How to Assist Attorneys As an Expert Witness During the Discovery Process
An expert witness can help during the entire process of case preparation. Naturally, you have to expertly conduct your own investigations, write your own report, and testify on your own. However, you and your technical experience can contribute in other ways to the achievement of your side’s efforts in the matter.
Lawyers will often submit pleadings – legal arguments – to the court. They will often ask you to write and contribute technical paragraphs of text to each pleading and then you may be asked to sign the document, called an affidavit or a declaration.
Attorneys will often prepare, as a part of the discovery process, a series of written requests called interrogatories. Attorneys on both sides of the case will submit a series of such requests for the production of information and documents. This set of formal requests is a tedious series of inquiries used to discover as much as possible about what the other side knows. Your attorneys will ask you to examine such interrogatories from the other side, and you will help them prepare such interrogatories for your side.
Review your attorney’s discovery request prior to submission to ensure that the request has covered the technical elements. Ensure that the request spans all of the possible information for which he can ask, and that the phraseology of the request is technically precise. The burden in the legal system is that each side must do its best to Learn on point data from the other side. Although the discovery process permits each side to ask for documents and relevant material, the discovery requests must ask explicitly. If the document doesn’t ask precisely for technical elements, the other side doesn’t have to provide the information. Your job in this early phase is to ensure that documents prepared by your lawyer are both Correct and complete, from a technical perspective.