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Your Expert Witness’ Testimony Differs from Deposition Testimony - What Do You Do?

The expert witness usually must provide similar or the same testimony during the trial as when he or she did during the deposition to ensure that the details are not different or contradictory. This is an important matter that the lawyer and expert may need to discuss before the trial takes place to prevent disqualification.

Deposition Testimony

The deposition is usually the first stage of the case that the expert witness will provide some opinion about the issue with the other legal side. Having a significant familiarity with the evidence and case materials is important to providing something that can yield results in testing methods which provides a foundation for opinions supplied during this phase of the case. Because there are multiple points where the professional hired for the case could contradict his or her testimony or give details that are not relevant to the subject matter, the opposing legal counsel can object to the expert witness numerous times.

The Possible Deposition Objections

Before the trial ever occurs, the deposition happens. It is here that the expert gives an important part of the ultimate and overall testimony for the case. This should
have a basis on fact and technical natures of the subject materials which include the evidence and scene of the crime. If the expert cannot remain relevant and ensure reliable testing methods, the opposing legal counsel could object and even start the process of disqualification. If the deposition phase passes without this, the expert could later contradict these same details in the trial testimony.

Legal Analysis

The lawyer and the expert witness are often working together before the trial begins. This relationship is important to help keep the expert designated to the case rather than suffer disqualification. That requires a legal analysis of the professional’s testimony of both the deposition and what will occur in the trial case. The analysis should uncover contradictions or deviations from the previous testimony. If this covers a report, the expert may alter certain details after discovering new processes or changed events. Before the matter gets any further, it may require a conversation about how the testimony must remain mostly the same with only minor alterations possible.

Factual Vs. Opinion

The deposition testimony is usually a cursory glance at the evidence and basing opinions on factual details with the expert’s eye for the subject matter. However, after the initial process, this professional has the time to determine new details or consider additional facts. This could lead to more opinions presented during the trial testimony. However, the expert must remain within the factual details realm and still base new opinions on the current evidence on truth and verified information. The lawyer may also need to communicate with the expert about any added statements to the original deposition testimony.

Readjusting Testimony or Firing the Expert

The lawyer attached to the case may only have two primary options if the expert is to provide testimony in the trial case that contradicts deposition testimony already given. He or she can readjust the testimony by communicating the changes and why they are detrimental to the case or by firing the expert and hiring a new expert that will testify similarly to the previously stated details. This decision is important and can lead to complications or a better trial phase. The deposition details that the professional provides usually must remain similar or with changes that are extremely minute. The time to review the evidence and complete testing provide for results, facts and opinions the expert can detail in a report.

If the lawyer cannot get the expert to change his or her testimony for the trial case, it may become time to fire the professional if the contract allows for this process. It is important not to violate the expert’s contract to hire with the case. Termination based on performance issues or offenses against the case by contradicting previously presented details could give the lawyer the ability to accomplish this. He or she may need to review the contract first and determine if there are any other ways around this process.

The Expert and the Lawyer in Testimony Issues

Experts hired for the case often understand what they can and cannot do between depositions and trial stages. The expert is usually open to following the necessary steps to maintaining the processes necessary for the case. Some professionals may need the support and knowledge of the lawyer to continue through the case appropriately.

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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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