You have sustained significant injuries because of carelessness of a doctor or hospital staff, and you have submitted a medical malpractice lawsuit to claim damages and compensation correlating with your suffering and financial distress. Your case has gone all the way to trial, and now when you are about to put your expert witness on the stand in support of your claim, the defense jumps up and agrees that this witness is an expert. Why does the defense do this, and what should your lawyer do in this instance?
Defense does not Want You to Reveal the Qualifications of Your Witness to the Jury
The only reason the defense attorney jumps up as you are putting your expert witness on the stand, is to prevent your lawyer from telling the jury, this expert’s credentials. This is the only opportunity your lawyer has to tell the jury about this expert’s qualifications.
You want the jury to truly understand all the qualifications your expert has, such as where did he go to medical school, where did he do his residency training, what did he do in postgraduate training, did he have a fellowship, and is he board certified. Additionally, what is he doing now for the past twenty to twenty five years? All this the jury needs to understand and know.
The only reason the defense lawyer jumps up with an objection, acknowledging and agreeing with the witness being an expert, is to preempt your lawyer from conveying all this information to the jury. This means the defense lawyer wants to stop your lawyer from going ahead and telling the jury about the expert’s credentials and qualifications. When the defense is acknowledging and agreeing to your witness being an expert, they are hoping your lawyer will simply move on, and not mention your witness’s qualifications and credentials to the jury.
Your Lawyer must Describe to the Jury the Qualifications, Credentials, and Experience of Your Expert Witness
However, this is not what is going to happen. Your lawyer will turn around, acknowledge, and thank the defense attorney for recognizing this witness to be an expert, but the jury still needs to understand what his qualifications are so that they can make an educated decision about this doctor’s credibility.
The jury needs to know what type of experience he has, since he is coming to court and giving acute testimony about the most important facts of the case. This way the jury will have a clear understanding about who is giving the testimony, what conclusions he is reaching, and most importantly why is he reaching these conclusions.
If your lawyer misses this chance of explaining to the jury in detail about the qualifications, credentials, and experience of your special and fascinating witness then the defense has a genuine chance of destroying his credibility or leaving doubt in the minds of the jurors about his testimony.
Do not Fall for the Defense’s Ploy
The defense will first agree to your witness being an expert with sole purpose of preventing your lawyer from addressing the jury about his credentials, qualifications, and experience. Just because the defense agrees that your witness is an expert does not necessarily mean the jury is going to take that view and run with it. Therefore it is critical to tell them about the qualifications of your expert witness.