Learning the Subject Matter is the First Step to Researching Experts

A preliminary understanding and some basic investigation of the topic of expertise will allow the researcher to know what questions to ask the potential expert witness, and may also lead to the names of good potential experts in that field.

Library web sites are an excellent place to begin the search to find information about the subject matter and to find potential experts. Start by searching their online catalogs for books and journals on your subject. Pay particular attention to whom the author/authors are – someone who writes extensively on the subject you are researching may make an ideal candidate to serve as an expert in your case.

Note that many library web sites allow the researcher to search their catalog for specific topics. For example, a basic search on the Library of Congress’s web site using the term “handwriting identification” will return hundreds of books and other publications written by potential handwriting expert witnesses. These results include not only the potential expert’s name, but also the title and date of publication, where it was published, and cross-references to other works by that author. Such information can be used to find, or cross examine, an expert.