Expert Witnesses’ Crucial Role in Litigation #9

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 managing documents.

On smaller cases, sending all documentation to the experts and spending time reviewing the materials with them is often most efficient. On the other hand, ten boxes of documents accompanied by a two-sentence cover note – something we’ve experienced – is not an effective way to proceed. On the largest cases, direct access to the document management system is by far the best way to manage the process effectively.

In one recent case, the law firm we were working with installed its proprietary document management system and database program on our computers to provide us with electronic access to all documents. In real time, we could query the fully text-searchable database for documents or keywords. This saved considerable time and money (and trees) despite the initial investment. If such a system cannot be made available to the expert, try at least to provide documents in a searchable format on CDs.

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