What It Takes to Be a Financial Expert Witness

In both criminal and civil court cases, expert witnesses are often called by both the prosecution and the defense. These witnesses provide testimony on any number of things that are outside the knowledge of the average person. By using their knowledge and experience in analyzing some aspect of the case, they can help convince a judge or jury of the attorney’s argument. These specialized witnesses can be experts in nearly anything. One of the most commonly called is the financial expert.

Experts in Their Field

Cases that involve money in some way, perhaps bank fraud or someone suing for a settlement in a civil case will usually call a financial expert witness. These witnesses are generally veterans of the world of finance, former or current bank presidents, or executives. They may have worked for investment or private equity firms. Whatever their background, financial witnesses know money and finances of every kind.

Excellent Communicators

Financial expertise is only one-half of the skill set required. Any witness must be an effective communicator. They must take the stand in court and verbally testify in front of a large group of people. Someone who would be anxious in such a situation would not be a good witness no matter how well they knew finances. Testimony must be given clearly, articulately, and accurately. A judge or jury will be suspicious of a witness who seems unsure and uncomfortable. They must also be able to handle cross-examination where the opposing counsel will intentionally try to trip them up. Written depositions are also often used and the expert witness must be able to communicate well in writing.

Winning a case requires many elements and one frequently used is the expert witness. Cases involving finances need a witness that knows the field and can comfortably and expertly communicate that knowledge as it pertains to the case.