In Citations and Your Credibility, construction site expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company writes:
Whether you have been an expert witness for years or are just starting out, accurate research, proper formatting of citations and clarity will make your written report accurate, impressive and, most of all, credible. As you gain more experience in utilizing proper techniques you will become more comfortable and confident.
One of the most common and repetitive mistakes I see when analyzing my counterparts’ expert reports is in the proper formatting of references and citations. In some instances, they are entirely void of any citations or references. This is a critical error and can result in cross-examination Armageddon for the expert witness. Improper citations or references will frequently result in an unintentional misleading fact or unsubstantiated conclusion. I can assure you, this will be red flagged by opposing counsel and you will be rigorously questioned in cross-examination. The questioning will be harsh and deliberately targeted in an attempt to reduce and bring into doubt your credibility in the eyes of the judge and/or jury. Once doubt is injected into the jury’s mind, your report, testimony and conclusions become questionable at best and at worst unreliable and unbelievable.