In How Attorneys Can Best Utilize Their Medical Expert Witness: A Medical Expert’s Perspective, Dr. Vernon M. Neppe MD, PhD, FRSSAf, FAPA, writes that expert witness testimony begins by finding an appropriate match.
Clearly there are specifics that lead some experts to be retained above others. Expertise in a health care specialty is only one component to consider. Respect in the medical discipline is often a major index of success as an expert. The components of such esteem are predicated on peer respect, appropriate qualifications and recognition in the area.
Several other qualities should be relatively self-evident, but appear commonly neglected. All
characteristics are important, and could sometimes be critical, to a case. The balance of importance of each feature may depend on the specific case. Real expertise involves experience combined with knowledge ultimately translated into being credible to a jury, clear in guidelines for the judge, and able to truly advise the retaining counsel.
Factors that are more obvious are:
Experience in the forensic arena with appropriate testimony.
Mix of plaintiff and defense testimonies.
Indestructibility of the expert’s CV.
Clinical experience with the particular issues relevant to the case.
More to follow on assisting civil litigation attorneys with medical experts from Dr. Neppe, Director, Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute, Seattle, WA, www.brainvoyage.com.