A recent SEAK survey of trial lawyers indicated that now trial lawyers prefer experts who have received formal expert witness training.
Here are some of the reviews these trial lawyers have given for advantages of using trained experts:
A trained expert knows how to bill for their time without identifying in their billing invoices any issues that could haunt the client’s case. Some experts think their invoices may not be seen by the opponent—They all are, so they have to be drafted with care.
A trained expert must have the ability to think before he or she speaks in a deposition. He or she has to be well conversant with the “theme” of the case for which they are hired. The expert needs to confine their testimony to points that assist in pursuing the “theme” of the case; they can screw it up if they testify inconsistently with the “theme”.
A trained Expert can tell when to acknowledge facts or issues and when they need to fight over (and hold their ground as to) other issues and contentions.
A trained expert recognizes they cannot know the entire file by memory at their deposition; for instance, when asked at deposition: What did witness A say about such and so? Or What does the lease say about that? Or what does the sales contract say about X, Y or Z? A good expert stops, demands to see the document or the deposition testimony, and will provide an answer only upon being shown what the attorney has referenced. A lot of questioning Attorneys use this approach to try and show the expert had no idea what a witness said or what a document provides, and thereby show that the witness is not well informed. However, no one can memorize deposition testimony or all of the provisions in a document. A good expert asks to see the deposition transcript or the document in order to provide an answer.
A trained expert typically does better in handling cross examination at a deposition, by understanding how to remain calm and collected and make sure they understand the question fully before answering.