Expert Witnesses’ Crucial Role in Litigation #14

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 ensuring that testimony is based on science.

Contrary to what many believe, expert testimony in litigation is not always based on rigorous quantitative analysis of the data involved in a case. Too often, we hve seen experts provide analysis that does not scientifically demonstrate the validity of their claims.

For example, we were recently contacted by a lawyer seeking an industry expert who could opine on the impact that a particular song on a CD had in influencing sales of that CD. We stressed that the question should be addressed in a scientifically rigourous way, and therefore the client decided to retain an economist. The plaintiff side retained an industry expert who formulated an opinion based solely on her experience, not on science. Her testimony was stricken on a Daubert challenge and consequently the plaintiff could not present damages testimony at trial.

Excerpted from the ABA Expert Witness Alert, Summer/Fall 2007