Expert Witness Cross-Examination Questions And Areas of Inquiry
SEAK, Inc.

Excerpted from the SEAK, Inc. text, The A-Z Guide to Expert Witnessing
©2006 SEAK, Inc.

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Expert Witnesses need to be effective when questioned by opposing counsel during cross-examination. Anticipating the areas of likely inquiry and preparing accordingly will increase an expert’s effectiveness. The following outline describes some of the most important lines of inquiry opposing counsel may follow.

Initial Consultation

__ When you were first contacted

__ By whom you were contacted

__ When you were retained

__ What you were requested to do


__ Accuracy of CV

__ Misleading information on CV

__ Knowledge

__ Skill

__ Education/Degrees/Licenses or lack thereof

__ Training

__ Extensive areas of expertise listed in CV, suggesting expert is expert in everything

__ Self serving characterizations in CV

__ Memberships in societies

__ Awards

__ Practical experience

__ Recentness of experience

__ Relevancy of experience

__ Credibility

__ Marketing activities

__ Relationship to retaining party or attorney

__ Affiliation with an insurance company

__ Conversations with retaining attorney

__ Indirect monetary interest

__ Prior testimony

__ Professional presentations

__ Professional and personal writings

__ Professional errors or miscues by expert

__ Information on web page


__ Documents and pleadings reviewed

__ Validity of underlying facts

__ Validity of underlying assumptions

__ Conflicts with opinions of other experts

__ Notes on documents

__ Information expert failed to review

__ Time spent forming opinion

__ Sources of information

__ Reports of other experts reviewed

__ Your opinion’s foundation

__ Reliance on tests not personally performed

__ Reliance on other experts’ records

__ Reliance on self-reported history

__ Omitted facts

__ When you formed your opinions

__ Opinions you will be offering

__ Opinions you will not be offering

__ Prior contrary opinions

Fees and Billing

__ Hourly rate

__ Amount billed to date

__ Amount anticipate billing

__ Amount paid in prior cases by client

Forensic Work

__ Percentage of your time spent on forensic work

__ Amount for plaintiffs

__ Amount for defendants

__ Percentage of your total income derived from forensic work

__ Consulting work where not retained to testify

__ Marketing activity, including web pages


__ Impartiality

__ Inflexibility

__ Personal/social relationship with party/attorney

__ Professional witness

__ Advocate

__ Fees and compensation

__ Direct or indirect financial interest in the case


__ Dates of reports

__ Oral vs. written

__ Revisions

__ Information in report

__ Inaccuracy in reports

__ Preliminary vs. final

__ Additions, alterations, corrections

__ Prior drafts

Tests Performed

__ When, where, at whose request

__ Results

__ Equipment used

__ Similarity of conditions

__ Photos, videos, or sketches taken

__ Tests not performed

__ Accuracy of calculations, tests

Visit to Accident Scene

__ When and at whose request

__ Similarity of conditions

__ What was done during visit

Skeletons in Closet

__ Professional discipline

__ Loss of job

__ Failing certification exams

__ Criminal convictions

__ Suspension/revocation of licenses

__ Testimony rejected by other courts or administrative agencies

__ Findings of being not qualified to testify

__ Prior professional or testifying mistakes


__ Fully complied with subpoena

__ Removed documents from your file

Learned Treatises

__ Which texts, treatises, and articles are authoritative

__ Contrary statements in treatises

Prior Testimony

__ One-sidedness

__ Inconsistencies (impeachment with prior testimony)

Legal Standards

__ Degree of probability required

__ Standards of practice

__ Pertinent statutes, rules, regulations, and codes

Daubert Issues

__ Has your technique or theory been tested?

__ Has your technique or theory been subject to peer review and publication?

__ The known or potential rate of error of the technique or theory

__ The existence of standards and controls

__ The degree to which the technique or theory has been generally accepted by the scientific community

__ Theory developed “for litigation only”