The way to avoid mistakes is to have a standard operating procedure for what you do in your law practice. The checklist for doing things can be very simple. Once it is put into use it can be added to or revised as experience dictates. Here is a very basic and simple checklist for a plaintiff expert witness. Obviously a lot more detail should be added, but it’s a start.
Every expert we contact must receive a letter from us. If they have declined to help us, write and confirm that fact as well as the expressed reasons for not participating. If they agree to help we must confirm that fact in a letter as well. Have a 30 day reminder to check on the status with the expert
Once expert has agreed to participate we will send them athree ring notebook with dividers and index of relevant materials.The attorney will specify what materials to send, but remember that as a generalrule, any and all materials provided are discoverable by the defennse.Get the expert’s CV
Be sure to notify the expert in writing as soon as the trial date is assigned.
When the defense experts have been disclosed send it to our experts and ask for assistance or information. Have a reminder on hearing back
Note: You must arrange contact between the attorney and expert by phone at least ten days before the deposition to make sure expert has what is needed for deposition and to answer any questions
If our expert is staying overnight: check with lawyer where to put them up.
Send expert information about deposition.
Always arrange an advance conference before the deposition with attorney and expert. Check with attorney as to how long the conference should be scheduled to last.
Find out from lawyer if deposition should be video taped or perpetuation deposition should be taken at same time.
If any subpoena from the defense is received or served on expert give a red flag message to attorney for possible response.
Prepare a list of all materials provided expert
Make sure attorney travel folder contains: (1) deposition result memo form (2) copy of any disclosure we made or interrogatory answer regarding the expert (3) copy of notices of deposition or subpoenas (4) any reports of expert and (5) directions to location for deposition