Piercings, Tattoos, & Expert Witnesses


You've found the leading expert in the field. He is an accomplished academic and the author of leading treatises. But he dyes his hair green, has an oversized gold loop dangling from one ear, and dresses more like Austin Powers than Perry Mason.

Do you hire him?

Stated more broadly: Should an expert's personal quirks or lifestyle choices ever be a factor in deciding whether to retain the expert?

The politically correct answer, of course, is no. However, that may not be the strategically correct answer for a lawyer who is preparing for trial.

As Boston trial lawyer David White responded when asked whether he takes into account an expert's quirks, "Like every legal question, the answer is, of course, it depends."

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