In Appellate Opinion On Expert Witness Financial Bias,John Bratt writes on the Court of Appeals of Maryland opinion addressing the extent to which expert witnesses who are retained solely for litigation may be forced to produce documentation of the amounts they earn providing expert witness services.
Without getting into the minutiae of the documents sought in the cases, it is pretty easy to summarize the Court of Appeals’ holding. Documents relevant to a retained expert witness’s economic interest are a proper subject of document discovery. Trial courts should carefully control the production, as to the relevant time period, and as to the scope of the material sought. Additionally, where this kind of material is ordered to be produced, trial courts should enter a confidentiality order protecting the material from re-disclosure. This ruling applies to “professional witnesses”, whom the court defined as physicians who are “paid to testify about someone who is not that physician’s patient under treatment….’