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November 05, 2005



Experts of all kinds are hired to provide their expertise in trials, either before judges (bench trials) or before juries.

The fees paid to experts are always mentioned, as if they are being paid to give specific testimony. However, if an expert provides objective, understandable opinions that are balanced and believable, the fact of being paid is seldom an issue. After all, the experts for both sides are paid.

Regarding presentation skills, I have no basis to comment, other than, in my experience, juries tend to identify with experts who are "real", whatever that means, and who do not talk down to them. The collective wisdom of juries often amazes me.

Pro bono expertise would likely be questioned more intensively than than paid expertise. If you felt so intensely about a subject that you were willing to donate your time, your objectivity would likely be questioned.

Just a few more thoughts from someone who has been a "paid expert" on a number of occasions -- always, I hope as a real person who is able to deliver complex information in an understandable and objective manner.

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