An important aspect of an expert witness’ duty is to provide a witness disclosure. A witness disclosure is a report written by the expert witness. The purpose of this report is for opposing counsel to have a record of the qualifications and background of the witness, all information that was used in forming an opinion, and the witness’ actual opinion on the case. There are many reasons why this report is important to a case and why the information in the report needs to be accurate, precise, and persuasive. If you are looking for an experienced professional witness, contact APEXpert Witness today.
Why a Witness Disclosure is Important
This report stays on file and can be retrieved by attorneys who are looking to retain an expert witness. If possible, opposing counsel can and will use this report against the other party. If there are any inconsistencies, they will be pointed out in order to question the witness’ reliability. Because prior witness disclosures are discoverable, an erroneous previous report may disqualify the expert. On the other hand, a flawless report proves the expert’s credibility and can advance an expert witness’ reputation.
What is Included in a Witness Disclosure?
Providing a brief introduction allows the reader to understand the general purpose, and possibly some details of the case in question. Keeping a report’s introduction concise will allow witnesses to stay focussed on their expertise which will hopefully minimize the chance of future attempts of challenge.
This section should give the reader an opportunity to understand why the expert is qualified to offer an expert opinion on the case. Experts should explain why they are qualified. Precise and persuasive language will make secure that it is understood why the expert has professional knowledge and experience. It is especially important that these qualifications are relevant to the case.
This section of the report will be depending on what resources were used. It is recommended to write down everything that was done in order to research information regarding to the case. A list of all of the reports that were read, and how facts that relate to the case were found and were used to form your opinion should be included, ideally as footnotes or reference list at the end of the document.
This is a crucial part of the report. This section is where an opinion is stated. Here is it especially important to remain concise with language, so that readers will understand exactly what the expert’s opinion is.
Depending on the jurisdiction, there are certain requirements, especially in federal court, that must be included in the report. Ensure that all information and facts are included in the report and nothing important is left out. Most commonly, the following items have to be included in a report:
- A complete statement of opinions, how the opinion was formed, and the reasons.
- Facts or data that were used to form the opinion.
- Any exhibits used to summarize or support the opinion.
- Qualifications, including any publications and education.
- List of all other cases that were testified in.
- Statement of compensation for testimony in previous cases.
- The report must be signed and prepared by the witness.
Remaining consistent and avoiding typographical errors, grammatical or spelling errors is highly important when writing this report. Any errors will give opposing counsel an opportunity to challenge the witness. As we mentioned above, a flawless report will show the reader the experience, knowledge, and diligence of the expert. Knowing that witness’ testimony is crucial to the outcome of a trial, every attorney seeks to retain the best expert witness available. Learn more about APEXpert Witness today and find only the most qualified medical experts.