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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Advanced Preparation for Deposition

The five areas that the expert should be aware of for deposition are:

  • Conversations conducted to prepare the expert for deposition may be discoverable.

  • The lawyer who attends the deposition with the expert may not be able to instruct him about whether the expert can or cannot answer specific questions.

  • If the expert has published or testified to something inconsistent with the current position, discuss this potential conflict with counsel in advance.

  • The expert should be open to constructive suggestions from counsel about behavior, attitude and posture during testimony.

  • Prior drafts of the expert's reports may be required to be produced, in some jurisdictions.

Other avenues of cross-examination may affect deposition. The deposition may be preceded by a required written report and a series of written interrogatories. A typical set of written interrogatories taken under Rule 26(b)(4) may be found in Module 7: Discovery, Topic 4 - Specific Tasks for the Expert and/or Appendix, Sample Interrogatories and Request for Production to Expert Witnesses).

Review these sample interrogatories to prepare for verbal deposition. The expert should be prepared to answer the same questions in writing or verbally. Examining counsel has the right to select any reasonable means of discovery. Written interrogatories may be used.

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