Performing Background Checks on Expert Witnesses

We have talked about expert witnesses before. Why you might want to hire one, and how they can help on a case. This week we will look into why you might want to perform a background check on an expert witness. And whilst we are at it why background checks on witnesses are important too.

An expert witness depends completely on their credibility in court. If one is to rely on one it is important to perform a thorough background check on them before employing them. One can also use this to their advantage when looking into the opposition’s expert witness. If, for example, they did something that might affect their credibility.

What can an expert witness background check reveal?

  • Criminal record: This might seem like something unnecessary to look into when hiring someone that has been trained to work in a court of law. However, it is for that very reason why it is so important to look into this first. Past crimes would immediately discredit an expert witness. Especially so if these crimes were directly relevant to their line of work.
  • Malpractice claims: If an expert witness wants the interpretation of their evidence to be permissible in court, they must work according to due process. If they hadn’t followed said process in a past incident, this would have a deep impact on their credibility.
  • Board certifications and professional licenses: It goes without saying, that an expert witness must have all their qualifications relevant to their profession in order. Otherwise they would be unable to perform their duties in court. Checking that these are legitimate and up to date is important.
  • Conflicts of interest: Making sure an expert witness is completely impartial is crucial before employing them. They are unable and it is in fact impermissable for them to perform their duties in court if such a conflict of interest might exist.
  • Affiliations: corporate and professionals can be an advantage and disadvantage. Usually these are an advantage as it can provide them with more credibility in court. So long as they don’t cause a conflict of interest of course.

Choosing an expert witness

Choosing the right expert witness is paramount to having a successful court case. Hence why it is doubly important to check their background. Interpreting information or evidence correctly and according to the right procedures can make all the difference. Hence why an expert witness’ credibility and abilities in their profession are so important.

If you find yourself in need of a licensed private investigator and their particular set of skills, please feel free to call us. Or simply click on this link to get in contact with one of our team members.

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