Attacking the expert for bias

I feel that the collateral information about an expert which indicates bias is more important in cross examination then the issue involved. If you can show a lack of credibility then the opinions of the expert have little weight with the jury. Here’s a simple check list of reminders to ask at the time of the deposition for you to consider

ADVERTISING FOR WORK

  • How became involved in this case
  • Does advertising for work
  • Belongs to expert witness group
  • Any past connection defense firm
  • Any past connection defendants

EXPERIENCE AS EXPERT

  • How long acted as expert
  • Experience – frequency:

               a. cases reviewed
               b. reports written
              c.  depositions given
              d.  times testified

  • what states testified in
  • What percentages for  plaintiff vs defendant

FEES CHARGED

  • For review
  • For deposition
  • For testimony

INCOME FROM EXPERT WORK

  • Highest fee ever earned in one case?
  • Income last year from expert work
  • Average annual income from expert work
  • TORT REFORM ACTIVITY

    • What political activity
    • Letters or emails to paper, media or legislators
    • Contributions made
    • Literature in his office about it

    WITNESS CONSULTANT

    • Any consultations with non lawyer re being witness
    • Videos watched or information given

    KNOWLEDGE ABOUT LOCAL MEDICAL STANDARDS

    DEFINITIONS USED IN ARRIVING AT OPINIONS

    What is your definition of these terms as it applies to your opinions here:

    • Medical negligence
    • Malpractice
    • Medical standard of care
    • Reasonable medical certainty

    About Paul Luvera

    Plaintiff trial lawyer for 50 years. Past President of the Inner Circle of Advocates & Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. Member American Board of Trial Advocates, American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy, International Society of Barristers, member of the National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame & speaker at Spence Trial College
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