Amazing Expertise in Expert Witness Group
For many years, I have been a member of two “expert witness” groups. Participants are all experts in their fields and are called upon by attorneys to help in litigations. Membership in one of my groups is made up of only real estate experts. Last night, I attended the monthly meeting of the other — the San Francisco Chapter of FEWA, Forensic Expert Witness Association.
The purpose of FEWA, and the meetings, is to share knowledge and information, as well as network. I continuously receive valuable tidbits. The most interesting aspect, however, is the fascinating individuals in the group. There are experts in marketing, arson investigation, workplace violence and security, sound engineering, patent law, use of commercial flooring materials, analysis of what people are trying to hide, change or delete from computer documents, metallurgical and nuclear engineering, travel and tourism, civil and soils engineering, voice analysis, blood spatter interpretation, lasers and optical systems, medical malpractice, and, of course, residential and commercial real estate and appraisal. The list goes on and on.
My favorite thing about the meetings is that, considering the wealth of knowledge and expertise in the room, there are no big egos and all are anxious to share their experiences. Some of the stories are really funny.
A member with an arcane specialty told about one of his depositions. After several hours, the opposing attorney, thinking to strengthen his position, said, “I have been following a suggested list of questions from one of the top experts in the field,” mentioning the name of the author. The attorney then looked up and said, “Oh, that’s you, isn’t it?” It is humorous in the relating, but was a serious mistake on the part of that attorney. He undermined his case by increasing the credibility of the expert for the other side.