Expert Witnesses In Medical Malpractice Cases


An expert witness reply is when each side notifies the other side about what experts have been retained to testify at the trial. For example, when the plaintiff has hired a medical expert so he or she can testify at the trial, the plaintiff is required to provide written notice, or a 3101(d) reply to the defense. This is required under the New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules § 3101(d).

There is specific information that the attorney will need to provide in the expert witness reply. The doctor’s credentials will need to be provided, including where the doctor attended medical school, where he or she did post-graduate training, whether the doctor is currently licensed to practice medicine in New York, and whether the doctor has board certification to practice medicine in a particular field. Additionally, the opposing side will need sufficient information regarding what the experts will be talking about at the time of trial. It is also very important that the other side be told the basis by which the doctor reached the opinions and conclusions that will be presented at trial. In most cases, the attorney will say that the conclusions of the expert witness were based on medical records, pretrial testimony, and testimony at the time of trial.

The attorney, however, is not required to tell the opposing party the names of their medical experts, even though opposing party could search it. Knowing who the medical expert is allows the attorney to find transcripts of testimonies the doctor has previously given. This information could reveal contradictions between past testimonies and the testimony to be given at trial.

Once the expert witness reply is received, then both sides will be able to make an investigation about the witnesses. They will need to determine who the expert is, whether they had given testimonies in the past that contain contradicting information, and uncover personal information that may hurt their credibility. The information in the reply can contain information that may either help the other side prepare an answer or defense regarding the content of the expert’s testimony.

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