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Finding Niche Expert Witnesses: Where to Turn?

Carolyn Casey, J.D.

Written by
— Updated on February 17, 2021

Finding Niche Expert Witnesses: Where to Turn?

Occasionally, a unique case comes along that requires niche expertise. In these instances, most lawyers will immediately turn to their go-to roster of experts and quickly realize no one has exactly the qualifications needed to opine on the issues at hand. There are so many subspecialties in medicine, engineering, technology, and other industries that finding the right micro-niche expertise is no easy task for busy lawyers.

Then there are those cases bordering on the bizarre where highly unusual issues and circumstances call for out-of-the-ordinary or esoteric expertise. For example, lawyers have had to find experts to testify on human bite-mark wounds. As animals become like members of the family, some lawsuits require experts in the effects of a lost animal companion.

It hardly makes sense to spend time finding and vetting expert witnesses for niche areas like these. Most lawyers or paralegals wouldn’t know where to start or how to evaluate the qualifications of an expert candidate.

Of course, sinking time into countless online keyword searches is one place to start. There are many online expert witness directories that maintain thousands of listings. But even with closely-tailored search terms, looking for an expert in a directory can mean reading through hundreds of tangentially-related CVs. Sure, you could get lucky and find an expert with decent credentials who could discuss some of the relevant topics. But in the more likely case that you come up empty, where should you turn to guarantee you get the expert you need?

The Advantages of Using a Referral Service

With looming critical deadlines, lawyers who are already stretched thin know the quickest and most effective strategy for finding niche expertise is consulting an expert referral service.

Expert witness referral services alleviate the burden of finding experts, as they are professionals trained in connecting attorneys with experts who are custom-selected to meet a given set of specifications. When you’re looking for an experienced expert in a narrow or esoteric field, an expert witness referral service is virtually the only solution that won’t cannibalize your firm’s time and resources with a drawn-out search.

Expert Institute is extraordinarily equipped to find any kind of niche expertise a lawsuit may demand. Not only do we conduct custom outreach to actively-practicing professionals who match the needs of your case (no matter how specific), we also provide you candidates for review in just 3-5 days. What better way to save your firm time and resources?

1) Nothing is Too Unusual

Every day, unusual lawsuits are filed where something out of the ordinary needs to be explained to a jury.

Take the recent action against a zoo under the endangered Species Act, for instance. Zoo-goers claimed unlawful capture and treatment of an Asian elephant. There, the plaintiff and defendant veterinary and captive elephant behavior experts went back and forth on the indications of an Asian elephant swaying near the barn door at feeding time. The defendant was successful in excluding part of the captive elephant expert testimony as unreliable. This underscores the importance of rigorous evaluations of “fringe” niche experts in the animal field and beyond.

While a lawyer eager to get on with a case may get frustrated looking for obscure expertise, no niche or oddball request will surprise the Expert Institute – we have seen just about everything over the years. We have connected clients with experts in koi fish farming, charity event management, space heater design, and many more unusual specialty areas.

No matter what the fact pattern of your case is, we have the resources to find that one-in-a-million expert witness.

2) Reach & Resources

When it comes to referral services, there are a few reasons why the Expert Institute is continually ranked #1 nationally – one of them is our reach. Over the years, we have developed relationships with the premier hospitals, universities, and research centers across the country to grow our expert network. We currently have an active network of more than 3 million experts across practice areas and industries, both nationally and internationally. The enormous resources at our disposal make us uniquely qualified to perform even the most esoteric expert searches under tight deadlines.

Rather than inefficiently wading through online searches and sinking lost time, lawyers in more than 4,000 firms — from solo practitioners to AmLaw100 firms — leverage our resources to find unusual, precise expertise.

3) Custom Expert Recruiting

Even though we have an expansive network that’s 3-million strong, at Expert Institute, we custom-recruit expert witnesses for every single case. This means that in addition to pulling from our network, our research team conducts outreach to actively-practicing professionals outside of our network who match all your requirements.

Expert Institute has an extensive case intake process designed to target our search according to your preferences for an expert’s specialty area, work experience, litigation history, fee range, certifications, location, publications, and more.

As our research team goes to work, they speak with a range of potential experts. Each conversation leads to a richer understanding of what sub-specialties and niche experts might work best in the case at hand. We may even come up with a few associated expertise recommendations that you never considered.

Need a Niche Expert Witness?

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