In virtually every suit heard by a jury these days, there are a number ofexpert witnesses for each side. In the typical personal-injury case, thequality of an expert’s presentation is likely to be outcome-determinative.Therefore, the selection, preparation and presentation of experts is acritical issue in almost every case. The time and money spent locating,recruiting, preparing and presenting experts and their points of view goesto the core of the trial lawyer’s responsibility.
The most important factor in the selection of an expert witness is that oftrue expertise in a subject matter. If a lawyer begins the search by lookingfor the world’s outstanding authority in an area, or at least a nationalauthority on a particular topic, this search provides the lawyer with a kindof “gold standard” as a starting point. If hired, this person will berecognized by other experts in the field as a leader and as an authority onthe issue involved — often substantially impacting the direction the casetakes. Hiring such a renowned expert also may narrow the range of credibleexperts opposing counsel can employ simply because they will be reluctant tocross swords with such a master.