Years ago I recommended to a client that we hire a construction defect expert in a case. The client, a thrifty fellow, responded, “But I thought you were the construction expert. Why do I need to hire another expert? A fair question and one that caught me flat footed.
Whether I’m an “expert” or not can be debated, but I explained to the client that while I was an attorney whose practice focused on construction law, I was not someone who he would want to take the stand and testify about the engineering design and seismic stability of pilings. For that, he needed an expert.
In construction litigation it’s not uncommon for parties and their attorneys to hire “experts.” There are even special rules set forth in the California Code of Civil Procedure for disclosing, supplementing and deposing experts, which basically provide as follows:
1. Demand for Exchange of Expert Information: After the court sets a trial date in a case, any party may demand that each party exchange information concerning the experts they intend to have testify at trial;