Cross examination of the hired defense medical examiner

We are often faced with the challenge of examining a physician who has been hired by the defense to examine our client. These witnesses are usually selected because they can be counted on to say the plaintiff isn’t injured or isn’t injured as seriously as claimed. In addition, they are often experienced in testifying and represent a difficult kind of witness to cross examine. Here is a simple basic way to approach these kinds of witnesses.

A. BIAS

Since you have nothing to do with treating who is paying you for your time?

How often examined at request of those defending a case?

How many times for this defense firm

Fees

B. OT A TREATING DOCTOR

1. (Client) didn’t ask you to get involved in the treatment of injuries

2 None of the treating doctor’s asked you to for help

3. In fact, you have never provided any treatment

4. Role not to treat

5. You have nothing to with Dx or helping (him) get better?

C. NO CONSULTATION WITH PEOPLE WHO KNOW HIM

Have never talked to treating doctors about him before or after forming opinion

Never talked to:

(1) wife

(2) children

(3) friends

(4) fellow workers

3. Have no idea what people who know him best have to say ?

D. SAW ONLY ONCE

1. You saw (him) only once?

2. Not at request of family or treating doctors?

3. For ____ minutes?

4. On _____

5. Never saw (him) again until today when you come her to testify against him?

E. POSITIVE FINDINGS

(See his report. Point out helpful history, findings and conclusions)

F. NO RESPONSIBILITY

1. The fact is, when you are through testifying here and collect your fee, you have no responsibility for this (man)

2. When you walk out this door, you will have nothing to do with what happens to him in the future – his future problems or treatment?

3. His family and his treating doctors are left with the responsibility of caring for him?

4. All you do is come in here, give your opinion, walk out the door & collect your fee

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, the American Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame & speaker at Spence Trial College
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