When I was asked to co-chair WIT’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, I immediately looked at it as an opportunity to drive home one core belief: representation matters. Today’s polarized society has placed a spotlight on the importance of diversity, particularly when it comes to positions of leadership and authority. Too often, we overlook the unique value that diversity brings—insightful perspectives from people of different backgrounds and experiences.
The value of diversity is no different in the expert witness space.
In litigation, the role of expert witnesses can be critical to a case. They can add or take away creditability from arguments and, along with counsel, represent the face of the client. With the ever-changing demographics of jury pools in major venues across the country, plaintiff and defense counsel alike would be wise to consider the positive impact of having the right expert witness representation on a case. Aside from academic qualifications and specific industry experience—which are essential to any expert witness’s creditability on a subject matter—a different viewpoint on a matter may offer unique insight that can more effectively persuade the triers-of-fact.
Expert witness diversity matters in a different sense, too. It validates that women and minorities—who have historically been underrepresented in all types of expert witness engagements—are equally skilled and qualified, and it acknowledges that, like jurors, expert witnesses come from all different backgrounds and races.