After enduring today’s events, we have come up with a few tips to help expert witnesses who are testifying:
1) Read everything you have ever written on your topic and imagine how it could possibly be interpreted against you (for example, how it could be cast by the defense to make you look self-contradictory or confused). Be ready for all possible misinterpretations.
2) Don’t stray AT ALL outside the limits of your expertise or knowledge while testifying. Say, “That is outside my area of expertise, so I can’t comment on that” instead of just plain “I don’t know.”
3) Read what other people have written about your subject, and look for too-close similarities. That goes for your direct testimony, too, as well as your expert report.
4) Don’t guess at or suppose ANY answers. It’ll get you in trouble later.
5) For everyone’s benefit, speak clearly and concisely.
6) Be ready for the defense to ask you ridiculous questions. They have to reach pretty hard to try and establish an even remotely plausible defense. It’s not easy for them.