How Attorneys Can Best Utilize Their Medical Expert Witnesses #9

n 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 computerized materials.

Experts’ styles vary. For example, my specific preferences may not be generalizable, particularly if the expert is not very computer savvy. Personally, I like to summarize information as I read it, extracting key information. This I will do digitally by dictation, generally referencing dates, pages and medical professionals. This saves enormous time in reviewing cases later. I also like to use text documents (e.g. in Microsoft Word). This allows me to fashion the detail and extract what is relevant without wasting time rewriting.

In this regard, scanning by the attorney is worthwhile, particularly if text (as opposed to pictures [e.g. TIFF, PICT]) is produced. This text is editable in summary documents, and can be searched almost instantaneously. It becomes a great time saver. Depositions should always be ordered in text form so they can have the relevant facets extracted. Hard copies should also be available. The attorney should ensure that the expert knows what has been duplicated on CD and paper. However, scanned computerized material supplied as PDFs that cannot be converted into text has an enormous downside of taking up time in locating particular pages. Consequently, an index is essential for any scanned non-text documents, and additionally
duplicate hard copies of the text are valuable.

More to follow on assisting civil litigation attorneys with medical experts from Dr. Neppe, Director, Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute, Seattle, WA,