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Jeannie Elliott

All of these are good tips on choosing an expert, but may need to be adjusted when looking at non-medical experts. For example, in the economic damage realm it is relatively rare for economists to actually write or publish articles on the precise damage issue that is involved in the case.

The Economists @

Joe Bickley

I think one of the most critical things is do you respect your expert's judgement-do you trust your expert?

I do mostly construction defect litigation, and that is hugely dependent on expert testimony. In my mind the key factor is whether the expert is a good teacher. He must be able to credibly explain structural engineering to a bored housewife. Ultimately juries are more impressed with the arguments the understand than the ones delivered by a well papered academic.

I think the point about practical expereince is critical. In my practice I always try to hire two experts-one intellectual and one practical (sometimes one guy is both-but I'm a California lawyer and I also like having one local guy). For example in a welding case I will use a materials engineer, but I think going inot the court room without some guy who has done 10,000 more more welds is suicide.

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