The expert report: an unbiased opinion, with constraints
Expert witness reports range from very brief, a few pages, to extensive analysis involving substantial written work extending well over a hundred pages.
If the format of the report is unconstrained, it must be the unbiased work product of the expert alone. Under no circumstances should an expert permit the litigation team to write the report, determine, or even influence, the expert’s opinions. The judge will determine the admissibility of and the weight to be given to any expert report. What the litigation team can do is set the general parameters (the scope of the report), as well as a commonly written table of contents. The litigation may require more than one expert report, each of which must be defended by the expert witness in deposition.
There is no obligatory format. Most expert reports, however, contain the following information:
Resume, biographical summary or written qualifications of the expert witness, including all publications authored in the previous 10 years, and all the other cases in which the expert is involved during the previous 4 years.
1. Purpose for the report.
2. List of documents reviewed with respect to the subject-matter of the report. All such documents must be recorded
3. Analysis by the expert within a stated research methodology or testing methodology in the case of the examination of physical products or software.
4. Complete observations or opinion of the expert with regard to the issues relevant to the report as they relate to the expert’s analysis.
5. Conclusions drawn by the expert after review of the aforementioned documents, observations and opinion.
6. Any exhibits, attachments and any relevant documentation that supports the Expert’s opinion
7. An expert report expresses the opinions of the expert; its form and content will often differ from ordinary scientific or engineering reports.
8. The expert report must apply in an objective and consistent manner a theory and/or methodology to the facts of a particular case.
9. A statement of compensation for the work performed.