In How Attorneys Can Best Utilize Their Medical Expert Witness: A Medical Expert’s Perspective, Dr. Vernon M. Neppe MD, PhD, FRSSAf, FAPA, writes on Medical Court Testimony: The Plan of Attack:
Teaching the expert how to avoid pitfalls
The attorney needs to ensure that the expert understands the tricks that the other attorney may use. He needs to teach the expert, if necessary. This should be a given, but many “expert consultants” are not experts in the medicolegal side, though they know a great deal about their expertise. These are examples of pitfalls that the expert should be aware of during cross-examination:
5. The taking the expert out of his / her area of expertise.
6. The minimal misquoting of information.
7. The misinterpretation of data.
8. The attempt to effectively allow another witness to testify by quoting him.
9. The consolidation of the other side’s witness by making him / her sound great by the expert.
10. The quoting of something said by the expert that contradicts what (s)he may be arguing.
11. The use of wrong time periods based on general questions. The global quoting of a result without taking specifics into account.
More to follow on assisting civil litigation attorneys with medical experts from Dr. Neppe, Director, Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute, Seattle, WA, www.brainvoyage.com.