Expert witnesses can make or break a case. Trial lawyers thoroughly investigate opposing experts, but often fail to subject their own experts to that same high level of scrutiny. The consequence of hiring the wrong expert can include the striking of the expert, sanctions, massive wasted financial resources, and even the dismissal of a party’s claims or defenses. When it comes to hiring experts, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
First, determine whether the headache of dealing with an expert is really needed. Even if experts are allowed to opine about an issue, you may not want to hire an expert if expert testimony is not required. The decision not to hire an expert may be based on considerations of expense, the potential for the expert to contradict other experts or fact witnesses, or a concern that the jury may not find testimony from a hired expert on the particular issue to be persuasive or credible.