This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Anatomy of a Civil Trial PROUD SUPPORTER OF MAJ! WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED!


Just as you are committed to serving your clients with the highest level of professionalism, U.S. Legal Support is equally committed to serving you. U.S. Legal Support is one of the largest full service legal support companies in the nation. We provide:


Court Reporting Ÿ Realtime Ÿ Daily Copy Ÿ Large Case Management Ÿ Videography / Video Conferencing


Record Retrieval Ÿ Responsive & Tenured Service Team Ÿ Subpoenas & Authorizations Nationwide Ÿ Case / Firm Repository Ÿ HIPAA Privacy Officer on staff


Trial Services & Document Review


With 37 offices across the nation and the combined years of experience of our staff, U.S. Legal Support can provide


NATIONWIDE COVERAGE WITH LOCAL EXPERTISE www.uslegalsupport.com


Theresa Smyth 1025 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20036 (T) 877-479-2484 (C) 703-244-6619 . . .


Call us today and experience the Power of our Commitment. .


verdicts is that in general they understand that experts get paid to testify, and they generally don't begrudge someone from making decent money as an expert witness. On more than one occasion, a juror has told me that they thought a particular expert witness must be really good because he made so much money testifying. I only relay that experience so that you don't end up believing that crossing on financials is a panacea.


Bias Bias is a tough thing to prove. I mean, sure, the expert


always testifies on behalf of defendants. He has never testified on behalf of a plaintiff whether in Maryland or anywhere else. Unfortunately, when you press him on it at trial his response is inevitably going to be that the only cases that he ever actually testifies in are those that he believes are defensible. He'll tell you that he reviews lots of cases for defendants and in a great number of them tells the defense lawyers that they need to settle the cases. Tere's no way for you to verify this so he can say anything he wants. Having said that, there are circumstances where attacking


a defense expert on bias has merit. If the expert works with the defendant, or is friends with the defendant (or the defense lawyer), or otherwise has a business relationship with the defendant, bias is a legitimate and potentially powerful attack.


32 Trial Reporter / Spring 2012


Previous Testimony It takes a lot of legwork to find previous testimony of an


expert witness that is so closely related to the issues in your case that you can use it to impeach the opinions of that expert. However, it is worth the effort. One of the best parts of utilizing previous testimony is that it comes as a complete shock to both the expert and the lawyer. Some of the best cross examinations I have ever seen have utilized previous testimony, and made even the smoothest defense expert look foolish.


Board Issues/Competence I'll be brief. Tere is at least one well-known defense


surgical expert who regularly testifies in medical negligence cases who has a history that includes two instances of operating on the wrong body part. Unless the expert for the defendant is that guy, or someone else with an equally gruesome background, you're not likely to make much headway arguing that a well-credentialed expert is not competent to provide expert testimony.


Last Thoughts I hope that this brief article has helped you to prepare


yourself so that you can maximize your opportunities for winning cross-examination of defense expert witnesses. I will leave you with one last piece of advice that I think has helped me through the years.


The Rule of Three When you are preparing for cross-examination, focus


in on three salient weaknesses in the expert’s anticipated testimony. If you get a concession from the expert on one, you've done well. If you score points on two, your cross has exceeded expectations. If you win all three, you will have done major damage to the defendant's case. Once you have covered those points, resist the temptation to keep going. Sit down. 


Biography Gary E. Dumer, Jr. is a founding member of Dumer,


Harrison & Barnes, P.A., where he focuses his practice on the representation of plaintiffs in medical malpractice actions. Mr. Dumer formerly was a partner in the law firm of Cornblatt, Bennett, Penhallegon & Roberson, P.A., where he represented defendants in medical negligence cases. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1994. He served as an editor of the University of Baltimore Law Review and is a member of the Heuisler Honor Society. Mr. Dumer has practiced in all Maryland trial and appellate courts and in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68