The deposition of the defendant’s expert doctor in New Jersey is often a key to success at trial. While the facts behind every case differ, there are foundation questions that should, indeed, must be asked of every expert in a New Jersey Medical Malpractice deposition. Below are some suggested questions that will help you to effectively use deposition testimony at the trial of the New Jersey Medical Malpractice case.
Have we ever met before today?
Do you understand that I will be asking you some questions today in regard to your expert opinions and the foundation of those opinions?
If at any time you don’t understand one of my questions, or any portion of one of my questions, will you say so before you answer the question?
Will you answer only those questions that you fully and completely understand?
Do you understand that if you should testify at trial it will be assumed that you understood each and every question asked at this deposition unless you state otherwise before you answer the question?
Do you understand that unless you say differently at the time you are answering, it will be assumed that you gave the full answer that you intended to give?
Do you understand that you must answer all questions verbally, and not with a nod or shake of your head?
Will you try not to answer or interject until it completed my entire question?
You understand that you are not to guess the speculate when answering any of my questions?
Do you understand that if you should testify at trial it will be assumed that you understood each and every question asked that this deposition unless you state otherwise before you answer the question?
If you express your opinion during the course of this deposition will you do it each and every time to a reasonable degree of medical probability/credibility?
Would you agree that it was Dr. ____________ obligation to be familiar with the standards of care in his specialty?
Would you agree that one of the purposes of standard of care is patient protection?
Would you agree that standards of care are an integral part of providing safe and proper health care to patients?
Would you agree that in some cases noncompliance with the standard of care can lead to otherwise preventable injury, morbidity, or death?
On whose behalf have you been retained?
How long have you known defendant Dr. ___________________?
Have you spoken or met with defendant Dr. _______________ about this case?
Who else attended that meeting(s) with defendant Dr. _______________?
Did you ask defendant Dr. ______________ to clarify or explain any aspect of his care?
Will you be offering any opinions at the time of trial with regard to care rendered by any other defendant in this case?
Any care giver in this case apart from party who has retained you?
Have you ever expressed any hesitancy to anyone about defending defendant Dr.__________ care in this case?
Do you believe that you have an obligation to render only objective opinions in this case?
Is data set forth in the medical records/autopsy report an important source of objective upon which to base your opinions?
Would you agree that one component of objectivity is that you don’t shade or mold your opinion for the benefit of the party hiring you?
Would you agree that respect to questions of fact, or who said what to whom, you won’t automatically accept as true the position of the doctor on whose behalf you are testifying?
Would you agree that whether an expert has testified one time or one hundred times the hallmark of testimony under oath must be objectivity?
Do you believe you have an obligation to answer questions fully, truthfully, and objectively even if such testimony is against the interests of the party for whom you are appearing as an expert?
The obligation to be objective and to tell the truth is far more important than any money earned for testifying
Do you believe that a physician who charges for his time when acting as an expert is objectively compromised?
Do you believe in the jury system?
Do you feel fully prepared today to discuss all of your opinions with respect to this case?
Are you prepared to testify at trial to any opinion with regard to this case that you have not expressed in your report(s)?
Please state any opinion that you hold which you believe was not addressed in your report?
Have you authored any report since authoring the report(s) of ______?
Have you been asked to render a supplemental report on any issue
As you sit here today to you have any present intention of authoring any supplemental report?
If the facts upon which you base your report are shown to be incorrect, are you willing to reconsider and change your opinions?
Would you be prepared to reconsider your opinion even if that resulted in testimony adverse to the doctors on whose behalf you are testifying?
Are all of the opinions in your report(s) opinions that you hold to a reasonable degree of medical probability?
Have you brought any material with you that you consider relevant to this case, of course putting aside your report and the material supplied to you by counsel?
Did you carefully review all the material sent to you in deciding what to write in your report?
How much time did you spend in reviewing the materials that formed the basis of your report?
Did you choose the language in your report carefully?
Was it your intention to clearly convey in your report the opinions you reached?
Was it your intention to clearly and accurately convey the factual basis upon which you ground your opinions?
Do you have any handwritten or computer generated notes separate and apart from your report(s)?
Have you reviewed any materials with respect to this case that are not mentioned in your report of _____?
Are you a subscriber to Uptodate.com or any other on-line medical site?
At any time before you authored your report did you do any type of literature search with reference to the issues in this case?
