What is an Expert Witness?

What is an expert witness or a bank expert witness? An expert witness is any person whose opinion, by virtue of his expertise, training, qualification, skills, or experience, is taken by the court as a fact in respect of some subject on which the court is acting or having regard to the fact of some particular case.

Typical Positions

Usually an expert witness will be a barrister, a civil servant, accountant, lawyer or other professional person who is called upon by a court to give evidence in respect of the subject on which he is called upon. A witness is generally engaged by the parties to a suit to give evidence in respect of the subject on which they are acting, and in criminal cases it is usually a police officer. Expert witnesses are generally engaged in the study of any subject of which they are intimately familiar.

Typical Experience

A typical expert witness will have the following experience: the relevant area of expertise; substantial experience in the particular area; understanding of the particular facts and particulars on which the opinion is based upon; the capacity to apply their knowledge and expertise in respect of those matters within which they are required to give evidence. It is usual for a witness to be required to give evidence on matters relating to a dispute between two parties or between a number of parties.

Assisting Other Professionals

Expert witnesses assist lawyers to develop their case by presenting the relevant facts and other evidence in the context of that case in a way that the jury would understand and accept as correct and true. A fair-minded person could perhaps better understand the significance of what is an expert witness if he had first established the validity of the expert’s testimony. If a dispute arises out of a matter which is governed by a statute, the expert may act as the purveyor of that statute and as a prosecutor before the courts if his knowledge and expertise warrants that function.

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