Posted On: February 18, 2013 by Karen Olson

Evaluating The School Safety Expert Witness Part 5

In EVALUATING AN EXPERT WITNESS FOR SCHOOL SAFETY CASES, school safety expert witness Michael Dorn writes:

Questions to Ask a Potential Expert Witness for School Safety Cases

Time and money spent up front to carefully evaluate an expert’s suitability for a particular case can save considerable time and money and prevent major problems down the road. Though attorneys and school safety experts are busy professionals, both should be prepared to take the time necessary to ensure the expert is a proper fit for the issues to be evaluated in the case.
An attorney should tactfully tell a prospective expert that as a professional, the attorney has an obligation to the client and the court to make sure any expert retained is likely to withstand the intense scrutiny of opposing counsel. For example, an attorney might say something like:

“I am seeking a properly qualified expert witness for an important case. An expert witness may be disqualified for a variety of reasons relating to her suitability to serve as an expert witness. Your disqualification in this case would be a major problem for both of us now and in the future. Because of my obligation to my client and the court, I have to screen an expert witness thoughtfully before I retain her. Would you mind if I ask you a few questions to determine if you are a good match for this case who can qualify as an expert witness even when aggressively challenged by opposing counsel?”

Mr. Dorn is Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a non-profit school safety center.