Nursing Home Expert Witness Testimony

An expert witness’s qualifications to testify may be challenged when the witness is qualified as an expert in one area, and the attorney asks for the expert’s opinion in a related area. The closer the new area of inquiry is to the area in which the witness is clearly qualified as an expert, the more likely the judge will allow the witness to give an expert opinion. For example, a nursing home expert witness may be able to testify regarding assisted living, geriatrics, etc. Professional degrees, training, and education are not necessarily required. Practical experience may be equally suitable. Since judges have leeway in making evidentiary decisions, best arguments in the case should be made in the trial court. There is little chance of reversal on appeal for errors concerning an expert’s qualifications.