In Expert Witness – A Valuable Asset, William Gulya, Jr., construction expert witness and President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company, writes:
A case in point, an attorney in New Jersey, had a case in which his client suggested utilizing an expert. The attorney indicated to his client that it was not necessary, citing cost as the major factor. At trial, the testimony of three of the attorney’s key witnesses was rejected or restricted. The judge based his decision on the hearsay rule and restricted witnesses’ testimony to only those reports, tests or documents they alone prepared.
In the end, the evidence the attorney was able to get on the record was so limited that the case he had intended to present was non-existent. Had the attorney hired an expert witness, the hearsay rule would not have applied and the attorney would have been able to present the case as he intended. Notwithstanding the validity or invalidity of the judge’s ruling, he made the ruling at trial just the same. Now the case will go to the appellate division. In hindsight, the attorney’s decision to not bring on an expert compromised his case, upset his client and will not save his client any money. What his decision did do was to put the outcome of his case in jeopardy.