What Is An Expert Witness?

Do you ever wonder just what is an expert witness? If you’ve ever seen a court trial in person or watched legal dramas on television or in movies, then you know that sometimes, someone is called to the stand as what is called an ‘expert witness.’ Do you ever wonder what makes them different from other witnesses?

The legal definition might vary a bit from one jurisdiction to the next, but in general, an expert witness is one who is brought in for analysis and explanation of something that happened. They have to have demonstrated proficiency, experience, or knowledge within a certain field, and those skills or education must be recognized by the judge in order to allow for the designation of the status of expert witness.

Most witnesses called to the stand are by definition someone that witnessed something that is related to the case the prosecution is building or the defense is arguing. Many witnesses were either at the scene of an incident in question or possibly knew a person involved. They generally have some kind of connection to the case at a personal or professional level and are there to answer questions about what they personally know, saw, did, etc.

An expert witness rarely has a personal connection to a case, as their objectivity usually is necessary to not influence the emotions of a jury. In highly technical cases involving technology, science, medicine, or many other things, an expert witness might be necessary for a jury to understand complicated factors of the case.

That can help a Corpus Christi personal injury attorney win the minds of jurors, but it might not help them win their hearts. That’s particularly true given that more and more people know there are some individuals who make a living as expert witnesses, and their testimony is often highly prepared with the prosecution.

This video explains the role of an expert witness in a bit more depth: