Whether you’re a new expert witness joining a case or you’re an experienced subject matter expert looking to brush up on your legal knowledge, here are some key terms that will be helpful to know:
Expert witness: A witness who has specialized knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education that allows them to provide testimony to help the judge or jury understand complex or technical evidence.
Qualifications: The background, training, education, and experience that makes someone an expert in a particular field.
Direct examination: The initial questioning of the expert witness by the attorney who called them.
Cross-examination: Questioning of the expert witness by the opposing attorney, aimed at discrediting the witness’s expertise and testimony.
Daubert challenge: A pretrial motion by the opposing party to exclude or limit an expert’s testimony on the grounds that it lacks sufficient scientific validity or methodology.
Objectivity: Expert witnesses have an ethical obligation to provide unbiased, objective opinions, even if retained by one party.
Report: Experts often prepare a written report detailing their credentials, the information they reviewed, their opinions and the basis for them.
Deposition: Expert witnesses are commonly deposed before trial.