by a party to the case but encouraged to offer an impartial opinion. In highly contested lawsuits, both sides may bring expert witnesses to the table and offer the jury or judges a variety of interpretations of the data.
Common situations were experts are used include reviewing and interpreting financial records, offering insight on regular business processes, offering guidance on the standards of a particular industry, reviewing engineering drawings and plans, offering medical diagnosis and prognosis, and providing industry insight. This information can be used to educate and inform the court so that they can then make better decisions regarding the case and dispute at hand.
If you or your business is involved in civil or business litigation, the team from Dunn Law Firm is here to help. Whether or not your case needs an expert witness is part of the litigation strategy you and your business attorney will decide on together. Experts can be involved just a little, providing small reports to help clarify an issue or lend their weight to a particular argument or they can be actively involved in the entire lawsuit, helping to shape the case and strategy.
Business lawsuits often require experts to speak to standard and best practices, the financial strength of a business, it’s valuation, and other factors. To discuss your case, reach out to the Dunn Law Firm by calling (435) 628-5405 and set up a free consultation today.