The Expert Blog
Jason D Koontz, CRC Opinions for All
An expert witness can assist an attorney before a deposition or trial. An expert can help an attorney understand the issues and if standard industry practices were followed. The expert has specialized knowledge, experience, training, and skill that qualifies them to form opinions for a case to assist with the litigation and preparation for trial. However, the court must find the expert’s qualification sufficient and the opinions relevant to the case to allow them in the court.
It is essential to understand that an expert witness can only offer opinion testimony, which distinguishes them from fact witnesses. So, the opinions given by the expert will be considered opinion evidence rather than factual evidence.
Here are some common mistakes expert witnesses are often guilty of making which can render their opinion not as helpful to the case as it could have been:
Relying Completely on The Information Given by The Lawyer
An expert witness should ask for a written agreement that defines the scope of the case as well as the purpose of engagement for the expert. Even with a written agreement in place, the expert should avoid accepting the lawyer’s words blindly regarding the critical aspects of the project and research everything thoroughly before agreeing to testify. This will ensure that there is no bias coloring the testimony of the witness, and the attorney doesn’t mold or restrict the expert’s work to present a favorable opinion.
Forgetting That They Are an Advocate Only for Their Opinions and Not for The Case Itself
Expert witnesses, much like fact witnesses, should make sure the testimony and opinion therein are true, to the point, and sincere. The witness must be objective and should only let their training, education, and experience guide their opinions. They should focus on the research and facts to form their opinions, even if they are not exactly what the client or lawyer wants. It is the lawyer’s job to advocate the case and take sides. If the expert tries to fit the opinions with the objective or goals of the lawyer’s case, they risk losing their credibility.
Trying to Sound Like the Ultimate Expert on Everything
Less is always more, and that is also true when forming an opinion as an expert witness. An expert should always be careful about the information they are sharing, what they put in writing, and especially coloring facts with personal bias. They should also be aware of the danger of trying to sound like the ultimate expert.
Even experienced lawyers and people who have been offering services as experts avoid acting superior and talking down to others. Keeping an open mind and being sincere is essential. It is also essential to consider the advice and guidance of older and wiser attorneys and experts in the field. Remember, you don’t know everything, nor do you have the same experience as others, so make sure you have argued all sides before making up your mind about a particular aspect of the case.
Find Banking Expert Services for Your Case in New York
Jason Koontz, CRC, is a former Senior Vice President and has over 20 years of experience in the banking sector. He is an independent expert and offers his expert witness consulting services to lawyers in New York. He has served as an expert and litigation support specialist on over 150 cases on a broad range of banking and real estate matters, including lender liability, commercial loans, debt collection, predatory lending, and more.
Contact him today by calling at (646) 397 – 3835 or connect with him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute professional advice. I’m not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.
Jason D Koontz
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