Litigation creates headaches. Unfortunately, though, it remains part of the cost of doing business. For hotel owners, you may not know whether the litigation might come from a patron, an employee, a franchisee, or a business partner, but you know it will come. You work to prevent it through policies and contracts, but you can’t avoid it forever.
Once litigation does arrive, you will likely need a hotel expert witness. Your fact witnesses will come together to tell the story of what happened, but you need an expert to talk about industry standards and establish what should happen and why.
Because so many potential pitfalls exist, you need a hotel expert witness with a broad range of experience. Most obviously, this includes experience in the hotel industry. Some kinds of experience that may help establish expertise:
- prior ownership of a hotel
- management experience in hotels
- scholarly research into hotels
- consultancies with hotels or hotel associations
In addition, though, it helps to find someone with experience as a witness. Taking the stand and facing cross examination requires a calm and confidence, and the ability to ignore innuendo to describe with confidence what one knows matters a great deal. This develops over time, and can be a powerful benefit that you receive from an expert.
Still, knowing a little about many facets of the hotel industry would likely not be enough. You want an expert who can drill down and demonstrate deeper knowledge about these areas. This should usually include familiarity with research and policy guidelines, for your hotel and for the industry at large. If the expert has consulted with or for a trade group or individual hotels or chains, that may further demonstrate that level of expertise, especially if the areas of consultancy encompass the area of your litigation. Being able to speak at length about the issues around which your case revolves can make a huge difference.
When you need a hotel expert witness, many people might offer themselves as experts. Breadth and depth of experience are usually the keys to finding the right person.