Curious on the importance of having an expert witness during business litigation trials? See, when it comes to your business, you know as well as anyone that there are a lot of complicated calculations and decisions made every day to further the interests of your business. When your business is involved in litigation, this complexity can pose a problem. How can you explain decisions made by experts with years of education and experience to a jury of laypeople?
One of the best solutions to this problem is to work with an expert witness who can assist the court by explaining the situation so that everyone can understand the evidence. Utilizing an expert witness in litigation can provide credible industry-leading or topic-specific testimony on the important details within your case. This includes your company’s valuation, goodwill, advertising, taxes, and many other important topics.
Consulting Expert Witness vs. a Testifying Expert Witness
There are two different types of independent experts often retained by a legal team when dealing with cases that have a complicated subject matter: a consulting expert and a testifying expert.
A consulting expert works with your legal team to help you understand the relevant details of the case. They can give advice about which details are most helpful to your client and help you draft a litigation strategy that will be informative and persuasive in court.
A testifying expert, on the other hand, prepares an expert report or testifies in front of the court, sharing their expertise with everyone. It is important that this witness is a person with established credentials or else their expert witness testimony will not stand against the scrutiny of other parties involved in the case. They can also be cross-examined by other parties.
Why Do I Need Two Business Litigation Expert Witnesses?
Why not just hire one type of witness for your case? Sometimes you might be able to, but these two types of witnesses actually have slightly different legal standing with the court. Specifically, the documents reviewed by a consulting expert do not have to be disclosed to opposing counsel, whereas any information that a testifying expert examines must be disclosed.
Thus, when trying to take stock of a situation, it’s often wise to have a consulting expert thoroughly examine the case and give you a private explanation and strategy before involving a testifying expert for whom all information must be shared with the other side.
Types of Business Litigation Experts
There are a large number of different types of experts whose knowledge can be relevant to a business litigation case. Here are a few examples: A forensic accountant may be hired to examine a company’s financial records and testify or advise on the extent or likelihood of financial misconduct such as fraud.
A real estate appraiser can comment on the valuation of a piece of real estate, relating a price to the fair market value or a current market value, help a company value its assets, or assess whether or not a contract was followed.
An economic expert might weigh in on a company’s proper valuation, help calculate lost profits due to economic conditions or management decisions, determine the amount of goodwill lost from reputational damage, or estimate the value of the company if it were to liquidate.
Working With an Experienced Business Lawyer
Navigating the world of business experts and picking the right one for your case is something other than what you want to do on your own, as even a minor misstep in the selection or preparation of your expert could have disastrous ramifications for your case.
That’s why it’s essential to work with a business lawyer you can trust. At Ruben P. Ruiz PC, our team has extensive experience in business litigation, handling multi-million dollar cases and serving a wide variety of different clients. For expert help handling your case from a business law firm with a proven track record fill out the form below today.