Justin Stark, an Oregon construction lawyer, has a great blog that I just discovered. The design is minimalist (perhaps even stark?) and makes effective use of typography. But enough about that - he wrote a great post that succinctly explains the role of experts witnesses in construction defect cases. Here is an excerpt:
If construction design and contracting work was easy, we would all do it ourselves. Most of us, of course, do not have the knowledge and experience to build much more than a crooked doghouse, construction lawyers included (not in the doghouse, but . . . )
At trial in a construction defect case, expert testimony is often necessary to explain the standards of care expected of the designer or contractor and whether those standards of care were (or were not) met in a particular case. No one but a “qualified” expert may be allowed by the judge or arbitrator to testify on such matters.