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Chapter 22 : Observations from the Witness Stand
The chapter talks about several areas that can help an attorney employ expert witnesses to his advantage. These include getting the right expert, an adequate pretrial conference, and prior discussion of the questions to be asked on direct examination. The expert may also be helpful in suggesting questions for the cross-examination of opposing experts. The expert should be advised of actual or potential opposing expert witnesses, and should be provided with all appropriate documents, e.g., deposition transcripts, medical reports, complaints, etc., to permit him to form an opinion. The witness should be advised of prior testimony by other witnesses that bears on the subject of his testimony, and should be told to direct his answers to the judge or to the jury. The witness should be told about the materials he should bring to court and to the witness stand. A rehearsal of the witness' testimony is essential, and the witness should be advised about the cross-examination he should expect. During the expert’s direct testimony, adequate time should be spent on reviewing the expert’s qualifications for the court. During cross-examining the opposition's expert, the author says that it is better not to ask questions for which answers are unavailable.