Expert witnesses are available to provide advice, in a brief way at no cost, or more specifically, to act as expert advisers.
This can be to look at the strengths, or weaknesses of a case, perhaps to help prepare a party’s claim, or defence. There may simply be technical areas which need clarification, or a requirement to liaise with another expert.
In case you are unfamiliar with the way expert witnesses work, there are differences between this type of assistance and preparing a report for the Court.
Where Duty Lies
If a dispute is proceeding to litigation and an expert witness report is ordered, the expert’s overriding duty is to the Court. They are required to provide impartial factual analysis and opinion.
In the case of advice, the expert owes a duty to the client, or legal representative who requests support. Instructions given on this basis are normally privileged, not discloseable to other parties.
Expert advice which the parties do not intend to rely upon in court is also likely to be confidential, although this can occasionally be a matter deserving legal advice.
An expert initially engaged to advise, could then become an expert witness in the case. Not common but far from unknown, under new instructions.
A Realistic Approach
Legal liability is not a matter for experts to discuss, or decide. They should however be professional and objective when giving advice, alongside being used as a sounding board, they have a duty to be open with clients.
Again a legal decision but in a few cases, there can be benefits in sharing expert advice, or parts of this. To eradicate misunderstanding, or perhaps reduce the scope of the litigation.
None of our team would ever do this themselves, any approach for advice is strictly confidential. We simply mention the possibility of advice being used in ways which may help to achieve sought after objectives.
The web can be a technically obscure field and as such, a hindrance to achieving a rational outcome in disputes. The best way to assist is to make sure all advice is accurate and easy to understand.
You will not be overwhelmed with unwanted data, or obscure detail on the way a website works. Our objective is to understand yours and match advice to the practical considerations involved in the case.
Court required expert evidence has a path to follow, which should still also bring clarity but advice should be there to allow decisions to be made.