What Is An Expert Witness?


There are two types of witnesses in litigation cases, expert witnesses and fact witnesses. Expert witnesses are different from fact witnesses as they are not called to testify in court because of their prior involvement.  Expert witnesses testify because they have particular knowledge, skill set, experience, training, or education that is meaningful to the party attempting to prove its side in the case. An expert witness voluntarily testifies when agreed upon by one of the parties in litigation.


The biggest difference between fact witnesses and expert witnesses is that a fact witness’s testimony is limited to facts whereas expert witnesses can provide their expert opinion on the topic.


What Does It Take To Become An Expert Witness? 


There are many qualifications an individual must have in order to qualify as an expert witness. While there’s no single credential that universally qualifies someone as an expert witness there are many factors, such as knowledge, education, skillset, training, experience, and more.


Work experience is a crucial indicator for whether or not someone is qualified to testify as an expert witness in court. For example, if an attorney is looking for someone knowledgeable in property damage to prove their clients’ case, an expert witness might be someone who has worked as a public adjuster providing litigation and appraisal service experience in the past.


For attorneys,  experts are also evaluated on their skill as a witness, including their ability to use good judgment in analyzing facts and clearly expressing that material in Court. Oftentimes it’s important for an expert witness to discuss esoteric material in a way that can be understood by those who do not have expertise in their field. Additionally, an expert witness should be able to handle cross-examination from the opposing counsel.


What Does An Expert Witness Do?


Expert witnesses are usually asked to review extensive materials relevant to the case. Oftentimes meetings are held with counsel to discuss potential interrogation and cross-examination. Additionally demonstrating tests and research may need to be performed by the expert along with exhibits that may be used at trial.


Expert witnesses are asked to provide a report which outlines the expert witnesses’ testimony. During discovery, an opposing counsel will take the deposition of the expert witness. During the deposition opposing counsel will ask the expert witness a series of questions, which that expert witness will have to answer under oath. The attorney of the party who involved the expert witness has the opportunity during the deposition to cross-examine the expert witness in order to clarify points or evoke pertinent information to their case.


During a trial, an expert witness will be asked to recite their qualifications, experience, or knowledge of a subject as an expert in their particular field. After reciting qualifications an expert witness will be asked to provide testimony, it’s at this time that the expert witness will provide facts or opinions to the court. In addition to providing testimony, an expert may consult with counsel or be asked to observe the trial to provide ongoing assistance to counsel.


Congratulations To Stephen Lippy For Qualifying As An Expert Witness!


At Florida’s Best Public Adjusters, we have the litigation and appraisal experience necessary for trial. In fact, our own Stephen Lippy has recently been qualified as an expert witness! Stephen Lippy qualified as an expert witness based on his 10 years of experience as one of the most respected and professional public adjusters in the state of Florida.


Stephen Lippy has investigated more than 30,000 claims. In the past 10 years, Stephen has adjusted, appraised, and acted as a litigation support consultant for more than 9,000 claims. Based on Stephen’s expansive knowledge of experience, skillset, professionalism, and ability, Mr. Stephen Lippy has been qualified by the Court system as an expert witness.


Congratulations to Stephen Lippy for the high honor of qualifying as an expert witness! We are extremely proud of Stephen as well as our entire team here at Florida’s Best Public Adjusters. If you’re an attorney who needs litigation and appraisal support, call Florida’s Best Public Adjusters today!