What Not to Include in an Expert Report
Excerpt from the SEAK Text: Writing and Defending Your Expert Report
Post by: Alex Babitsky
The only language that should appear in expert reports is language that objectively states or objectively supports an expert’s findings and conclusions. All other information is superfluous and should not be included in an expert’s report.
Including superfluous language in a report is one of the most common mistakes experts make. This mistake can cost the expert’s credibility dearly. Superfluous language often provides fertile grounds for cross-examination that can damage the expert’s credibility.
The authors recommend the following.
• Avoiding “friendly” language to counsel that thanks them for the assignment, invites comments or questions, or includes personal salutations.
• Not including speeches in the expert report that expose the expert’s beliefs.
• Making sure letterhead does not include references to being an “expert witness.”
• Cover letters accompanying reports should be short and formal. One sentence is ideal.
• Not documenting discussions with retaining counsel in the expert report unless they are relevant.
• Experts should self-edit their reports aggressively to remove all superfluous language.