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Categorized | Education

How to Research an Expert Witness

If this is a question which you have asked, have been asked, or are now wondering about since reading the title for this blog post, check out what Brooke Raymond has to say about it below.

Researching, locating and vetting an expert witness can sometimes appear to be more art than science. While finding a qualified expert may seem daunting, there are a number of questions to ask and steps to take that can simplify and streamline the process.

First, one should be clear about the outcome goals. Do you need to find an expert to analyze a scenario and provide professional advice? In that case, you might want to start with JurisPro Expert Witness Directory, a free resource which is searchable by subject category, geographic location or expert name.

Do you plan to have an expert witness testify at trial? Trial testimony experience can be located using Westlaw’s Expert Witness Profiler and Lexis’ Expert Witness Suite. Trial transcripts
and motions to challenge and disqualify experts can be accessed using the official federal
court online docketing system PACER; (Westlaw, Lexis and PACER are all fee-based online accounts).

Professional associations, which most experts would have links to, can provide a great deal
of information on their members including educational background, credentials and work experience. Some professionals who are full-time experts have established consulting practices and their cvs will likely reflect their scholarly articles published, experience testifying at trial, etc.

Are you interested in how an expert’s personal background could impact their professional
role (i.e. have they ever been sued for malpractice, been disciplined, fined, disqualified, etc.?) This type of information can be located by checking with their respective home state governing bodies such as the state’s Office of Medical Professional Conduct, Board of Accountancy, Bar Association, state License Verification web sites, etc. The National Student Clearinghouse can verify most university degrees earned.

Has this expert ever stated an opinion which conflicts with the information they have provided to your team? This is a fairly common inquiry. Searching published articles, patents invented, speeches given and Congressional testimony provided can all provide a treasure trove of data when trying to get a sense of an expert witness’ expertise and experience. Be certain not to overlook news articles, blog entries and Twitter posts as well.

Social media profiles such as LinkedIn is another essential resource. Caveat: make certain that your privacy settings are hidden if you don’t want the person in question to know that you are viewing their profile.

Are you researching an expert named by opposing counsel? Has this expert’s testimony ever been challenged? What was the outcome?

Lexis and Westlaw both offer Daubert Tracker case reports, which provide an overview of an expert’s testimonial history, whether they generally testify for the prosecution or the defense, the outcome of challenges to Daubert hearings, etc.

Lastly, searching an individual’s public records can uncover real property assets, corporate affiliations, bankruptcies, liens, judgments, being a past or present party to a lawsuit, investigation or criminal action. This type of deep background research can round out the picture of an expert witness and whether they would be a quality entity with whom to partner.

Brooke Raymond in her own words:
 I am an experienced law librarian who has worked for AmLaw 50 firms as well as an oil & gas company’s information center, a public relations firm, an economic consulting firm and the reference desk of public libraries in Massachusetts and Connecticut. I traveled to China in 2008 with a delegation of fourteen librarians as part of a professional and cultural exchange led by SLA past president Rebecca Vargha. I have completed two NYC marathons which raised more than $7,000 for girls’ education in five African countries.

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