An expert witness directory is a listing of expert witnesses along with their contact information, credentials, and area of expertise. These directories are used by attorneys and judges when they need to engage the services of an expert witness during legal proceedings. Depending on its publisher, an expert witness directory may list expert witnesses in specific fields, or it may be a generalist directory covering a variety of areas. Expert witness directories may also list consulting firms that operate an expert witness business alongside individual experts.
There are occasions in both criminal and civil cases in which lawyers, tribunals, or judges may need to rely on the services of an expert witness. An expert witness is someone with extensive knowledge and credentials such that their opinion can be entered as evidence in a court of law, though some expert witnesses may be hired by an attorney during case preparation. In some instances, their contributions may so tip the scales in favor of either side of a case that it ends up settled outside of court or dropped entirely. The difficulty, however, particularly in unusual or esoteric cases, is finding an appropriate expert witness. An expert witness directory can help lawyers and judges locate an expert witness who can assist with their case.
It used to be that expert witness directories were conventionally published as books. It now makes more sense for expert witness directory publishers to put their directories directly online. The format of expert witness directories varies from publisher to publisher. Some directories simply link directly to the website belonging to an expert witness or consulting firm, while others provide formatted entries that list pertinent data about the expert witness. In some cases, anyone can access the expert witness directory, while other directories may limit access to those who can demonstrate a professional need for its information or work completed in inquiry form.
Anyone who wishes to serve as an expert witness can typically apply for inclusion in an expert witness directory. There may be a fee for getting a listing in the directory, and some directory publishers may require that an applicant demonstrate her credentials and expertise before being included in the publication. Once listed in an expert witness directory, those who wish to operate an expert witness business can expect to hear from lawyers and other legal professionals interested in retaining their services and can negotiate fees and other particulars on their own.