Get the Most From Your Medical Malpractice Expert Witness

In How to Use Experts to Prove the Plaintiff’s Case, Thomas M. Demsey advises attorneys on how to find the right fit with an expert witness. In complex factual situations Demsey states that “Too often the initial consideration is not well thought-out.” Finding the right medical malpractice expert witness involves optimizing lines of communication.

Make sure you go over in detail the theories of your case about which your expert will testify. Success often relies upon you laying out precise legal language for your case so that your expert can phrase his or her testimony accordingly.

Make sure that your expert does not go beyond the realm of his or her area of expertise. This means that you may need multiple experts to deal with a particular issue. It is better to have two creditable experts whose testimony may somewhat overlap, than to have one expert who is so stretching the limit so his or her expertise that even in the areas in which he or she is comfortable are suspect and not believable.

From How to Use Experts to Prove the Plaintiff’s Case, Thomas M. Dempsey, The Advocate Magazine, January 2008. Mr. Dempsey is past president of Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles.