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Forensic, General & Medical
Expert Witnesses

Structure of an Expert Witness Report

The report that an expert witness is tasked with creating provides the court with various details, processes and information about the evidence and incident. Through his or her knowledge and expertise, the expert is able to recreate, reconstruct or better understand the activity that lead to the injury and then places this data in the report.

The structure of the expert witness’ report is often similar based on the claim type and how the professional is able to frame his or her methods in connecting evidence. If the expert in the case is required to create the report, he or she may do so based on the federal court or state court and testimony provided for the incident. Some of these documents are mandatory, but they could be supplied to the lawyer or judge. They are often a few to several pages long with numerous pieces of information. A disclosure is often contained after the initial introduction which labels the defendant, plaintiff, date of the stages of the case and the issue at hand.

The witness signs the report and supplies it to the judge or lawyer. There must be a complete statement contained that includes opinions about the methods used, processes, evidence and incident. There is a
basis and reason these opinions are provided. Facts and data about the incident are included. These documents generally have exhibits, visual aids and diagrams. Qualifications of the expert are usually on a page as well as publications within the late ten years the expert has been published. Within the last four years, the professional will place his or her previous cases where he or she presented testimony. He or she also writes in the compensation received for study, testing and testimony for the case.

The First Part of the Report

Once the introduction has been placed within the document, the expert witness may describe the incident in detail. He or she may place in this section opinions about what caused the issue, how the behavior or activity of the defendant may suggest certain issues and how the scene was in direct proportion to the claim. Names are often put in the report in full without the need for pseudonyms. Methods for determining a thought or how the defendant may have caused the incident could be next based on the expert and the subject of the claim. If the matter concerns computers, networking or electronic processes, much of this may be indiscernible to the average person.

A summary of the facts is input near the beginning with what the expert witness may be tasked with testifying about or what details he or she may clear up for the courtroom. Other disclosures are contained in this section and the following section based on what information should be provided and stipulations from court orders. Any contradictions against evidence or how the opposing counsel has addressed the evidence to the plaintiff or defendant is supposed near the beginning. The recreation or reconstruction of the incident along with any visual aids are written into the beginning or second section in usual circumstances.

Requirements May Vary

Based on the state, the court or the judge, the requirements of everything necessary in an expert witness report could change. However, the introduction and proceeding processes are usually the same or similar. The conclusion generally has the end opinions about the incident, the defendant and what compensation or remedy should be applied to the claim. The middle section is reserved for evidence, methods and progressing through the claim with the processes used by the expert. If scientific methods are necessary, the results are clearly defined. Additional witnesses and persons interviewed by the expert would typically be placed in the middle section or body of the report.

It is important to work with the lawyer closely for any additional information or visual aids that are needed for the claim. If more sections or details are needed based on the state or local jurisdiction, then the legal representative may need to communicate this clearly to the expert. A draft of testimony or what may be the outline of testimony may be included, but this is not often necessary. However, the conclusion and exit remarks are typically part of the last section of the report. Once the report has been handed in, the expert may be tasked with providing visual aids and other items to show his or her diagrams and helpful hints or tips to the judge or jury.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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