Expert Witnesses’ Crucial Role in Litigation #7

In Utilizing Experts In An Expert Way, Kelli Hinson and Tesa Hinkley describe the crucial role expert witnesses have at trial and give advice on how best to use them. In this excerpt, Hinson and Hinkley give tips on planning ahead when drafing confidentiality / protective orders.

Confidentality / protective orders take many forms. In their most extreme, but not uncommon, incarnation, CPOs must be signed by every individual working on the team (expert and support staff alike) and must be sent to the other side for approval. Such an arrangement has several drawbacks. First, it requires you to disclose your experts (testifying and consulting) and support team long before expert reports are due. In addition, it creates delay and coordination costs that are often burdensome and can slow the process at critical times (e.g. when auditing must be completed quickly and requires additional “fresh eyes”, to review statistical programs and exhibits). A convenient way to proceed is to have the CPOs require signatures from one representative per entity, rather than every member of the team, though this approach must be balanced aganist the value of knowing the size of the opposing group.

Excerpted from the ABA Expert Witness Alert, Summer/Fall 2007