Based in Miami, Florida, Dr. Joel Feigenheimer established RealEats.org in 2009, and continues to drive operations at the sustainable foods website. Through RealEats.org, Dr. Joel Feigenheimer provides individuals and organizations with a depth of resources, ranging from comprehensive lists of sustainable food vendors to hospitality industry expert witness services.
In most cases, a courtroom prohibits testimony from a witness that is based on the individual’s opinions or personal analysis. However, a professional with expertise in a specific field or industry may be permitted to provide scientifically sound testimony while functioning as an expert witness.
When it comes to hiring an expert witness for the hospitality industry, organizations should begin by vetting a potential expert witness by inquiring about their formal education, training in the field, and professional experience. With that said, an expert witness is particularly valuable when he or she can develop a compelling case through truly comprehensive industry knowledge. In many cases, a restaurant professional may have experience in one or two segments of the industry, such as customer relations and vendor negotiations, but lack knowledge regarding other important segments like employee relations. Similarly, expert witnesses must be hired with the understanding that the hospitality and food marketplaces change every day, rendering past experiences far less valuable than ongoing industry work.
Finally, restaurants should consider how frequently, and in what capacity, an individual has performed as an expert witness. For example, is the individual’s experience limited to testimony regarding vendor disputes? Or have they testified on subjects as diverse as operator liability and landlord-tenant conflicts? To learn more about the traits of a quality expert witness in the hospitality industry, please visit www.realets.org.