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Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses

Brien Roche

Cross-examination has been dealt with on several other pages on this site.  Cross-examination in general, cross-examining defense medical experts, cross-examining brain injury experts are all addressed in different posts.  In addition the topic of standard of care has been addressed which ties in with many expert issues.

Cross-Examining Experts Is Tricky

Cross-examining any expert is tricky.  They typically are experienced witnesses, well-educated, and paid well.  They’re not showing up for the deposition to do you any favors.

As a result there is no right or wrong way as far as cross-examining expert witnesses.

This page and the pages mentioned above should be looked in the order of cross in general, cross of the expert, standard of care, cross of the defense medical expert, cross of the brain injury expert.  Standard of care issues can be fairly broad.  They don’t apply just in malpractice cases.  They may apply in premises liability cases, product liability cases or others.  If your particular expert is a defense medical examiner, then that post has particular application.  Also if the expert is a brain injury expert, then that post applies.

Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses-Getting Started

In general the cross-examination of any expert may proceed with the following:

Contact With Counsel

  • What was the date when you were first contacted by counsel?
  • Did you agree to testify on that date?
  • Was the topic of your testifying discussed on that date?
  • What did you say?
  • Role of Expert

  • You would agree that an expert must be well-versed in the field?
  • You would agree that the expert must have significant knowledge about what is important in the case?
  • Would you agree that an expert must be thorough in reviewing the facts of the case?
  • If someone “pre-judges” a case without knowing all of the pertinent facts, then it might be fair to say that they are prejudiced.
  • An expert must be objective.
  • Experts must be fair.
  • Also an expert must be impartial.
  • As an orthopedic surgeon you are bound by the Expert Witness Rules of the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (www.aaos.org).
  • You would agree that an expert should be consistent and reliable in his opinions.
  • That is, a witness should not give contradictory opinions in different cases.
  • You would agree that an expert should not contradict other persons who are better situated to give accurate testimony.
  • Would you agree that “x” probably knows the facts of this matter better than you do, simply because they have lived with the case longer than you have?
  • Let’s talk about some things that are not in dispute in this case.  Would you agree that the following are not in dispute:
  • You relied upon everything that you reviewed in forming your opinions.  Question about matters favorable to you.

    The Expert’s Perspective

  • You’re not absolutely certain about…
  • Would you train your students or employees to do things the way they were done in this case?
  • A hypothetical question:  Assume the facts are “x”, what would the standard of care be in that instance?
  • You have expressed certain personal opinions here today, correct?
  • That’s what you would do in these circumstances?
  • So that’s your standard of care?
  • Miscellaneous

  • Expert economist:  Your job is to come up with a figure that pays the plaintiff what he is due.
  • In deposition, have you told me all of the opinions that you plan to give at trial?
  • How much are you being paid for your opinions here today?

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info on this issue see the Wikipedia pages.

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Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses

Brien Roche

Cross-examination has been dealt with on several other pages on this site.  Cross-examination in general, cross-examining defense medical experts, cross-examining brain injury experts are all addressed in different posts.  In addition the topic of standard of care has been addressed which ties in with many expert issues.

Cross-Examining Experts Is Tricky

Cross-examining any expert is tricky.  They typically are experienced witnesses, well-educated, and paid well.  They’re not showing up for the deposition to do you any favors.

As a result there is no right or wrong way as far as cross-examining expert witnesses.

This page and the pages mentioned above should be looked in the order of cross in general, cross of the expert, standard of care, cross of the defense medical expert, cross of the brain injury expert.  Standard of care issues can be fairly broad.  They don’t apply just in malpractice cases.  They may apply in premises liability cases, product liability cases or others.  If your particular expert is a defense medical examiner, then that post has particular application.  Also if the expert is a brain injury expert, then that post applies.

Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses-Getting Started

In general the cross-examination of any expert may proceed with the following:

Contact With Counsel

  • What was the date when you were first contacted by counsel?
  • Did you agree to testify on that date?
  • Was the topic of your testifying discussed on that date?
  • What did you say?
  • Role of Expert

  • You would agree that an expert must be well-versed in the field?
  • You would agree that the expert must have significant knowledge about what is important in the case?
  • Would you agree that an expert must be thorough in reviewing the facts of the case?
  • If someone “pre-judges” a case without knowing all of the pertinent facts, then it might be fair to say that they are prejudiced.
  • An expert must be objective.
  • Experts must be fair.
  • Also an expert must be impartial.
  • As an orthopedic surgeon you are bound by the Expert Witness Rules of the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (www.aaos.org).
  • You would agree that an expert should be consistent and reliable in his opinions.
  • That is, a witness should not give contradictory opinions in different cases.
  • You would agree that an expert should not contradict other persons who are better situated to give accurate testimony.
  • Would you agree that “x” probably knows the facts of this matter better than you do, simply because they have lived with the case longer than you have?
  • Let’s talk about some things that are not in dispute in this case.  Would you agree that the following are not in dispute:
  • You relied upon everything that you reviewed in forming your opinions.  Question about matters favorable to you.

    The Expert’s Perspective

  • You’re not absolutely certain about…
  • Would you train your students or employees to do things the way they were done in this case?
  • A hypothetical question:  Assume the facts are “x”, what would the standard of care be in that instance?
  • You have expressed certain personal opinions here today, correct?
  • That’s what you would do in these circumstances?
  • So that’s your standard of care?
  • Miscellaneous

  • Expert economist:  Your job is to come up with a figure that pays the plaintiff what he is due.
  • In deposition, have you told me all of the opinions that you plan to give at trial?
  • How much are you being paid for your opinions here today?

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info on this issue see the Wikipedia pages.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation