There are essentially two types of witnesses that can be called to appear and testify in court. Those are witnesses of fact and expert witnesses. Witnesses of fact testify only about facts known specifically to him or her. Expert witnesses provide testimony on their particular area of expertise and the information provided.
An expert witness can be appointed by one party (a party-appointed expert) or by both parties (a single joint expert). Either type of expert witness has a duty to provide the court with an impartial opinion and testimony.
Types of Expert Witnesses
The type of expert witness needed in a court case depends on the case itself. The expert must have knowledge relevant to the case. Some types of expert witnesses that may be needed include a medical expert, a financial expert, a forensic expert and a banking expert.
What an Expert Can Do
First and foremost, an expert witness will provide the court with a professional, independent opinion in their area of expertise based on the information provided. Further, an expert must provide their opinion in an expert opinion report provided to all parties.
What an Expert Cannot Do
An expert witness cannot accept a conditional fee that is contingent upon the results of the outcome of the case. This could compromise the impartiality of the witness and must never occur. Additionally, an expert witness will not advocate for your case or advise either party on how to present their case.
Expert witnesses can be very helpful in certain court cases, but will not advocate for one party over the other. They will provide an expert opinion in their area of expertise that is truthful and independent. Expert witnesses will remain impartial and must provide an expert opinion report to all parties prior to their testimony in court.