July 20, 2015 Articles

Expert Disclosure Lessons Learned in a Recent Trial

Adherence to the federal rules and a careful review of the discovery record can help prevent exclusion of expert testimony

by Rudy R. Perrino

At first blush, the expert disclosure requirements under federal law seem relatively straightforward. In practice, they can be quite complicated, confusing, and, at times, seemingly unfair. These concerns are magnified when the disclosures made during discovery come into focus at trial. This article seeks to point out some of the more problematic issues with regard to expert disclosure that can be encountered at trial, as recently experienced by the author. While the trial of MOC v. Pace was conducted under California law, the experiences are easily translated into federal law: California's Civil Discovery Act was substantially adopted from the federal rules of discovery. See Greyhound Corp. v. Superior Court, 364 P.2d 266, 272–74 (Cal. 1961), superseded by statute on other grounds. Some of the experiences discussed herein will have analogous application in the courts of other states that have also patterned their discovery rules after the federal rules.

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