A securities expert witness can be used in many roles other than testifying in a court. Experts can also be used in drafting a claim, draft discovery, evaluating settlement offers, offering opinions on technical issues and also help in preparing for the cross-examination of your opponent’s expert. In the above roles, the work of the expert is to explain and summarize things.
An expert should be able to simplify, complex subjects. You should make use of your expert in explaining critical points in your case. However, you should ensure that your expert will clarify these points in a manner that even an average person will be able to understand. Otherwise, the expert testimony can be too complicated for people to understand and hence become boring. A good expert can take complicated subjects and break them down into more straightforward subjects which many people can understand.
Your expert should have summarisation skills which he will use in summarizing important point in your case. Having an expert evaluate the vital aspects which you want to emphasize on from prior testimonies or exhibits which have already been introduced can be invaluable to you. Limit the evidence of your expert only to the main points which you want to highlight in your case. If you try to overload your expert by making them go through too many facts and lack to summarize the materials, you might risk boring the arbitrators.
Considerations to make when hiring an expert
- Subject matter
Before hiring an expert first find out why you need the expert and if your client can afford one. If your case is strong and the wrongdoing is understood, you might not even need to hire an expert. It’s good to note the area where you need the services of an expert the most before hiring. If you have a large case dealing with trading, you will need the services of a damages expert unless you and your partner can determine what the damages are.
- The cost
Another consideration to make is the cost of an expert. Can an elderly widow who is living on social security fund afford to hire the services of a 300$ per hour security expert? Typically, in cases where the loss is less than 100,000$ great consideration should be given to the proceedings of the case without the use of an expert or limited access to the expert. For instance, if you are handling a case of less than 100,000$ you might need to hire an expert for a limited period to help you in identifying the strong points in your case and help you gather the right documents you will need for discovery.
- Considering your forum
Arbitration brings a whole new set of considerations in evaluating whether you require an expert. In many arbitrations where a public client is a party, you will be presenting the case to a panel of three arbitrators. One of the arbitrators will be classified as an industry arbitrator. The role of the industry arbitrator is to bring some common knowledge about the securities industry in the forum, and he can share the knowledge with other non-industry members.
The role of an expert is to explain and summarize the points gathered in the court. Also when hiring an expert, there are specific considerations which you should first make and these include: the cost of hiring an expert, considering your forum and the subject matter.