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How Do I Become a Court Expert Witness?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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To become a court expert witness, you will need to obtain the necessary training, education, or experience to be considered highly proficient and knowledgeable in your field or industry. Be prepared to document these credentials to attorneys and judges in the form of a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume. The exact credentials that you will need to become a court expert witness can vary widely depending on your industry. If you believe that you meet the criteria to become a court expert witness, you can market yourself online through a website or online directories or by contacting attorneys directly and offering your services.

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The criteria to become a court expert witness vary by jurisdiction, but typically require you to establish that you are a bona fide expert in the area to which you will be advising attorneys or testifying in court. In some fields, such as law, mental health, or medicine, this may require you to hold an advanced degree, be published in your field, and have many years of full-time work experience. In other cases, you may simply need to show that you have the education or training typically required of someone in your industry as well as relevant work experience. For example, if you are a real estate agent, you may be able to become a court expert witness on the basis of having completed a training program and then having many years of experience as a real estate agent. Holding professional certification or licensing in your area of expertise can also help you become a court expert witness.

If you approach an attorney to offer your services, be prepared to demonstrate that you are indeed qualified to become a court expert witness. It is not unusual for lawyers on the opposite side of a case to question whether an expert witness actually qualifies as such. You can prevent being disqualified by being able to document your education, training, and experience quickly and easily. Have copies of your diplomas and transcripts available for inspection. You should also be able to provide attorneys and judges with lists of your publications, your job history, and evidence of holding any specialized credentials, such as certifications and licenses.

Individuals who train and market the services of expert witnesses generally recommend using several methods for marketing your services. Contact attorneys who often handle cases in your area of expertise and provide them with your resume or CV. Consider joining expert witness directory services as well so that attorneys who are seeking witnesses are more likely to find you and can review your credentials quickly and easily.

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