For the past few years, I have been engaged as an expert witness on a series of cannabis litigation matters here in Oregon. My partner Hilary Bricken also has handled a spate of them in California during the same period. The way litigants use experts varies across jurisdictions due to local rules of evidence and other factors, but in any jurisdiction, compelling expert testimony can make or break a case. In this post, I will explain why.

Expert Witnesses Are Authoritative

The term “expert” is short for “subject matter expert” in the context of witness services. Generally speaking, an expert: 1) will have published extensively in their field over a long period of time, 2) will have practical experience relevant to the subject matter at hand, and 3) will have experience in court (or arbitration) cases that are similar to the instant dispute. The more experience an expert has, through some combination of practical experience, scholarship and trial experience, the more authoritative the expert will appear.

When it comes to cannabis litigation, I’ve worked on both state and federal court cases on everything from attorney malpractice allegations, to administrative rules and policy, to industry practices and market dynamics. I was

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