While most of us will never be in the center of a jury trial (and all of us hope to never be in one), it’s important to know the rights of a defendant or complaining witness, should the situation ever arise. One important aspect of these is the right to call expert witnesses, who are compensated to provide objective testimony about their profession as relates to the relevant evidence. Here are three circumstances where different types of experts can be useful.
Explaining Financial Concepts
The chief function of an expert witness is to break down highly technical or confusing concepts to the laypeople on the jury. In cases involving accusations of fraud or corporate malfeasance, a banking expert may provide helpful testimony. They can explain financial regulations and definitions that may impact the case’s verdict.
In more severe criminal cases, a scientist or law enforcement officer with a background in forensics may be able to analyze the evidence found at the crime scene. They can explain everything for ballistics in the case of a gun crime, to certain types of trauma, injuries, and even poisons. Their objective, expert witness can be invaluable for the defense or the prosecution alike.
Breaking Down the Law
It may seem odd to have to bring someone to explain the law into a courtroom filled with lawyers. Even so, there are many circumstances where a legal expert can bridge the gap between the way the law is spun by counsel. This comes up frequently in issues involving civil liberties, where someone like a constitutional scholar or law professor may be of service.
If you are on either side of a jury trial, you must use every possible tool at your disposal to plead your case. Expert witnesses often sway jurors by speaking knowledgeably about their field, making them an essential tool of justice.