How Do I Become a Financial Expert Witness?

Geri Terzo

To become a financial expert witness, you need to have expertise, experience, and an ability to communicate an opinion clearly. Also, you should complete an education with a focus on economics or finance because your biography becomes important when competing against other financial experts. Some legal background or courtroom experience is helpful as you will be working with attorneys, plaintiffs, and defendants at length. You can market your skills as one service in a larger financial firm, or you can build a business on being a financial expert witness.

A financial expert witness must have a great deal of education and experience in the field.
A financial expert witness must have a great deal of education and experience in the field.

Marketing and communicating your skills as a financial expert witness will open doors of opportunity for testifying. To become a financial expert witness, you may need to begin slowly and may still hold onto your career before you can afford to testify full time. In the beginning, make sure that the financial terms of your services are agreed upon ahead of time. Also, ask if travel and lodging expenses will be paid if the location of the trial is in another city.

When you are attempting to become a financial expert witness, it helps to have a specialty to market to potential clients. If you are a banking expert, clients may call on you for your knowledge about banking policies and procedures, understanding of banking law in a region, and fairness during a bankruptcy, for instance. A securities expert can analyze trades in the financial markets, recognize if any investment rules were broken, and also determine what reasonable damages would be.

You will likely be called on to assess damages in legal disputes if you become a financial expert witness. You should be able to demonstrate a proven ability in market analysis, economics, and accounting. Even though having a specialty area of focus can be beneficial, at the same time, you should be versatile enough to provide different services, including providing damage assessment, so that another expert financial witness does not need to be introduced.

Experience will help you to become a financial expert witness. A proven and successful career in financial services will qualify you to take the stand in a courtroom and to testify in a litigation, arbitration, or mediation. Financial firms whose primary business is to provide expert witnesses rely heavily on touting the background of employees, and the more cases that a financial expert witness is called upon to serve in, the more impressive a resume becomes.

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