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 depends on finding an appropriate match for your case. This excerpt deals with commitment to an expert.
You also want to ensure that the expert is as adequately prepared as possible for the specific tasks (s)he is assigned to do. This may be testamentary, but very often it is consultative, or writing a declaration, report or letter. This may require adequate educating on the legal aspects of the case. This can sometimes be time consuming particularly if the expert is not experienced or specifically forensically trained. This can easily be more costly than retaining a more expensive, more experienced and knowledgeable expert.
It is necessary at the appropriate time to declare the expert carefully. The exact wording should be discussed carefully with the expert consultant prior to such submissions as it may effect all his / her future testimony. Clearly, adverse opinions on certain issues may limit the expert as to being declared only in the area where (s)he can address the strengths of the case
not its weaknesses.
More to follow on assisting civil litigation attorneys with medical experts from Dr. Neppe, Director, Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute, Seattle, WA, www.brainvoyage.com.