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Expert Witness

Top 4 Things Jurors Look For In Psychiatry Expert Witness

You may think you have just retained the perfect psychiatry expert witness.

Credentials, check.

Experience as an psychiatric expert, check.

But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what you think of your psych expert witness. It’s the jurors’ opinions that really matter.

Here are the top 4 things that jurors consider, consciously or unconsciously, when sizing up your psychiatry expert.

  1. Hands-On Experience: Jurors find experts who have hands-on experience with the subject matter more credible than those who do not. For example, a psychiatry expert witness who has met with and examined a plaintiff is going to appear more credible than a psychiatrist expert who has only reviewed medical records.
  2. Good teaching skills: Experts who can clearly and simply explain complex ideas in a courtroom can strongly influence jurors. You may have the world’s leading expert on a rare heart condition, but if that expert cannot discuss that condition in clear terms then the jury may get lost and ultimately find the expert less credible.
  3. Personality: Arrogance, condescension, and pomp will not win anyone over. Regardless of their resume, academic posts, or career track record, a successful expert will remain calm and polite regardless of what happens in the courtroom. Experts who are personable and friendly can make up for other shortcomings in the eyes of the jury.
  4. Impartiality: Jurors can see through experts who are unreasonably biased towards their retaining party. If an expert is seen as unreasonably steadfast or unwilling to agree to anything unfavorable to their side, then they can lose their credibility. Jurors respect experts who “call it like they see it” regardless of whether their testimony is favorable or unfavorable to their side.

What do all 4 of these factors have in common? They all speak to the psychiatry expert’s credibility. At the end of the day, there are countless factors that affect the jury’s perception of your expert’s credibility. If you keep the above 4 things in mind when selecting your next psychiatric expert, you will be one step ahead of opposing counsel!

We have numerous board certified psychiatric experts available for Expert Witness Engagements, Independent Medical Evaluator (IME), Qualified Medical Evaluator, Agreed Medical Evaluator (AME), and medical records review.  You can request a psychiatry expert witness online or call us at 888-963-8933.

Dr. Gabor Vari is a UCLA trained board certified psychiatrist in private practice in Los Angeles, California. He provides psychotherapy and medication management for a broad variety of mental health issues. He graduated from the UCLA Semel Institute of Psychiatry where he was Chief Resident of the Bipolar Disorders Clinic. Prior to coming west for residency, Dr. Vari attended two Ivy League universities. Dr. Gabor Vari graduated with honors from Brown University as an Undergraduate and then attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Gabor Vari received the Strecker Award at the University of Pennsylvania which is awarded annually to the most outstanding student entering the field of psychiatry.

Dr. Gabor Vari is co-founder and CEO of California Medical Evaluators.