What is an Expert Witness Reply?
An expert witness reply means you, the victim in a medical malpractice case, have to notify the defense of whatever experts you have retained to testify in your favor during the trial. Likewise, the defense has to do the same, and provide you with the list of experts they will be presenting at the trial.
Once you hire a medical expert to come and testify at trial, you have to provide the defense with a written notice or document, which is called 3101D Reply. It refers to the civil practice laws and rules in New York; the number 3101D refers to a specific section, which is commonly known as an expert witness reply.
What does it Contain?
Within the expert witness reply, your lawyer will have to provide:
· The medical expert’s credentials
· Where the doctor went to medical school
· Where he did his post graduate training
· Whether he is licensed to practice in the state of New York
· Whether he is board certified in a particular field of medicine
You also have to give your adversaries, sufficient information to let them know, what exactly this expert is going to be talking about when they come to testify at the trial. More importantly, you also have to tell them, on what basis the doctor will be able to reach those opinions and conclusions. Usually, you will want to mention that your medical expert has reached his conclusions based upon the medical records in the case, pretrial testimony that has been given, as well as testimony that will be given at the time of the trial.
Why is this Document Important?
One interesting thing to note is that in New York, you are not required to divulge the name of your medical expert in the expert witness reply in a medical malpractice case. However, in the modern age of computers and computing, it is very easy to enter the doctor’s credentials. And with the help of search engines and software, it is simple to know and to determine the name of that particular medical expert.
You might ask, what is the point of identifying the medical expert? Well, once you know who this expert is, you can go ahead and dig up any transcripts that this doctor has given in the past. You will come to know what testimonies this doctor has given in the past, and whether they contradict what he is going to be talking about in this particular case or be ready to pounce if he does contradict himself. Therefore, once you receive the expert witness reply from the defense you will want to begin your investigation. You have to find out:
· Who this expert is
· Whether he has given any prior testimonies
· Whether these testimonies are going to contradict what he is going to testify in this case
· Try and dig up any personal information on this expert that might hinder or hurt this expert’s credibility
Therefore, expert witness reply is a vital document that provides important information about the expert who is going to testify, his credentials, and the basis of his conclusions and opinions.