Go to navigation Go to content

Your medical malpractice trial is approaching. The defense still has not notified you who their experts are. Can they still call experts at trial if they have not notified you?

 

A:

In a medical malpractice trial in New York, we are required to bring in medical experts who can explain to the jury the different concepts and issues involved. Before we are permitted to call a medical expert to the witness stand, we must have given notice to the other side first.

This allows the defense an opportunity to research who the expert is and to try and strategize a way to cross-examine the expert. It gives them an opportunity to prepare for what the expert will be talking about and different ways to question that expert during trial.

In New York, lawyers are required to give their opponents specific information about their experts. This information must be given within a reasonable time prior to trial. This allows them the opportunity to prepare and do their research. If an attorney fails to provide timely notice to the other side about experts they intend on calling at trial, the attorney runs the risk that the judge will not allow him to call that witness at trial. There are other alternatives that can occur as well.

The judge could sanction the attorney and charge him a financial penalty for waiting until the last minute to disclose the expert's information.

Interestingly, in New York, we are not required to exchange the names of any medical experts we intend on calling a trial. However, we are required to disclose expert's credentials. With today's technology, it becomes simply a matter of plugging in an expert's credentials into a program which will allow us to identify who the expert is.