Expert witnesses play a critical role in helping to inform and mold judges’ opinions regarding the more technical issues in a lawsuit. Since judges often have to deal with technical issues beyond their realm of experience, an expert witness’s testimony can be especially influential.
A convincing expert witness that can describe complex technical problems in an easy-to-understand manner is a powerful way for a lawyer to sway a judge’s opinion. However, before an expert witness can be called, the court must certify that the witness actually has the requisite expertise. To help ensure that only qualified individuals will be called as experts at trial, the Supreme Court set up special committees to support the designation of expert witnesses in medical and construction lawsuits.
Expert witnesses give their testimony in the same manner as normal witnesses, either by orally testifying, submitting an opinion in writing or by video conference.
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