Preparing Your Expert Witness for Deposition and Trial: Best Practices

The post below was provided to Juris Medicus from Caroline Newman Small, Managing Partner at Davis & Santos, P.C. To learn more about Caroline


Preparing Your Expert Witness for Deposition and Trial: Best Practices

Having a prepared expert witness for deposition and trial testimony is critical to the success of your case, and the responsibility of preparing the expert witness falls on the trial lawyer. Here a few tips for preparing your expert witness.

Tip 1: Help your expert witness understand their role in the case.

Expert witnesses provide tools – their knowledge and expertise – to help the jury gain information to decide the case. An effective expert witness is not an advocate; but is objective and neutral. An effective expert witness sticks to the facts and their opinions.

Tip 2: Start preparing for your expert's deposition or trial testimony early.

Review transcripts of your expert’s past deposition and trial testimony. This will help you identify patterns and give you a chance to correct any problems early on.

Tip 3: Discuss the most difficult questions opposing counsel might ask.

Your expert witness should be prepared to truthfully and artfully reply to difficult questions. Most importantly, your expert witness should be able to articulate and defend each and every opinion she expresses in the case.

Tip 4: An expert witness should refrain from getting emotional or flustered.

As a non-advocate, an expert witness has no need to become emotional or flustered. The best mindset for an expert witness is one of resolve. There’s no need for emotion. However, your expert witness can—and should—advocate in defense of her methodologies and opinions.

Tip 5: An expert witness should do some preparation on her own.

Before testifying, an expert witness should possess full and complete knowledge of the facts of the case, be able explain why they qualified to give opinions in your client’s case, and have complete familiarity with any reports or other documents they have authored or signed in the case. Make sure your expert leaves ample time to conduct their own review.


Free CLE Webinar

For more details about these and other tips for preparing your expert for deposition and trial, please register to attend the free CLE webinar on July 27, 2022, sponsored by Juris Medicus, LLC and Lexitas and presented Caroline Newman Small.





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