What is the difference between an Expert Witness and an Expert Consultant? Not much, really. The former avails himself to the legal system and is willing to go on record in a court of law. The latter, though he may offer his particular knowledge in this arena, does not testify and is not subject to the more stringent laws of Evidence that are imposed upon Expert Witnesses.
Merriam-Webster defines a Consultant as, “one who gives professional advise or services: expert.” A Consultant must have a special kind of expertise that can be transferred in a relatively short time. For the purposes of a law suit, the Consultant is usually retained early in a case to determine if there is cause of action or a need for an Expert Witness. The Consultant’s greatest value is that his work is not subject to discovery. For this reason, many attorneys retain both a Consultant and an Expert Witness. They must, however, be isolated from each other so the Consultant’s advice is not compromised. A Consultant’s litigation support can be invaluable and worth the cost. He can aid in preparing complaints, note defenses to a cause of action, and help with deposing the opposition’s Expert Witness.
No matter what the field of special knowledge, it has been said that Consultants should spend three days a week on average doing actual consulting, one day a week on marketing, and one day acquiring new knowledge, so that they continue to update the value that they provide. Should Consultants market in the same venues that Expert Witnesses do? Absolutely. Since attorneys, businesses, the media etc. are savvy and know that they must do their due diligence, they mainly search for higher knowledge in Expert Witness Directories. This is the same place that Consultants should be found. If categorized and published properly, a Consultant’s Listing on an Expert Witness Directory can be an instrumental part of any online marketing budget. Examples of Consultant Listings.
In closing, perhaps the title of this blog should have been, “Expert Witness AND Expert Consultant,” as there is definitely a place for both in the law.