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Archived updates for Thursday, March 02, 2006

An Expert on Choosing Patent Experts

In "Are Lawyers Picking the Wrong Experts?," Aris K. Silzars, an expert and consultant in display technology admits that "What makes a good expert is good pedigree." But it must be in the right field.

He recalls one case where the opposing side retained an expert who was an eminent professor at a major university, and widely regarded as an expert in computer design, not displays Silzars helped his attorneys prepare to question the expert at his deposition about the fundamental workings of LCD panels. The expert stumbled, Silzars says. "Here was a guy who, in his own field, was one of the preeminent lights, but he was out of his element."

Among other things, an expert must also have the ability to reduce complex concepts to normal language. As Silzars explains it, "An expert needs to be able to convey and clarify ideas so that judges, attorneys and jurors can all say, 'OK, now I get it.'"

In fact, he encourages his clients to make him an active participant in a case and believes that he is most useful for patent litigation when he spends time reviewing prior art, helping to prepare positions and strategy, and attending depositions of other experts. "I encourage my clients to have me sit in on depositions. It is amazing how much honesty that brings to the process. I can be helpful to my clients in critical times."
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