What to Look For in an Expert Witness

  1. Know what you are looking for.
  2. What area of specialization.
  3. A consultant, first who could then be an expert
  4. You will want a person to advise you.
  5. You will want a person who can provide strategy.







How do you find such a Consultant/Expert?

  • Past experience with expert from another case or the opposing side.
  • Referral from colleague
  • Directories and On line web sites
  • reading depositions from other cases
  • personal interview, preferably face to face in expert’s office or on phone

What specifics are you looking for?

  1. Reputation; for what, for good, for bad for competence in each phase of his work
  2. ability to work together, compatibility:
    a. does the expert listen to you?
    b. Does he try to control or dominate you, rather than assist your understanding?
    c. flexibility to adapt to your needs
    d. availability
    e. fees
  3. Credentials
    a. education,
    b. teaching position,
    c. hospital affiliations, licensing
    e. years in practice and how spent
    f. types of cases— plaintiff v. defense
    g. experience in deposition and trial testimony
    f. experience with the kind of case you are doing
  4. Quality of his work
    a. writing reports
    coherence of report
    ability to analyze the case
    tell you what you do not know
    b. ability to testify under pressure at depo or trial
    c. personal appearance
    d. interpersonal relationship (likeability)

What do I want in an attorney?

  1. To be called in the very beginning of the case.
  2. Lay it all out there, provide all discovery. especially COMPLAINT
  3. Provide materials in chronologic order or other
    logical order with outline as to what it all means
  4. Get agreement for my exam as early as possible.
  5. Attorney must collaborate with expert prior to testimony.

Assessing credibility


to know the allegations in the Complaint and the answer to the complaint, i.e. both sides

Examination of all the records!

Examine all available evidence to support or deny the charges, from the records, such as;

  • accident or incident reports,
  • hospital and other medical reports,
  • laboratory studies, engineer reports,
  • toxicology reports, etc.
  • videos

Review all hearing and deposition transcripts especially from opposition experts and witnesses.

Consider the manner of deposition questioning, as well as answers

  • So as to know what each attorney is looking for
  • To see if answers corroborate or deny complaint.
  • If inconsistent consider veracity (malingering and confabulation)

****Face to face examination of plaintiff—to estimate veracity.

Know normal as well as abnormal behavior.

  • Awareness of consistency of behavior and affect with what individual says.
  • Knowledge of various mental disorders to enable comparison with plaintiff’s complaints.
  • Recognition of supportive findings v. non- supportive findings.
  • Report facts of the case, review of the records, findings from the examination, diagnosis and conclusions.

Conclusions to show criteria for the diagnosis and why justified.

Conclusions to answer the ultimate questions asked in the case; were there emotional damages;

  • to what extent and were they a result of the incident in question ?
  • could explain psychologically why, to provide support for conclusions
  • (CRIMINAL cases) was the individual competent, was the individual sane or insane and WHY!

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