People act as expert witnesses for many reasons. For forensic practitioners, becoming an expert witness may be one of the chief reasons why they entered their sub-speciality whereas for others, it may be something which comes later. Being instructed to give an expert opinion means taking on responsibility: there will be tight deadlines, competing evidence to consider and the knowledge that you might end up having to give oral evidence. However, being consulted for your expert opinion is richly satisfying.
Of course, people do not become expert witnesses solely because of the work if thought-provoking and important, it offers the opportunity to earn additional income. So much of a doctor’s additional paid activity requires being present at hospital or in clinic, whereas the bulk of expert witness work may be done remotely and flexibility. For this reason, doing expert witness work is very attractive for doctors and other professionals who may have other duties and interests such as a young family, elderly relatives or a role in the community.