In Utilizing Experts In An Expert Way, Kelli Hinson and Tesa Hinkley describe the crucial role expert witnesses have at trial and give advice on how best to use them. In this excerpt, Hinson and Hinkley give tips on agreeing on an outline and defining the scope of the analysis.
Experts can often help attorneys better define the questions that will advance their case, as well. From an expert’s standpoint, the goal is to define questions that are sufficiently narrow to fall within his or her specialty, while also being broad enough to be useful to the client. Some experts are comfortable defining an expansive scope of research, whereas ohters prefer defining a narrow scope. Equally important as defining the questions effectively is defining them early. The expert and their support team should discuss the questions as soon as practicable, and the attorneys should provide their insights to get the team headed in the right direction with the right information. This significantly reduces the likelihood of spending time on research that ultimately does not become part of the expert’s opinion.
Excerpted from the ABA Expert Witness Alert, Summer/Fall 2007