Choosing the right counsel for your court case can be a difficult decision to make, and it involves careful deliberation to make sure you have the right assistance by your side. Your case may involve toxins, poisons, narcotics, or other chemical substances that complicate court proceedings, and you may want to bring in additional professionals, such as a toxicology co-counsel, to lend their voices to the case.
Understand Legal Counsel & Co-Counsel
The term counsel refers to the person representing you and your case, most commonly referring to a lawyer. A co-counsel aids that person, sharing some of the responsibility of representing you. A co-counsel could be someone involved in the law profession, or they could be a professional who is trained in a different subject area who can weigh in on a particular matter that comes up in your case.
Your co-counsel may not necessarily have to be involved in law in order to provide sound advice. Their particular knowledge and experience could also even enable them to testify as expert witnesses.
Usually, your lead counsel is the lawyer assigned to your case by your law firm. Some firms work with predetermined co-counselors – lawyers or experts with whom they have a good working relationship and a reliable track record. However, depending on your case, you may be able to select co-counsel from a range of independent experts and legal contractors.
How A Toxicology Co-Counsel Can Help
Toxicologists are trained in the scientific and medical aspects of substance use, and can provide knowledge and guidance in the case, especially if other attorneys involved are not familiar with providing toxicology counsel.
They also will be able to break down the complex scientific components into a format that the members of the court, especially common citizens who serve on juries, can easily digest. Deciding to forgo hiring toxicology co-counsel when your case necessitates such expertise could mean that those who decide your case may lack some specific knowledge that your lawyers do not even know they need to convey. This could make your situation needlessly more complicated. A toxicology expert witness or co-counselor may have the formal training or experience to advise you in both the legal and scientific aspects of the case, allowing them to holistically advise you.
Choosing Your Counsel & Co-Counsel
Your lawyer should be an expert in the area of law that pertains to your case.
If you are having a dispute with your neighbor regarding property boundaries, you would need to find a real estate lawyer who has in-depth knowledge of property law. The same goes for co-counsel, who play an important role in bolstering the strength of your case. Other members of your legal team may realize that they have gaps in their abilities that a co-counsel could help fill. If they decide that your case could benefit from an outside expert, they may help organize the process of selecting and screening potential co-counselors.
Identifying The Ideal Toxicology Co-Counsel
Forensic toxicology is a diverse field, and toxicologists have specialties that may lend their skills more strongly to some areas of toxicology than others. If your case requires a toxicology co-counsel, find someone who has expertise that relates directly to your case. Figure out the discrete biological elements of your case and begin your search for someone who has counseled or testified in cases that resemble yours.
Here are a few questions you should consider when deciding on a candidate:
- What are their qualifications?
- What is the extent of their experience as toxicology co-counsel? Have they been able to meaningfully help their clients who have cases that look like yours?
- Do they have a background in both law and toxicology, or just toxicology? This may not make or break your decision to select someone, but keep this in mind, nonetheless.
- Do they have experience in the specific area of toxicology involved in your case?
Contact An Expert Today
Okorie Okorocha offers toxicology expertise that you may find lacking on your team. With his double-edged abilities in law and toxicology, Okorie is a trained and long-serving professional who can fortify your legal counseling in both regards. Contact Okorie Okorocha today at (424) 363-3347 if you would like to learn more about how he can help you.