Testimony from an expert witness can help clarify the complexities of a legal issue and offer insights related to a legal case. This situation is especially true when it comes to dispute resolution involving blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.
As an authority, a cryptocurrency law firm on the ever-changing and nuanced legal issues related to blockchain, distributed ledger technology, and crypto-assets, Wil excels at making abstract and technically-challenging information accessible to laypersons and those just entering the tech space. As an expert witness, he is available to explain the technology and its legal issues to a jury clearly and concisely.
An expert witness is a witness who knows that the ordinary layperson is enabling the witness to give expert testimony concerning an issue that requires expertise to understand. Experts are permitted to provide opinion testimony, which a non-expert witness is not allowed in testifying. In court, the party that offers the expert must lay a foundation for the expert’s testimony. Setting the foundation includes testifying about the credentials and expertise of the expert witness that qualifies him or her as an expert. Seldom, the opposing party will agree to the qualifications of the expert in the interests of judicial economy.
Experts are qualified based on several factors, including but not limited to, the number of years they studied and prepared in their respective field, work experience related to the case, already established credibility like published works, education, training, licensing, awards, certifications, and peer recognition. These experts may become consultants to a case, and they can also give testimony at a trial. Once registered as an expert witness for trial, the materials they depend on creating an opinion on the case is subject to identification by the opposite parties. The testimony of the expert witness is subject to attack on the cross-examination through questioning, which is designed to bring out any limitations in the expert witness’s experience and qualifications. Also, the lack of the preparation done, lack of witness’s confidence opinions, or the expert’s sources, tests, and methods are not reliable enough.
Expert witnesses with a wide variety of backgrounds may witness, such as gemstones, forensics, construction, and many more areas. The expert witnesses are allowed to receive compensation for their time and expenses throughout the preparation and for providing testimony, as long as they won’t receive any payments to perjure themselves.
There are a lot of different types of expert witnesses that a case typically calls upon, all of which grouped into six major categories: medical, financial, forensic, vocational, accounting & securities, and mental health.
Medical expert witnesses are probably the most common type of expert witnesses. You can typically find these expert witnesses at violent crime trials and medical malpractice trials, but they can testify in any case where an individual needs their expertise. Usually, a medical expert witness is a doctor, but they could be a physician’s assistant, nurse, or other medical professionals. Frequently, the expert witness is a medical examiner who can testify about the cause and method of death.
Financial expert witnesses are often summoned in for cases involving some finance-related offense, like tax evasion or fraud. A financial expert is fundamentally a secured element of any white-collar crime cases. White-collar crimes are nonviolent crimes usually done by businesses or government officials to steal or otherwise illegally to come into a considerable amount of money.
Forensic science means any science applied to the area of law. In terms of medical examiners, the forensic expert witness has some extension with the medical expert witness. Still, forensic expert witnesses differ from ballistic experts to blood spatter analysts, psychologists, chemists, biologists, and criminal behavior experts. Most comprehensive law enforcement agencies have their dedicated teams of forensic science, which they depend on not only to investigate evidence but to present testimony in court.
Vocational expert witnesses mainly stick to cases that involve Social Security incapacity benefits at claims trial, though they can also be called in workers’ compensation trials as well. These vocational expert witnesses are typically summoned by the Social Security Administration to identify further whether the individual who wants to apply for benefits is capable of working again, or if he wants to try to game the system.
These specialized expert witnesses present testimony in complicated matters of fraud and white-collar crime. They may also give their judgments outside of a criminal context on the standard of care in the banking industries and securities. For example, a securities expert witness could provide a testimony that a particular investment company destroyed their credibility because they fell short of its obligation to its clients by failing to manage sufficient research before processing an investment.
Mental health expert witnesses are the same as medical expert witnesses. The difference is that a mental health expert witness can give expert testimony as to whether the defendant is mentally stable. In other words, the expert witness can present evidence proving whether the defendant is medically insane and whether he has an idea about his actions and his consequences during the incident in question.
Rules about expert witnesses are established by state and federal rules of evidence, which can depend on whether the case is in state or federal courts.
Based on the Federal Rules of Evidence, a qualified expert witness is someone who has the knowledge, education, skill, experience, or training in a specific field. These requirements are commonly also needed from the expert witnesses in state courts.
According to the federal rules, expert witnesses must base their testimony on adequate facts or data of the type wisely relied upon by experts in their field, to help the jury and the judge understand matters that typically demand specialized expertise. While non-expert witnesses can only provide testimony about what they have seen or heard, expert witnesses are usually allowed to present their expertise or professional opinion.
States have the same rules, though there are distinct variations among states when it comes to the admissibility of testifying in a trial or courts.
An Expert Witness is needed when it is required to have a piece of opinion evidence to help in the resolution of a dispute. This opinion may result in an early resolution of the dispute. An Expert Witness may be involved in the civil or criminal proceedings of the courts and may be called to provide evidence.
Today’s rules support the value of a Single Joint Expert, who is instructed by all the parties in the discussion to present an opinion on the problem in proceedings. However, it is still possible to have an expert witness that one party can appoint, which is also a party-appointed expert. The responsibility of either a Single Joint Expert or Party Appointed Expert is similar, namely a significant duty to assist the court. Once the court produces a report, the parties are open to ask questions on any point of the report, and the expert witness should be able to respond given they are for clarification purposes. Any answers and the report given then form part of the evidence before the court, and they use it to assist in making a judgment.
A “controlled expert witness” is an individual who wants to provide expert testimony who is the party, the party’s retained expert, or the party’s present employee. For every controlled expert witness, the party needs to recognize:
The primary issue on which the witness shall testify
The judgments and opinions of the expert witness and the bases therefor
The witness’ qualifications
And any reports prepared by the expert witness about the case.