And how the expert can be trained to serve the justice system during cross-examination. There`s a wealth of information to guide us including books and DVDs prepared by experienced trial lawyers. Training the cross-examining lawyer must include enlightening him or her about how the expert is trained.
I thought of this when I reviewed the topics for the plaintiff legal practice conference entitled “The Doctor Is In: Medical Elements of Injury Cases”. It’s planned for June 17th and 18th in St. John’s by the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association (APTLA).
The last topic in the two day conference is “Making the Most of Cross-Examining Medical Witnesses”. The conference organizers beseech lawyers to “Have no fear!. Veteran Wisconsin trial lawyer, Paul Scoptur, will give you the remedy for curing many of the common mistakes we make when confronting the defence medical expert at trial.”
In helping you correct these mistakes, I’m certain Mr. Scoptur will tell you about the excellent resources available in the U.S. for all experts, not just medical. Texts, DVDs and training like the following – produced by experienced trial lawyers for experts:
- Cross-examination: The Comprehensive Guide for Experts (a text)
- How to Become a Dangerous Expert Witness: Advanced Techniques and Strategies (text) (I think the tone of this text is at odds with our attitude here in Atlantic Canada but it does contain some tips on how we can serve the justice system better)
- Cross-Examination: How to be an Effective and Ethical Witness (a DVD)
- The Biggest Mistakes Expert Witnesses Make and How to Avoid Them (text)
- Preparation and Training for Testifying (a consulting service)
(There is a bias in some of this material to the medical expert)
I have some of this material in my library – and a good amount on writing expert reports, and it’s all good. I’ve also attended some of the conferences and workshops in the U.S.. The products are very detailed and based on study of many 100s of legal cases, if not 1,000s.
Reviewing material like this will help you get a feel for how experts can be trained and further help you correct your cross-examining mistakes. Reviewing legal practice handbooks helps me practice as an expert. I’m certain reviewing expert practice material will help you cross-examine us.
Why am I telling you this? Because cross-examining lawyer and expert alike are contributing to the same thing: Justice for the injured party whether the victim of an accident or the owner of damaged property. Albeit in somewhat different ways. To this end, it behooves us to understand each other’s role and how we are trained for this.