Becoming a land surveyor expert witness involves having a close relationship with clients as you assist them with their court cases. This can be difficult when clients aren’t familiar with the phases of land dispute. There are several techniques that can help you explain the processes and assist you in overcoming communication barriers. In this article, Tony Nettleman explains three qualities that an expert witness should have while working with clients.
Quality Number One: Have a deep knowledge of the industry.
Know your area of expertise, but broaden your scope. While knowing one area of the land surveying industry such as riparian ownership and use inside and out is helpful in some cases, broadening that by knowing boundary surveying, topography, retracements, and other topics can help you navigate each court case.
There are several ways to expand your knowledge. One of them includes brushing up on your reading. Land surveying techniques, improve and change but sometimes going old school is a way to stay knowledgeable. Brown’s Boundary Control and Legal Principals, the latest edition of Elementary Surveying, and Elements of Photogrammetry are all great resources to improve foundational understanding. Furthering your education is also an option. Nettleman Land Consultants offers a test prep course for the Fundamentals of Surveying exam, Principles and Practice of Surveying exam, Texas RPLS, Florida PSM, and California PLS as well as an opportunity to advance your skillset academically by obtaining your degree via Nettleman Institute of Land Surveying Engineering Technology.
Quality Number Two: Have the heart of a teacher.
Keep an open mind. You have to take the knowledge that you gained through hard work and dedication and be able to share it with your clients, during the dispute process and then, the jury, and the judge during a trial. Remember, they aren’t familiar with all the technical terms and aspects of surveying. So you will need to be clear and concise and teach during the process.
Quality Number Three: Clearly articulate your ideas.
This is both in written, survey reports and expert reports, and oral form, depositions and trial. You will need to not only have the knowledge but be able to process that knowledge and articulate it comprehensibly to others. If you enjoy what you do, it will show as you communicate.
If you are a good learner with an interest in furthering your knowledge of land surveying, enjoy sharing your passion for surveying with others, and are good at communicating about that passion, being a land surveyor witness might be the right career path for you.