|Selecting an Expert Witness Securities / Investments|
How to Select a Securities Expert Witness
What are the most important factors?
Credentials – Strong credentials are an important starting point in selecting a securities expert witness. Your expert needs a strong educational background, extensive industry experience, relevant licensing, professional accreditation, and ongoing industry involvement. In the investments business, the highest professional designation available to an investment manager is the CFA charter. The examination process is rigorous, generally spanning 3+ years, the body of knowledge is broad and extensive, and there is a securities industry work experience requirement of four years or more.
Credibility – The value of a securities expert witness is partially related to the number of years experience they have in the securities industry. Potential experts should also be evaluated based on their roles within the industry, career accomplishments, and their industry achievements.
Creativity – You need an expert who adds value to your case. This require an expert who is capable of utilizing unique, creative approaches in addition to the routine approaches. Look for an expert whose analysis and understanding go beyond the standard "by the book" approaches.
Communication – Good analysis is useless without strong communication skills. A truly valuable expert must be able to effectively communicate clearly and effectively to the attorneys, jurors and judge. The communication of complex financial and regulatory information in simple, straight-forward ways is an invaluable skill.
Case Experience – Look for an expert who has a substantial body of securities case experience. Knowing the industry is much different from being experienced at evaluating case materials, understanding how to work effectively and efficiently with an attorney, and testifying. This last piece, testimony experiece, is key. You will want someone who is experienced, comfortable, and confident during testimony. All the knowledge in the world will not make up for poor testimony skills. Finally, it will be important to identify whether the expert has trial or arbitration experience, depending on the needs of your case.
The best way to evaluate all of the above factors is to talk with the experts you are considering. You can learn a great deal in a short period of time.
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