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Anyone that testifies
as an expert witness is required to provide certain information regarding their
qualifications. This information will be provided to opposing counsel as part
of the required witness disclosures. A typical resume, or curriculum vitae,
includes training, education and experience. There are fairly new procedural
rules in the laws that require experts to provide information beyond that normally
included in a resume.
Rule 26, Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure, requires an expert witness to provide a written report which
includes all opinions, the basis for the opinions and the information that was
considered in coming to the opinions. The report must include exhibits, such
as photographs or diagrams, that will be used. Along with the basic qualifications
of the witness, education, training and experience, a listing of all publications
authored by the witness for the preceding ten years must be provided.
The rule does
not differentiate between material that may or may not be germane to the case
at hand; all published material for the preceding ten years must be listed.
Copies of the publications or articles do not need to be attached, just a list
which includes the title, publisher and date of publication. If an article is
published more than once, only one needs to be listed as long as the other publications
of the same article are substantially the same allowing for editorial revisions.
The written report
must include the amount paid for the expertís efforts for the matter and a listing
of all other cases in which the individual has testified, in trial and deposition
as an expert, for the preceding four years. This does not include cases where
the individual acted as a consultant and did not provide expert testimony; it
is only those cases where the expert has testified.
This sounds contrary
to that which is taught to police officers, traffic homicide investigators and
accident reconstructionists. The work of the accident investigator is preliminary
to the analysis performed by the jury. The jury is bound to consider the evidence
and will consider the quality and completeness of the analyst's presentation
in coming to a conclusion. Put another way, the juror is not constrained to
the same principles of factual analysis as is the investigator.
the requirements for information on the list are not specific, it can be assumed
the intent is that sufficient information be provided to allow the trial or
deposition transcript to be obtained. This would include the style of the case,
jurisdiction, date and court case file number. There are no requirements that
the opinions be included.
of states echo the federal rules in their respective civil and criminal procedures.
Generally, state courts will follow the federal rules if the issue is not specifically
addressed locally. Some states require listings that cover periods greater than
those in Rule 26.
rules can change, with little or no notice, a current and continuously updated
list should be maintained of trial and deposition appearances and publications
authored. Failing to provide the information required by the disclosure rules
could result in the individual not being allowed to testify.
note: Text of Federal Rule omitted]