Should You Bring An Expert Witness to a Mediation?
In many litigation matters, experts will be needed to prove up your client’s case. For example, in a business divorce, an economist or certified public accountant may be needed to prove up the economics involved in attempting to secure an equitable division of assets. In real estate litigation involving a boundary dispute, a survey expert will inevitably be required to prove up the boundary lines between your client’s property and the neighboring property, and an appraiser may be needed to quantify the value of the remaining land.
After the pleadings are closed and discovery has occurred, you are ready to set the case for trial but, first, you will be referred to mediation. It may be very productive to bring your expert to mediation so that the opposing party will hear your client’s position, firsthand and vice versa.
Mediation participants are not often swayed by the arguments of opposing counsel, but when they hear the opinions espoused by designated “experts” they may listen a little more carefully. Of course, the downside is the possibility of giving away too much information before trial that may not have been discovered by the other side, and there is a cost element of bringing your expert. However, if your client’s best interests would be served by settling the case, it may make perfect sense to think outside the box and bring your expert to the mediation.