• October 19, 2012

We all know that there are medical experts, financial experts, engineering experts, etc. etc. etc.

And then, as litigators know, there are medical litigation experts, financial litigation experts, engineering litigation experts, etc. etc. etc.

In other words, some experts not only have specialized expert knowledge about complex areas of medicine, science, etc., but they have specialized knowledge about how to be good testifying experts in litigation.  Make no mistake. These are separate and distinct “skill sets” and those that have both are much in demand.

So, if my adversary hires a so-called “hired gun” expert, can I serve discovery and ask how many times my adversary has relied on his expert in other cases?  Maybe I can show that the expert, unsurprisingly, always gives strong testimony on behalf of his “customer,” the lawyer who has caused him or her to be hired?

Maybe not.  And maybe that is a good thing.  Courts want litigants to focus on the facts before them.  “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”

Seth Leventhal is a Minnesota litigator with over 15 years of experience in Minnesota civil litigation who appreciates the important distinction between substantive expertise of expert witnesses and the performance aspects of offering testimony at trial.

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