How To Prepare Your Expert Witness For Trial
Prepare The Court
Your expert’s testimony may be pivotal to your case, so it is necessary that you follow and understand the preliminary steps required before your witness can take the stand. Failure to follow these rules during the pretrial phase could be disastrous.
• Make sure that you check all mandatory deadlines in your jurisdiction for pre-trial scheduling.
• Disclose your expert’s testimony according to the schedule and time ordered by the court.
• Opposing counsel has up to 30 days before the trial date to make certain objections. Make sure to check the grounds on which any objection can be made.
• Inform the court and opposing counsel about your expert witness, their testimony, or any material changes. Failure to do so can result in sanctions.
Issues With Admissibility
Generally, if objections are not made during a deposition then any future objections are waived. However, opposing counsel can still raise concerns before the trial date. Be sure that you understand the scope and limits of discovery if any objections are raised during pre-trial hearings.
Qualifying Your Expert
It is likely that opposing counsel will make a motion to disqualify your expert. If your expert witness appears unprepared than the opposing counsel can use this as evidence to contest the reliability of his or her testimony. If the judge agrees with the opposing counsel, the jury will be instructed to disregard your expert witness’ testimony. Prepare for this situation by familiarizing yourself with the Federal Rules of Evidence concerning the qualifications of your expert witness.
Issues With Substantive Law
Attorney-client privileges don’t extend to your expert witness; however, certain protections are afforded to pre-trial preparation materials pertaining to your expert witness as stated by the work-product privilege doctrine.
Prepare Your Expert For Court
It can be easily overlooked that your expert witness may not be completely comfortable in a courtroom environment. Help your witness by discussing their testimony and all relevant legal aspects. Don’t forget to bring up any nuances they should be aware of during their testimony.
The next step in the process is to help your expert witness during the actual trial. Litigation Legal Insight (LITILI) will help facilitate the process between you and a carefully vetted expert witness from their directory. Be sure to check back to our website for how to prepare your witness for their testimony, and any other relevant and helpful information.