Qualifying An Expert Witness

Between 1975 and 2012, Dr. Charles Zebe owned and operated Mercerville, New Jersey’s Accurate Dental Group. During his time as a dentist, Charles Zebe, DMD, pre-qualified as an expert witness on several dental malpractice cases.

The purpose of calling an expert witness to the stand during a case is to introduce a trusted source of specialized information that is relevant to the trial. In order to maximize the efficacy of the expert witness, the lawyer who has chosen the individual will begin a line of questioning that will establish the witness’s background and credentials. This process is known as qualifying the witness. In the case of a medical doctor, for example, the lawyer would begin by questioning the witness on where he or she began their medical studies, what degree they have obtained and from which institutions, and further questions about their current profession. Should this line of questioning proceed smoothly, the lawyer ends by “proffering the witness” as an expert and beginning a more relevant line of questioning. The opposing side, in an act referred to as “voir dire,” can challenge the credibility of an expert witness. Should the challenge succeed for any reason, the witness will not be permitted to deliver opinion testimony to the court.