A financial expert witness might not be on the list of every scenario. There are times when they’re simply not needed. Following those rare instances are times when they are desperately needed but institutions fail to hire them and pay dearly for the consequences. Banks are heavily regulated institutions and should they fail to adhere to standards, they face closure and a host of financial catastrophes. Agencies oversee almost everything banks see, and it’s not just professional agencies, but government agencies as well who need to make sure that banks follow the rules. If a bank is accused of failing to adhere to standards, drastic measures could be taken to bring things under control.
Financial experts also testify in court on behalf of these institutions or individuals who need them. Many people are interested in a career as a witness because they believe passionately in the financial industry and everything that’s attached to it. Without these witnesses, many good institutions might face dire consequences, and many bad institutions might go unrecognized in the system.
Before hiring a financial witness, make sure you ask yourself good, solid questions. Hiring one of these experts can cost a substantial amount of money and take a huge amount of time for the lawyers in your case to get things together. It’s vital that you go through a rigid routine of hiring the witness for yourself or for your institution. Not every expert makes a good financial witness. Some have never had any experience in a courtroom (not that everyone doesn’t have to begin somewhere, but if it’s an advanced financial case, you’re going to want experience).
Experience is just one quality that makes for a good financial witness. You also need someone who is highly educated in their area of expertise. Someone with an advanced degree will almost always be preferable to someone with a basic degree because they will know more about the financial situation at hand and more about the specifics of the area of finance. Also look not just at their education but at the fields they’ve actually worked in. There are accountants who might work primarily with individual taxes, not business taxes. If you’re a bank facing some kind of oversight from regulatory bodies, you don’t want to hire an expert who is very good at individual people’s taxes but has never seen the taxes of a business.
Who you hire will ultimately come down to who your lawyer thinks will make a good expert witness. And some lawyers can mess up mightily here as well. Hiring the wrong financial expert can prove disastrous to any type of case because if the expert doesn’t even have a good, solid foundation in why you’re in the right, few jurors or judges are going to believe in your case either. Before rushing off to hire an expert, make sure that they’re experienced, knowledgeable about your specific industry, and make a good impression through their speech. If you do these things, an expert is a great person to bring on your case.