Expert Witness Background Checks: Methods and Sources


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There are two types of expert witnesses: the testifying expert and the consulting expert. Hetherington outlines the method and resources to use when researching and verifying the background of these experts and their credentials.

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  • Instructor’s Notes: Introduce the instructor and discuss your qualifications to teach this material.
  • Instructor’s Notes:Ask the class who has Facebook, then ask them who has Linkedin. You will see the numbers are higher for Facebook, however both sites are important for investigators. Next take them to Linkedin and have them look up a name. They should see how open the profile is compared to Facebook. Again, tell them that they have to have an account to see other profiles.To protect them from being exposed as they view other peoples’ accounts, they need to choose “Select what others see when you've viewed their profile” which is found under the Settings button.State the following:More often called the professional network, instead of the social network, it is definitely targeting and indexing business relationships, association members, corporate and educational alumni. This service is half private and half public. Initially you can search by name of person, but you will not get far without registering with the service. The amount of information you want to share is up to you, but the price to see other profiles is to participate. Once there, you can search by name of person, company, school and association. The public profile, which you have access to without aligning yourself to that person, can be quite in-depth. If they have written anything about themselves, their professional career path, where they attended school, what associations they are involved in, that will be available for viewing. An interesting sideline is the sidebar on your person’s page “Viewers of this profile also viewed...” as this shows the names of the other people who were searched on, as well your target person. There are always alternative uses for many of the fee and free services. I have found that spending some time really trying these resources out, analyzing the resulting data and comparing it with other sources open up other uses for services like this. Through exploration, reading the tutorial pages, and trying out several searches I was able to come up with these great Connect the Dots application, which has proven itself an asset to my cases every time.
  • Instructor’s Notes:Participants should go to Facebook and try to look up a random name. Experience how much is actually available. Also remind the participants that if they do not have an account with Facebook they will not be able to investigate with Facebook. Also, if you look at someone’s Facebook account, they will NOT be alerted. Facebook’s policy is to preserve the privacy of the viewer, not the viewed. Searching is done in the center of the page at the top. Run a name, then choose “People” from the menu on the left of the next page to retrieve just personal profiles. From here you will be offered filters for education, employment and location to help narrow down the choices to your target.
  • Instructor’s Notes:Have the class go to Twitter and search for a random topic or username. You do not need to have an account to search Twitter.State the following:Twitter.comIn 144 characters you can blast your thoughts, opinions and ideas, or absolute nonsense to the world via Although many are quick to discredit the value of Twitter for investigative uses, the truth is that this service is probably one of the best resources to arrive since Google. When an accident occurs, pandemonium erupts (workplace and school violence), someone decides it is a good time to complain about their job, their boss, their spouse, they may do this openly on Twitter. Those tweets are archived and searchable. You can search directly in Twitter via What’s key is that the content is real time, so are the search results. You can potentially find information posted within seconds.
  • Instructor’s Notes:Have the class try a search in Let them know this is one of the more popular resources for social network searches.State the following:PiplPipl is a free people search engine. Results are returned from people search sites (providing address, phone and age information) and social networking sites.
  • Instructor’s Notes:Remind the Participants to keep up with the latest, they should subscribe to Internet and Online Intelligence Newsletter. Also, they can contact me by email if they have any questions.Cynthia Hetherington Hetherington Groupch@hetheringtongroup.com973-706-7525Keep up with newsletter!
  • Expert Witness Background Checks: Methods and Sources

    1. 1. Expert Witness Background Checks: Methods and Sources
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    15. 15. • Icerocket • Bing’s Social Search • Whostalkin • SocialMention • Addictomatic • Searching People • Google • Bing • 123People • Yasni • Yatedo • Pipl • Foupas Searching Content
    16. 16. Linkedin Facebook Twitter
    17. 17. The Advanced Search is very robust allowing you to filter by country, industry, school, and other factors. After conducting your search if you have multiple entries, you can narrow down from the filter list on the left. There is a generic search box in the Upper right hand corner that allows you to look for people or companies, etc.
    18. 18. You must type PEOPLE NAMED then the name then click the magnifying glass after. PEOPLE NAMED Cynthia Hetherington Search Filters on the right side allow you to narrow by people. After narrowing by People you can filter your search by Location, Education or Workplace
    19. 19. Go to Advanced Searching allows you to filter by sentiment and location
    20. 20. # topic @person
    21. 21. Thank you! Cynthiahetherington HetheringtonGroup @HetheringtonGrp Cynthia Hetherington i-Sight Software i-Sight Software @isightsoftware