Major litigation involving bio-economy-related matters is very often complicated and, depending on the damages claimed, the use of both consulting experts and expert witnesses is common. Attorneys are well aware that the experts they hire will have the duty to explain and offer opinions about very technical issues involving liability and damages. A consulting expert is hired by a party to provide advice and assistance in a legal matter, typically to provide an opinion on a particular issue or to provide advice on how to proceed with a case. The consulting expert is not required to testify in court and thus, will not be subject to cross-examination, and as a member of the legal team, the communications of these consulting experts are normally covered by attorney-client privilege and work product rules. These consulting experts often help shape the strategy of the case and assist counsel in determining what may or may not be important and why, and thus are invaluable in assisting attorneys with a clear understanding of technical issues. They are also very good as a liaison to the experts hired as formal “expert witnesses” who will render opinions in court and at depositions.
An expert witness is a person who is hired by a party to provide an unbiased opinion on a matter of fact or law that is relevant to the case. The expert witness is typically a professional in a particular field, who has specialized knowledge and experience in the subject matter of the case. The expert witness is often called upon to provide testimony in court or depositions, and/or to provide a written report to the court. The expert witness will often be the judge or jury’s frame of reference to the subject matter in dispute. While they are hired by one party, the expert witnesses are expected to provide an independent opinion based on their expertise. These expert witnesses are typically identified through the discovery process where each party in the lawsuit is required to disclose information that is relevant to the case. The opposing party will use the discovery process to request additional information from the expert witness, such as their qualifications, opinions, and any reports they have prepared. Unlike the consulting expert, the expert witness’ communications may very well be seen by all parties and the court, so it is important that these experts clearly define their roles and responsibilities with the attorneys hiring them.
For more than 25 years, Lee Enterprises Consulting has been at the forefront of the bioeconomy. Most of our working experts are available to serve as expert witnesses or consulting experts in the many areas of bioenergy and biofuels, bio-based materials & chemicals, biotechnologies, and feedstocks. Our highly differentiated market position centers around our deep subject matter expertise in very specialized areas. We help clients minimize technical and economic risk by leveraging best practices in our industries, and we have a long track record of providing insightful analysis and practical advice. Our reputation is unparalleled because we provide a simpliﬁed process, with a single point of contact to a diverse international network of proven experts in biofuels, biomaterials, feedstocks, alternative proteins, and existing & emerging technologies. Providing access to over 150 world-renowned bioeconomy experts allows us to create tailored solutions to meet each project’s individual needs. Please take a look at our experts and the services we provide. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for further information.