A securities expert witness is a person qualified to testify in court about investments. Securities are investments that entitle the holder to receive payment and can include stocks, bonds, and many other types of financial instruments. To testify as an expert, a person must be qualified through his or her education, training, or some other experience about a particular subject matter. A securities expert witness has special knowledge about stock market investments, the practices of the securities industry, and securities regulations.
Due to the complexity of litigation involving security transactions, a lawyer may need the help of a securities expert witness. A lawyer may hire this type of expert to interpret investment reports, risk reports, or review the practices of companies that sell securities. A securities expert witness might also prepare exhibits for trial, calculate damages, or make other recommendations to the lawyer about the case.
Each party involved in a securities lawsuit will likely have a securities expert witness on the legal team. A law firm often hires an expert to advise through all stages of a lawsuit. Prior to filing a securities lawsuit, a securities expert can help a lawyer decide whether he should file the case. A lawyer and the expert may do this by listening to a client, reviewing the applicable law, and analyzing the documents that a client may have. If the client has a legitimate case, the lawyer and securities expert can design a complaint containing the appropriate claims against the opposing party.
After a lawyer files a lawsuit, a securities expert witness can help a lawyer during "discovery." Discovery is a process that allows each side in a lawsuit to get information from the opposing party. A securities expert witness can help by advising the attorney to request certain documents from the opposing side. The expert can testify at a deposition and also advise a lawyer on what type of questions to ask during depositions. A deposition is a discovery tool that allows a lawyer to question a witness under oath outside of court.
Lawsuits concerning securities are likely to be complex and may involve many documents and numerous witnesses. A securities case might be brought before a jury composed of individuals unfamiliar with the stock market industry. A lawyer will need to present evidence to the jury effectively. An experienced securities expert witness should be able to offer testimony in court in a manner that is interesting and easy to understand.