Your Expert Might Not Be
A Good Fit For Your Venue

While most experts you select will never testify at trial, it is distinctly inadvisable to proceed on that assumption and it is always wise to consider the venue in which your expert would testify. Rather than bury yourself in demographic minutiae, consider more predominant or defining characteristics of the venue. Is it highly educated? Is it largely uneducated? Is it a diverse area? Is it predominantly Hispanic?

Trying a case in the Southern District of New York or the Northern District of California will be much different than the Eastern District of Texas. These venues are not only different educationally but racially and politically, as well. Depending on your case, these differences can affect how well your expert may be received. The ability to teach becomes even more important in less educated venues. Additionally, jury pools in the Southern District of New York may be more accustomed to diversity and thereby more tolerant of, all else being equal, an expert from a different ethnic, national origin or racial background, particularly if they have an accent.

However, a potential disconnect between an expert and a venue should never in and of itself preclude the use of a particularly well-qualified expert. With careful planning, you can salvage an expert who may face a potential difficulty in the venue. When a qualified expert has limited teaching experience and you have a case in an area where few in the jury pool have college educations, plan to have the expert work with a witness preparation consultant before trial, or preferably before you submit their report, to maximize their effective use of teaching tools.

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