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What makes an expert witness credible?

January 10, 2024

Establishing Expert Credibility

Whether you are looking for a Medical Expert Witness, Case Evaluation service, or a Personal Injury opinion, Saponaro, Inc. is chosen every day by trial attorneys because of our strong selection of Expert Witnesses, in all specialties and sub-specialties.

At Saponaro, Inc., we understand that expert’s credibility in the eyes of the Opposition and the jury is crucial for the success of the outcome of your case. Here are some important qualifications and strengths to keep in mind that will help enhance your expert’s authority:

1.) Education and Credentials:

Highlight the expert’s educational background, degrees, and relevant certifications. Make sure the jury understands the level of expertise the witness possesses in your specific case.

2.) Experience:

Emphasize the expert’s practical experience in the field. Discuss the number of years they have worked, any specific projects or research they have been involved in pertaining to the care in your case, and their overall professional background.

3.) Previous Testimonies:

If the expert has provided testimony in other cases, and those testimonies were accepted by the Court as authoritative, see if you can introduce these instances to establish a track record of reliability.

4.) Preparation:

Demonstrate that the expert has thoroughly prepared for the case. This includes a deep understanding of the records and pertinent facts, with a comprehensive knowledge of the relevant documents and/or evidence.

5.) Clear Communication:

Encourage the expert to communicate in a clear and understandable manner. Have the expert avoid the use of overly technical language that may confuse the jury. The ability to explain complex concepts in laymen’s terms will significantly boost the expert’s knowledge and credibility to the jury.

6.) Neutral Demeanor:

Instruct the expert to maintain a calm and composed demeanor, and to anticipate any challenging line of communication from the Opposition. A neutral and objective presentation will make the expert more relatable and trustworthy to the jury.

7.) Ethical Conduct:

Emphasize the expert’s commitment to ethical conduct and professional standards. Any indication of bias or conflicts of interest can undermine believability.

8.) Visual Aids:

Utilize visual aids such as charts, graphs, or diagrams to help explain complex concepts. Let the expert teach the subject to the jury, which will enhance their understanding of the case and reinforce the expert’s authority on the care in question.

9.) Relevance to the Case:

Ensure that the expert’s testimony is directly relevant to the issues at hand. Irrelevant or tangential information can lead testimony in a direction you do not want the expert to go, which can mislead the jury.

10.) Confidence without Arrogance:

Encourage the expert to express confidence in their opinions without coming across as arrogant. A humble demeanor can make the expert more likable and credible to the jury.

Remember that the effectiveness of these strategies will vary depending on the specifics of the case; the nature of the expert’s testimony; and the dynamics of the jury. Communication and expectations between the expert and the legal team is essential to present a compelling and winnable case.

The facts that an expert witness testifies to are vital; however, the expert’s appearance and demeanor are equally important. A jury that finds and expert sincere and open will be more likely to listen to what the expert has to say. At times, due to the complexity of the subject matter, an expert can appear condescending. If a jury has negative feelings toward an expert, it can impact their perception of the testimony. Therefore, it is important for expert witnesses to be likable, and credible, while delivering their testimony. 

Saponaro, Inc. has a strong selection of premier expert witnesses, in all areas of litigation, who are prepared to be an advocate for your case, if they find merit and/or causation. We offer a no-obligation discussion to so we can help you obtain the best expert for your case. A strong case starts with the right expert. 

Contact Saponaro, Inc today to get started.

Want more? Download our free resource: “Working with Medical Experts”