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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Meticulous Preparation of All Materials Subject to Discovery at Deposition or Trial

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National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

It is good practice for the expert to prepare all materials as if they may be subject to discovery production. The expert should test everything he writes as if it were going to be used against him in open court. A prepared expert should determine whether he could explain or justify the contents of any discoverable memorandum, note, report or technical observation.

The expert should insist that the lawyer for whom he is acting has an opportunity to review the expert's case file before his testimony or deposition has begun. Items that are clearly privileged should be removed.

The expert should note each item removed by date, subject and recipients and deliver the list to the retaining attorney for forwarding to opposing counsel. It is then up to the opposing side to determine whether any of the items removed should be subject to further discovery proceedings and possible orders for production.

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