Any type of witness testimony has the potential to make or break a case, depending on what type of information is offered. The one drawback with such witnesses is the unpredictability with the testimony. But with an expert witness, there’s the added advantage of knowing in advance what type of insights or knowledge will be provided. They can also play an important role in the positive outcome of a case. Here are four ways an expert witness may be able to help achieve this goal.
1. Expert Testimony Has a History of Being Effective
Research suggests expert testimony in jury trials tends to be effective, mainly because of the credibility such witnesses offer. Expert testimony, particularly from individuals with an ability to simplify jargon, is typically viewed as convincing and persuasive. It’s also effective because it can get through to the jury in a way that’s clear and concise.
2. An Expert Witness May Help Facilitate Settlements
The goal with some cases is to reach an acceptable settlement without going to court. Yet the negotiation process can sometimes drag on for many months or even years. In some cases, however, just the mention that an expert witness is prepared to testify can convince the other party to make more of an effort to settle.
3. Expert Witnesses Can Help Both Sides In a Case
There’s a common misconception that only defense attorneys hire expert witnesses. In reality, this is far from the truth. There are plenty of instances where an expert witness has been able to help both plaintiffs and defendants. Anytime the facts can be made clear, no matter what side of the case a witness is supporting, a good impression can be made on a jury by a well-prepared and knowledgeable expert.
4. An Expert Witness Is Often Seen as Objective
With typical witnesses called to testify in cases, including ones financially based, there’s usually the assumption these individuals automatically favor one side or the other, especially if they have some type of connection to one or more parties. This can make it easier to discredit testimonies perceived as being biased. An expert witness, however, is more likely to be viewed as being objective, which can add more weight to their testimony.
With banking and financial matters, expert witness testimony can be especially beneficial from a witness with a broader range of knowledge and experience. This can allow for more insights with cases that may have multiple factors. With an investment fraud case, for instance, it may help to have an understanding of how retirement accounts are normally set up. With other cases of this nature, knowledge of the stock market may be helpful if other types of investment methods have been called into question.