Expert witnesses play a critical role in the judicial process. The testimony of these professionals can swing juries, educate judges on complex technical subjects, and ultimately win lawsuits. Expert witness opportunities are available for individuals with advanced expertise in any discipline – from master plumbers to leading neurosurgeons – the diversity of civil litigation means that there is a consistent demand for experts in every industry. In return for their assistance, expert witnesses receive compensation from the attorney who retains them. This compensation can vary based on the type of work done, and is negotiated between the expert and attorney directly. So what does it take to be retained as an expert witness on a case?
If you’re searching for an expert witness, you’ve no doubt discovered that finding the perfect candidate is a daunting task. The types of experts that can be retained are as varied as the subjects that can be litigated, expert directories are full of recycled experts paying exorbitant listing fees for your click, and search engines produce millions of moderately relevant results for any expert witness query.
This post addresses questions from defenders who are seeking to challenge the admissibility of expert testimony under NC Rule of Evidence 702. See the nuts and bolts of how and when to make a 702 challenge for attorneys who haven’t yet challenged expert testimony. All defenders should read the NC Superior Court Judges’ Benchbook, Criminal Evidence: Expert Testimony prior to challenging expert testimony for an in-depth analysis of this topic with cites to the relevant caselaw.