Archive for July, 2011

Discrediting an Expert

Monday, July 25th, 2011

What is the most effective method of cross-examining your opponent’s expert witness? There are two basic approaches: (1) Supportive Cross-Examination (where you attempt to elicit helpful  concessions from the opposing expert), and (2) Discrediting Cross-Examination (in which the expert’s credibility is attacked).

Consider some or all of these factors as part of a Discrediting Cross-Examination:

1. Reliance on facts that are not credible

2. Lack of thoroughness in gathering and reviewing information

3. Failure to prevent contamination of test samples

4. Insufficient testing methodology

5. Insufficient expertise (assumes expert has already been qualified)

6. Bias, e.g., fees

7. Differing opinions among qualified experts

8. Prior inconsistent statements in other like cases

9. Learned treatises to impeach with different approaches and conclusions

With respect to point 8, an expert’s prior trial or deposition testimony may be obtained through