In Are You Waiting Too Long To Hire An Expert?, construction site expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company, writes:
Another detrimental aspect of retaining the expert too late is retaining him or her after the discovery period is closed. A qualified expert can tell you exactly where to look for potentially damaging evidence on your adversary, which may support your position. What may not seem important or relevant may in fact be the smoking gun you are looking for. Attorneys know the law and are experts in the law. They often do not know the intricacies, nuances, and particulars of specific industries such as heavy or site-work construction methods, means and industry standards that apply to them.
An expert who knows the industry and the acronyms, lingo, and generic terms associated with that industry can be a valuable asset in preparing deposition questions for your adversary. Taking your expert to adversary depositions can be extremely helpful. Many times, the person being deposed will say something that to the attorney may sound logical and reasonable; however, the answer may have contained industry terminology that camouflages the truth. An expert who is thoroughly familiar with the vernacular of the trade can recommend questions exposing restrictive or misleading language. The ability to query cautiously worded answers can change the impression intended to be conveyed by your adversary.