This article provides a few comments on expert reports.
The Right Expert
Good experts have the following characteristics:
- They have excellent education and credentials;
- They have tons of relevant work experience (not just report writing experience);
- They have testified before and been qualified as an expert;
- They are able to explain things concisely; and
- They are likeable.
Getting the right expert requires reviewing C.V.s, checking references and ideally interviewing the expert in person.
The Right Report
Generally, experts can only testify about opinions contained in their report. It may therefore be necessary to provide questions to trigger responses on key issues and possibly add follow up questions if something important is omitted or requires further explanation.
Rule 53.03(2.1) sets out 7 requirements for expert reports, summarized here:
- The expert’s name, address and area of expertise;
- Qualifications and experience in the area of expertise;
- The instructions provided;
- The nature of the opinion and the issues to which the opinion relates;
- The opinion;
- The reasons for the opinion, including the facts assumed, research conducted and documents relied on; and
- An acknowledgement of expert’s duty. Please click here to purchase a template acknowledgment of expert’s duty.
Expert reports are due 90 days before the pre-trial conference. Responding reports are due 60 days before the pre-trial conference. Supplementary reports are due 30 days before trial.
The Expert’s C.V. and Form 53
The expert’s C.V. and Form 53 may be introduced as exhibits, generally near the start of their testimony when being qualified as an expert.
Template Expert Report
If you hire an expert who has never written an expert report for Court before and/or is unsure how to structure their report to comply with rule 53.03 in Superior Court / rule 18 in Small Claims Court, you can purchase a template expert report here to assist your expert.
More than 3 Experts
Section 12 of the Evidence Act permits up to 3 experts without leave. If more than 3 experts are necessary, it is best to give notice of an intention to seek leave to call more than 3 experts. Our article on Evidence Act notices in regards to medical experts demonstrates how to give notice.
For some trials, such as simplified trials, expert evidence in direct is introduced by way of an expert’s affidavit.
Expert Reports, MVA cases and Threshold
A 3 part series on addressing the threshold through experts is available here:
- Click here for part 1: Questions for Medical Experts to Meet the Threshold
- Click here for part 2: Ensuring Expert Medical Reports Address Threshold
- Click here for part 3: Precedent Questions for Medical Experts to Address Threshold
Resources by a trial lawyer, available online:
If you would like legal advice from an experienced trial lawyer:
This website and all resources are trial information, not trial legal advice.
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