In Federal Court the parties are permitted to question experts prior to trial in the form of a deposition (a question and answer session with the attorneys present). The expert, after reviewing the records prepares a written report that descirbes his evaluation of the records, his opinions, and the bases for his opinions.
In the case I had, the expert was a world reknowned expert in maternal-fetal medicine; a subspecialty of obstetrics & gynecology.
The expert's curriculum vitae (CV) was over 40 pages long. In my first set of questions to the expert, I told him quite honestly I was very impressed with his CV. He literally had published hundreds of articles, chapters in textbooks, abstracts, and presentations. Yet in all the hundreds of articles and publications to his name, he didn't have a single publication about the issue directly involved in this case.
Even though your opponent produces a well-known expert against you, pay careful attention to just what the witness is an expert in. A careful review of his CV often reveals plenty of fodder for cross-examination.
If the facts upon which the expert rendered an opinion is inaccurate or faulty, then his conclusion will also be faulty. It is the obligation of every attorney to whittle away those inaccurate facts that the opposing expert has relied upon, to show that this experts' opinion is no longer valid.
In any malpractice case, you must become familiar with the medicine involved in your case. You must become a mini-expert in the narrow topic of medicine in your case.
brachial plexus injury,
cutting an episiotomy,
sweeping the posterior arm,
fracturing the clavicle,
the zavanelli maneuver,
normal progression of labor,
first stage of labor,
second stage of labor,
glucose tolerance test,
ACOG statement on shoulder dystocia (American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists guidelines for recognizing and treating shoulder dystocia).
Show that the expert's conclusions are inaccurate, and do it with a smile!
Make sure you review those medical records over and over again. Know it better than the expert and your adversary. It will prove well worth it when you can point to a specific part of the medical record that the expert cannot recall.
ONLY BY THOROUGH PREPARATION AND EXHAUSTIVE RESEARCH OF THE TOPIC CAN YOU PERFORM A SUCCESSFUL CROSS EXAMINATION OF A MEDICAL EXPERT IN A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE.