In high-stakes litigation, expert witness testimony is often a necessary and critical part of litigation strategy. Experts can offer testimony to address unique questions or facts that are central to liability issues. They are also almost universally used when it comes to quantifying damages. Because expert witness testimony can be such an important factor, there can be much at stake for litigators in the process of finding and selecting an expert. Clients, too, have recognized the importance of choosing the expert witness best suited for the case, and the expert selection process has increasingly become a joint enterprise between outside litigators and their in-house counterparts.
Therefore, both in-house counsel and their outside attorneys should be informed about the best practices in finding and selecting expert witnesses. In this article, we discuss the various roles that experts can play in litigation, and some of the key issues one should consider when searching for the most effective expert, a decision that ultimately can have a significant impact on settlement negotiations and trial results.