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Why Experts Should Embrace Custom Expert Witness Reports, Too

March 18, 2015

In last week’s blog post, Kristal Sajasi described Courtroom Insight’s custom expert witness research reports and explained how attorneys benefit from incorporating this research into their vetting process.  Based upon my experience as an expert witness, I believe that it’s even more important for experts to take advantage of this type of research.  Let me explain why.

In order to locate or vet an expert witness, attorneys initially seek referrals and feedback from colleagues.  Next, attorneys often search for relevant documents from prior testimony. Such documents may include deposition transcripts, filed expert reports, published C.V.s and judicial opinions regarding expert witness challenges.  Attorneys today have greater access to this information than ever before.

  • Law firms
    • Improved efforts to catalog and index all documents tagged to expert witnesses. Easily located via enterprise search tools.
  • LexisNexis and Westlaw
    • Subscription access to vast repositories of accumulated documents and data. Searchable by expert name or by case.
  • Professional associations
    • Defense attorneys and plaintiff’s associations collect and share documents with other members. Offer feedback on experts via group discussions.

Whether attorneys take advantage of one or more of these specific repositories of information or simply send email requests to their colleagues, rest assured that attorneys will scour the universe of available information regarding an expert’s challenge and testimonial history.  Since this research will possibly be used during deposition or cross-examination at trial, it is imperative that experts know what information is out there.

This is especially important because it is common for experts to make a conscious decision NOT to retain previously filed expert reports and depositions transcripts due to future discovery requests.  Therefore, previously issued opinions and published testimony may not be readily available for review.  In addition, attorneys sometimes fail to notify experts about judicial rulings and comments pertaining to motions to exclude or limit an expert’s testimony.

If you already have subscription access to expert witness research available from LexisNexis or Westlaw, then that is a good place to start.  However, your results will be limited unless you subscribe to both research services.  In the alternative, I encourage you to order a FREE comprehensive assessment of available information from Courtroom Insight.  A Preliminary Screening Report provides a snapshot of an expert’s testimonial history and any challenges to that testimony.  The report is delivered within two business days and provides an essential summary of the potential information available.  If your report shows enough hits, then we suggest that you order a more thorough paid research report to learn exactly what information exists.

Don’t delay in performing this important research, no matter how you approach it.  Then you won’t be surprised about what attorneys already know about you!

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