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November 28, 2018 Practice Points

Basic Expert Witness Outline

By Mark E. Sullivan

Preparing for trial is an essential task of any litigation, and one of the most important parts of this process is outlining witness testimony. In preparing your witness outlines, keep in mind that it is your job to present the information to the trier of fact in a manner that is easy to understand and retain. Doing so helps you to present your client’s theme of the case in a succinct manner. Here is a basic outline which might prove helpful in introducing an expert witness. The outline can be tailored for any type of expert witness and is constructed to make sure you meet the basic evidentiary requirements (e.g., qualifications, foundation, etc.) for having a witness qualified as an expert. The rest is up to you and the theme of your case.

1. Background and Expert Qualifications

  • Name
  • Age
  • Employment
  • Employment address
  • Professional Qualifications
    • Education
    • Professional Certification
  • Employment Qualifications
    • What are your duties at ___ [employer]?
    • What is your training in the area of ___?
    • What is your experience in the area of ___?
  • Professional recognitions, achievements, positions you hold?
  • Have you ever been in court before to testify as an expert?
  • Have you been accepted as an expert witness in district or superior court in the field of ___?

2. Tender as Expert in ___.

3. Foundation

  • What was your assignment in this case?
  • Have you completed that assignment? (Here, expand on what testimony the experts needs to give regarding the theme of your case.)

Mark E. Sullivan is the principal attorney at the Law Offices of Mark E. Sullivan, P.A. in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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