Best Practices for Using an Expert in the Preparation and/or Presentation of Your Defense
Best practices for Finding, Choosing, Engaging, Communicating With, Preparing, and Having an Expert Testify for the Defense.
FINDING, VETTING, ENGAGING, COMMUNICATING WITH AND SETTING THE RULES.FINDING, AND VETTING AN EXPERT:
1. Ask for recommendations
2. Ask for opinions of strengths and weaknesses of recommended experts.
3. Conduct an internet search of the expert you are considering. (What you don*t know WILL hurt you.)
4. Review curriculum for accuracy. (Find out if there are any chinks in the amor because the prosecutor will.)
5. Obtain transcripts of prior testimony.
6. Talk to the expert. Get a feel for the expert and discuss any questions or concerns discovered.
ENGAGING AND COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR EXPERT: (SETTING THE RULES)
1. Use an Engagement Letter that specifically states that the expert acts as an agent of the defense.
- Insure that attorney client and work product privileges are incorporated.
- Specify that the client is responsible for the expert*s fees and costs.
2. Use the telephone only
- Avoid written communication with expert. (It may become discoverable.)
- Set the ground rules for communication.
PREPARING WITH YOUR EXPERT AND PRESENTING YOUR EXPERT IN TRIALPREPARE YOUR EXPERT:
1. Share discovery with the expert early on.
2. Get educated by the expert. Read/review/discuss.
3. Discuss concerns/theories of case with the expert.
4. Have the expert meet the client.
5. Have the expert review discovery for strengths and weaknesses of the case.
6. Collaborate with the expert when preparing questions.
7. Practice testimony with expert.
PRESENTATION AT TRIAL:
1. Ask open ended questions on direct.
2. Have the expert get out of the witness stand and interact with the jury.
3. Rehabilitate after cross examination only if needed.