The Differences Between a Consulting Expert and a Testifying Expert

Consulting ExpertTestifying Expert
An expert who has been consulted, retained, or employed by a party in anticipation of litigation or in preparation for trial, but who is not expected to be called as a witness either for deposition or at a trial.An expert who may be called to testify as an expert witness either in deposition or at trial.
Assists attorneys to understand esoteric matters in a case and to develop an effective litigation strategy; may review anything that helps inform the consultant.Reviews and relies on those materials necessary to prepare an informed expert report and to testify. Testifying experts may also perform limited tasks similar to those conducted by a consulting expert.
Unlike a testifying expert, a consulting expert does not form an opinion, prepare a report, or testify. Since a consulting expert does not form an opinion, materials reviewed by a consulting expert are not subject to discovery.Unlike a consulting expert, a testifying expert cannot: assist with litigation strategy; conduct tests; or analyze harmful case facts or other negative materials an attorney does not want disclosed to the opposing party.