What You Should Know About the Role of an Expert Witness

A litigant involved in a civil case that relies on expert witness testimony should have a close understanding of why this testimony is different from other witness testimony. The process by which individuals are qualified to provide testimony as a witness and the scope of what they can testify about are both defined fairly clearly in the law governing the admission of evidence. However, they tend to be relatively common subjects for motions and trial objections.

An Expert Witness Testifies About Complex Matters of Fact

In many civilian matters, particularly those involving complicated financial matters, a witness is the best person to help a judge or jury understand the factual matters involved in what the claimant is alleging. The subject of expert testimony is typically not generally regarded to be common knowledge or already understood by a layperson. A financial expert witness will testify regarding the facts of a case concerning transactions or securities that require specialized knowledge to accurately evaluate and explain to a layperson.

Expert Testimony May Be Admitted in the Form of a Deposition

A litigant may not necessarily have to present an expert witness testimony by having the witness present in court. A deposition can convey material information that could be vital to establishing the elements of a claim or responding to a claim with a solid defense. Depositions will typically be shared during the pretrial discovery process in which the parties present and request evidence. In the event that a matter proceeds to a jury trial, a party may wish to present an expert’s oral testimony. The opposing party will have the opportunity to cross-examine an expert.

Experts Do Not Present Legal Opinions

Expert testimony is limited to matters of fact that require expert knowledge to understand. An expert may not offer a legal opinion on the matter being tried.