Attorney Lyle Warshauer Discusses Disproportionate Number of Male Expert Witnesses

Sep 1, 2017

The Expert Institute, an organization that works with law firms, investigators, and state courts to provide expert witnesses for cases, has recently concluded that a staggering 83% of expert witnesses retained are male. In addition to this large disparity in the hiring rate, it also concluded that female expert witnesses who were chosen to assist with a case, either acting in case review, depositions, or testimonies, received 40% less pay than a male counterpart with similar experience or credentials. What is going on to cause this misbalance in the world of expert witnesses? Atlanta personal injury Attorney Lyle Griffin Warshauer of Warshauer Woodward Atkins recently spoke to Bloomberg BNA to explore the possibilities.

Social Biasness Entering the Courtroom

As Ms. Lyle Warshauer discussed with Bloomberg BNA, most female expert witnesses are asked to provide depositions but never actually are called into court to give testimonies. She even mentioned not seeing a female expert witness sitting in the courtroom on behalf of the plaintiff or the defense in more than a decade’s time.

The problem may stem from the legal industry itself, which is predominantly male. It has been speculated that male attorneys subconsciously feel more comfortable working with male expert witnesses and decide to elect them for help with cases. It is also possible that attorneys feel that juries will be biased against the statements of a female expert witnesses and deliberately choose not to work with women.

The gender gap that exists outside of the courtroom and the legal scene might also play a significant role in the disparity between male and female expert witnesses. In particular, STEM fields – or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – are still heavily populated by men, despite the recent efforts to encourage young women to pursue careers in these industries. To this end, when looking for an expert witness to assist with a case, an attorney or law firm would statistically encounter more men from which to choose than women.

Pay Gap Requires More Explaining

Putting aside the fact that male attorneys might prefer male expert witnesses and that within certain fields there are more male expert witnesses than female, the pay gap issue still exists. In fact, it exists glaringly. It is estimated that the average pay gap between males and females in the United States is 20% across all fields. However, when it comes to expert witnesses, the pay gap is 60%. It truly does underline a pervasive double standard in the country when it comes to equal employment.

For more information about this issue, be sure to click here to read the full Bloomberg BNA article that featured Attorney Lyle Warshauer. If you require the assistance of Attorney Warshauer and the rest of our team of Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Warshauer Woodward Atkins, contact us for a free case review.