Quality Assurance at ExpertsDirect

share on

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Experts and lawyers who are familiar with expert witness work will know that the process of producing an expert report involves more than simply engaging the right expert. Even after preliminary discussions between the expert and lawyers, a draft report can reveal misunderstandings about the form and style of the evidence, disagreements as to what the key issues are in a matter, or new issues may arise after the expert has reviewed the brief of evidence provided to them.

If you are a lawyer or expert witness concerned about managing the reporting process, ExpertsDirect can help. Helmed by former barrister and LexisNexis content writer Rhett Walton, our Quality Assurance team ensures that experts not only have access to professional editorial support but also to advice on the statutory and professional guidelines for report content.

Below, Rhett summarises three crucial steps ExpertsDirect’s Quality Assurance team takes to help experts and lawyers submit admissible and high calibre expert witness reports for their matters.

Step 1: Review of the Report

At the most basic level, our editors offer a qualified second opinion on reports before they are sent to instructing solicitors. This first step guarantees that your report is clear, concise, and conforms with the relevant expert witness codes and legal principles.

Clarity

No matter how many times an expert reads their own work, reports commonly still contain simple errors like typos or punctuation, which needlessly detract from otherwise strong and reliable opinions and reasoning.  Our editors read every expert report for any such errors in spelling and grammar which experts may have overlooked in their own editing process.

Reasoning

Courts require experts to present technical issues in a manner accessible to the layperson without over-simplification of those issues. However, we understand that expert reports on more complex matters will inevitably require experts to use jargon or provide lengthier explanations of technical issues.

Our editors perform the important task of reviewing reports to ensure that expert opinions and explanations reflect a standard of cogency and fluid reasoning amenable to the understanding of lawyers and the courts, or any lay reader that needs to understand a complex topic they may know nothing about.

Admissibility

Even if your report presents evidence clearly and with impeccable reasoning, courts will not accept evidence that nonetheless contravenes statutory requirements relating to the form and content of expert witness testimony. The legal background and training of each of ExpertsDirect’s editors ensures that reports are reviewed with an understanding of the effect and requirements of relevant Expert Codes of Conduct and legal principles.

Step 2: Clarifications to the Expert

After reviewing your report, our Quality Assurance team sends experts a list of any ‘clarifications’ they feel are necessary or helpful to strengthen the report. The list includes suggested amendments to the grammar, spelling and format of the report, as well as recommended changes to the report where issues of reasoning and admissibility arise. Experts may accept or reject these suggested amendments and are encouraged to contact the Quality Assurance team to discuss the clarifications if necessary.

Once the expert has made amendments based upon the clarifications, the Quality Assurance team sends the report to instructing solicitors, usually in draft form, for their review.

Step 3: Lawyers’ Clarifications

Lawyers may seek further clarifications and amendments to the expert report. The Quality Assurance team performs the crucial role of liaising with lawyers and experts in order to ensure that lawyers’ concerns about the form or content of the expert report are also addressed, and that the expert is consulted about the effect of any changes to their report.

The Quality Assurance team and Case Managers in this stage of the reporting process contribute their knowledge of expert reporting standards and conventions in courts so that all parties, including the court, are satisfied with the final version of the report.

If would like to know more about our Quality Assurance process or are seeking assistance with your expert witness reporting, please visit our website, or call us on 1300 847 855.

Your search for a winning expert stops here.