Deposition and Courtroom Testimony - How To Survive and Thrive

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					         Deposition & Courtroom
      Testimony: How to Survive and

©2012 Professional Development Resources | | email:
 Title of Course: Deposition & Courtroom Testimony: How to Survive – and Thrive
 CE Credit: 2 Hours
 Learning Level: Introductory
 Author: Bill Asenjo, PhD, CRC


 This course is designed for healthcare professionals who may be involved in litigation in the capacity of expert
 witness. The material outlines skills necessary to be an expert witness, identifies tactics commonly employed by
 cross-examining attorneys, suggests methods for enhancing professional credibility and provides detailed strategies
 for dealing with the rigors of cross-examination. Also included are recommendations for effective courtroom
 presentation as well as summaries of several classic court cases dealing with the admissibility of expert testimony.

 Learning Objectives:

 1.   Identify the traits and qualifications needed by professionals in order to provide expert testimony
 2.   Name common traps and pitfalls to avoid when delivering an expert opinion
 3.   List common cross examination questions regarding an expert witness’ qualifications and credibility
 4.   Give examples of methods for countering questioning tactics used by opposing attorneys
 5.   List eight strategies for communicating effectively with jurors
 6.   Identify four court cases that have influenced the accessibility of expert testimony in court proceedings

©2012 Professional Development Resources | | email:
Deposition & Courtroom Testimony: How to Survive – and Thrive

                     If you’re reading this you are most likely a healthcare professional who has been, or may be,
                     involved in litigation as an expert witness. A common misnomer about those who testify suggests
                     that such individuals must possess years of experience in their field, as well as extensive legal and
                     courtroom experience. In fact, there are those who do have such a background. But that is not
                     always the case; after all, everyone has a first case. Ideally, this course will provide a foundation of

                     Why are healthcare professionals requested to serve as expert witnesses?

                     There are five general reasons for bringing an expert witness into a case:

1. An expert witness is required by law. In most jurisdictions, expert testimony is required in cases involving a
   professional’s negligence (malpractice). An expert may be required to help the judge and jury understand whether
   the professional breached the required standard of care.
2. The case involves complex or technological issues beyond the training and experience of the ordinary person.
3. The jury requires the assistance of an expert opinion.
4. The opposing side has retained expert testimony that must be disputed.
5. An attorney believes that expert testimony may help her/him win the case.

Why would any healthcare professional want to be an expert witness?

There are many reasons why a healthcare professional would want to be an expert witness, but perhaps the most
common reasons are as follows:

1. Capitalize on your years of experience and/or education. Serving as a litigation consultant or expert witness is yet
   another way to be involved in your field.
2. Enable you to develop a sideline that could flourish into a career, for example, as a post-retirement endeavor.
3. Increase your consulting practice, as well as your professional prestige. Think about it in terms of intriguing cocktail
   party chatter:
        Question: “And what do you do?”
        Reply: “Well, I’m a litigation consultant. Attorneys retain me to consult in cases and provide expert witness
               testimony during trial.”
4. Experience the excitement, drama and challenge involved in matters impacting lives, large sums of money, and
   possibly, the course of history.
5. Contribute to justice being served by helping people, and contributing to society.
6. Explore emerging topics on which to read, study, research and write – possibly laying the foundation for articles,
   books and lectures.
7. Generate additional income. Expert witness work pays well without requiring an inventory, investment or expensive
   overhead (many experts work out of their homes or established offices.) Experts charge as modestly as $50 per
   hour, or as much as $500 or more per hour, as well as thousands of dollars per day plus expenses to testify out of

©2012 Professional Development Resources | | email:
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Description: This course is designed for healthcare professionals who may be involved in litigation in the capacity of expert witness.