Expert witnesses retained on Federal cases are required to submit a written expert report. Attorneys must be aware of the expert report requirements, as well as the deadline for the report. It is important, however, to keep in mind that requirements for expert reports may differ between each jurisdiction.
Even though each jurisdiction may have its own set of rules, the following information is required for federal court cases:
(1) A complete statement of every opinion to be expressed by the expert, as well as the basis for each opinion
(2) The data, facts, and/or information the expert took into account in rendering the opinion(s)
(3) A summary of the expert witness’s qualifications
(4) A statement that lays out how much the expert is being compensated and the basis for that compensation (e.g.-whether it’s a flat rate or an hourly fee, as well as the number of hours or basis for the amount of compensation)
(5) A list of any other cases in which the expert has testified over the past four years. Id.
One should also note that the written report is not necessarily mandated for state courts, since state court rules may differ.
Since the written report is made for the jurors, keep the writing on a clear and accessible level that will be easily understood. The juror must be able to understand each point before reaching the verdict.
The expert’s report also serves as evidence throughout the trial. The report should therefore clearly state the expert’s testimony. Do not include extra or irrelevant information.
Be sure to mark an expert report as a draft before it is finalized, since drafts may be granted work product protection if discovered.
Above all, remember how important the expert’s report is and be sure to treat it as such. Review the report thoroughly before submitting it to trial.