Over the years we have guided a wide variety of cases ranging from murder trials where social media played a key role to generating social media insights and expert witness testimony for $250M+ civil disputes, and this post touches on some of the most common questions we get related to social media expert witnesses.
What is a social media expert witness?
Similar to a brain surgeon that has spent their career studying the inner workings of the human brain on the most granular level, a social media expert witness is someone who not only understands social networks on the surface but also how they operate behind the scenes then can apply that knowledge to legal cases. It takes a unique ability to bridge the gap between social media and law.
Why do you need a social media expert witness?
The legal space has historically been slow to adapt to new technologies and that’s especially prevalent when it comes to social media, which creates roadblocks for law firms when it comes to presenting their cases at trial. The best social media expert witness will be able to take something complex then transform it into what the jury/judge and others can understand and relate to, which is critical.
What do social media expert witnesses cost?
The cost of social media expert witnesses is highly dependent on the case at hand, especially when it comes to the work involved. For example, we may spend months analyzing social media behaviors for a big case with a lot at stake whereas for smaller cases where things are very cut and dry (e.g. a PI case where a global company’s 18-wheeler rear ends a car and there’s social media evidence showing such). Additionally, the costs are dependent on the stage of the case: Initial review, trial prep and expert witness testimony if it actually goes to trial.
Is a social media expert witness worth it?
Even though the most savvy law firms have already warmed up to social media, many others (or old school partners within firms) are still skeptical and the question often comes up as to whether it’s worth hiring a social media expert witness for upcoming trials. And nowadays since social media ties into all aspects of everyday life, you want someone on your side that can discover the unknown and also testify to it.
Have questions about an upcoming trial and want to brainstorm? Let’s connect.