Going to trial in a civil case requires parties to take some level of risk. Whenever something goes in front of a jury, the possible range of outcomes is wide. This can be scary for people who have legitimate claims they’re relying on. Though lawyers recognize the risks of going to trial, many are taking steps to reduce the variance in litigation. Simply arguing the facts and leaving things to chance is not good enough to some lawyers. Many are reaching out to expert witnesses to help them seal the deal when things head to trial.
Why are expert witnesses important in litigation? Perhaps most important is their ability to cut through the assumptions of jurors. Jurors are skeptical of attorneys who work for plaintiffs. They often believe that attorneys are self-serving and that evidence presented by those attorneys is likely biased. When the word “expert” goes in front of a witness, though, that witness has additional credibility. He or she is no longer just a person put in front of the jury to convince them to vote one way or another. Rather, the expert is blessed with some special knowledge that makes them important to the process.
On top of that, expert witnesses have a special ability to drill into difficult topics in a way that simplifies matters for jury members. The worst thing that can happen for any party in litigation is to confuse jurors. Confused jurors are volatile and unlikely to side with the litigant who confused them. A financial expert witness, for instance, can break down the intricacies of banking and mergers to explain where a deal went wrong. That’s just one example of how expert witnesses today are able to change the course of a trial by simply showing up with a brain full of knowledge.
Leaving litigation to chance is foolish when millions of dollars are on the line. The best lawyers today are refusing to do that. They’re going out and hiring consultants to ensure their clients get the best possible outcome. While there is no way to guarantee success at trial, having a solid expert witness in your corner can boost your chances. It can take an otherwise volatile and unpredictable process and remove some of that all-important variance. This is why expert witness testimony has grown to be so important in today’s trials.