What Is an Expert Witness?

In a court case, each side may call witnesses. Witnesses usually have some connection to the case and the people involved. They also usually have first-hand knowledge of the crime or situation at the heart of the case.

However, one type of witness may have no personal connection. Expert witnesses testify based on their own knowledge of a specific subject and may not know anything about the actual case.

Relaxed Rules

Expert witnesses differ from other witnesses because they can testify as to their opinions on the case, according to Cornell Law School. In general, the court will not allow opinions or allow a witness to make statements about what he or she feels happened. With an expert witness, though, the person is able to use his or her knowledge and expertise of a subject to give a professional analysis or opinion.

Requirements

In general, to be an expert witness a person must have experience, training, education, or recognition as an expert in his or her field. For example, a person could call an attorney as expert witness Houston TX to testify on matters pertaining to the law, or a doctor could testify as an expert on medical topics.

Reasoning

One of the main reasons why attorneys will call an expert witness is to add credibility to the case. Experts are often hard to disagree with and normally have advanced knowledge that members of the jury do not, making them more believable than other witnesses.

Expert witnesses may also serve as a way to counter another expert witness as it is not uncommon for experts to disagree on certain points. In addition, they may also serve to explain complex information in terms the jury can understand.

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Impactful Witness

An expert witness can strengthen a case. Using one is often an important step towards reaching a victory in court.