Deciding on Whether to Hire a Consulting or Testifying Steel Fabrication Expert

If you are confronting litigation involving steel, you may be considering hiring a steel fabrication expert.  However, there are generally two types of experts: consulting experts and testifying experts.  Consider the role that you want your steel fabrication expert to play before making this important decision.

Consulting Experts 

The primary function of a consulting expert is to research and support your litigation team.  A consulting expert should be a specialist and someone with particular industry knowledge.  A consulting expert may advise your litigation team during the process and raise points before and during trial.  He or she researches and analyzes issues involved in the case and can help support a legal argument or tactical strategy.  He or she can offer an opinion as to the opponent’s expert’s statements and analyze damages claims.  This work is completed in a confidential manner.  Unless his or her role changes to a testifying expert, consulting experts do not testify at court.  Consulting experts play a supportive role behind the scenes.

Testifying Experts 

When you hire a testifying expert, you know that you are preparing information that will ultimately be shared in court.  The testifying expert may draw up a report and then testify about its meaning at court.  Because the testifying expert must explain information such as how an accident occurred, how the steel did not meet industry standards or how damages arose, he or she must be able to communicate well to the trier of fact, such as a jury or arbitration panel.  Although you hire the expert, he or she must be able to objectively explain why your position is correct.

Deciding on experts to assist you with your case is an important decision.  Be sure that you vet your steel fabrication expert whether he or she will serve as a consultant or an expert witness.