Do You Hire an Academic or “Real World” Expert Witness?

As an attorney, you are responsible for hiring the right expert witness. Make sure to check your expert’s CV and that you understand it. Ask for references and check out board certifications and licenses. An expert who gives false testimony regarding his credentials could result in perjured testimony and the court could find you responsible.

Evaluate whether academic credentials are important in your case or if a community-based expert witness would be better. In some medical trials, you may need both. The academic researcher could have very specialized knowledge while the practitioner may be better prepared to testify on what is happening in the “real world” medical community. You may expect academic credentials to impress the jury, but it could turn out that they will rate experience and training higher or that a degree is not available in the area of forensic science you are dealing with.