If you are a expert in your field of work or study, you may have considered becoming an expert witness. Although there are no real rules regarding who can and cannot provide expert witness services in a court of law, here are some questions to ask yourself before making the decision.
Do You Have Any Published Work?
Though this is not essential, having written work published that can be referenced as proof of your expertise is a great benefit. If you have ever been quoted by the press, won any prestigious awards, or even simply spoken at a conference, this can all help to advance your reputation as an expert as well. Typically, the more professional accolades a person has, the more desirable their services will be to a lawyer.
Are Your Hours Flexible?
Court proceedings can be very fluid, and witnesses sometimes need to be called to testify with very short notice. Having a flexible, open schedule makes being an expert witness much easier. Also, being in close proximity to the location of the trial is important. You should also be prepared to dedicate more time than you expect to each case you are called to work on, as you never know how long proceedings will actually last.
Are You Good at Explaining Things?
You may be an expert in your field, but others in the courtroom most likely will not be. You should be able to explain complex concepts in an easy-to-digest, straightforward manner that can be understood by everyone. This is not the time to use big words or esoteric language.
If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you may be the perfect expert witness candidate. Enjoy playing an important part in the judicial process, while sharing your expertise with those who need your help the most.