At any time before you authored your report did you review any medical texts or journals with reference to the issues in this case?
At any time after authoring your report did you do any type of literature search with reference to the issues in this case?
At any time after authoring your report did you review any medical texts or journals with reference to the issues in this case?
Have you ever written research article or paper which you feel is relevant to this case?
Are you relying on any specific medical article or portion of a textbook to support your opinions with respect to this case?
Have you read any medical article or portion of a textbook which you would objectively say would support the plaintiff’s position in this case?
What textbooks do you utilize in your practice?
What textbook or textbooks did you primarily utilize during your residency?
Do you consider those textbooks(any textbooks) to be generally reliable and relied on in the field of……?
What peer reviewed medical journals do you receive and read on a regular basis?
Have you written for any textbooks?
Why write for textbooks?
Do you utilize textbooks?
Do you consider those texts generally reliable and relied on in your field, reserving your right to disagree with anything in the text?
Why do you read peer reviewed medical journals?
Did you provide defense counsel with any medical articles or portions of textbook?
Did defense counsel provide you with any medical articles or portions of textbooks?
Have you made any drawings, charts or illustrations for defense counsel?
Has defense counsel provided you with any drawings, charts or illustrations?
Are there doctors who you consider to be leaders in your field?
Any in New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania?
Before committing your opinions to writing in your report did you discuss this case with any physician not a defendant in this case?
To date have you discussed this case with any physician who is not a defendant?
Have you met any of the defendant’s in this case?
Ever attend a medical meeting where any of the defendants spoke?
When for the first time did you begin to do expert work in medical legal/medical malpractice cases?
Please give us an overview, with as much detail as you can, about your medical legal work?
Have you ever testified on behalf of any drug or supplement manufacturers?
Have you testified in person at trial in a medical malpractice case in any State?
Have you testified at trial in person, or by videotape or oral deposition in any case emanating outside of NJ?
When is the last time you testified at trial on behalf of a plaintiff?
How many time have you testified at trial on behalf of a plaintiff?
How many trials in last year/5 years/ 10 years?
How many cases have you accepted for review in the last 5 years?
Last 10 years?
What percentage of cases reviewed have been on behalf of defendant?
In what % of cases you review for defendants do you decline to be an expert?
When is the last time you gave a deposition in a medical legal/medical malpractice case?
How many depositions in last year/ 5years/10 years?
Would you be surprised if I have obtained copies of depositions you gave in other cases?
Fair to say that at every deposition you have been asked about the number of years you have been doing expert work and the number of depositions you have given?
Do you believe it is in your interest to understate the extent of expert work you have done?
Have you ever purposely understated the extent of expert work you have done?
How much do you charge for reviewing a medical legal/medical malpractice case?
How many hours have you spent until this moment in reviewing this case?
How much do you charge for deposition prep time?
How much for deposition testimony?
How much for trial testimony: ½ v. full day?
For how long have you been reviewing cases for firm of _______(defense firm in case in issue?
How did you come to evaluate cases for firm?
How many evaluations/depositions/trial for the firm?
Have you reviewed any cases on behalf of plaintiffs that are similar in any way to the case here?
Names of lawyers/copies of reports?
Obtain and mark all correspondence between expert and law firm?
Have you reviewed any materials in preparation for your testimony today that are not mentioned?
in your report
* If research discloses that expert is a ‘regular”, ask: What % of your income is derived from medical malpractice work?
Define what you mean by “standard of care”?
Do you keep any computer files or paper files with respect to your medical malpractice work?
Keep any billing records with respect to your medical malpractice work?
Have you ever been asked to compile a list of your medical malpractice cases?
Have you ever listed yourself with any agencies or companies as an expert available to do medical malpractice evaluations?
***Insert questions as to discipline from defendant outline?
Have you ever been a defendant in a medical malpractice case?
Has the law firm whom you are working with as an expert in this case ever defended you in a medical malpractice case?
Who was your attorney at the firm, if you know?
How many/how many presently pending?
Any cases which have any reasonable similarity to case at hand?
Who is your medical malpractice Insurer?
Do you sit on any committees at the Insurer?
Do you do any in house reviews for the Insurer?
Have you ever sat on any peer review committee where you evaluated care rendered by another physician?
Did you take that responsibility very seriously?
Did you act at all times as an objective reviewer even if that meant finding the physician to be deficient in his/her treatment?
Will you treat this deposition as if you were in a formal peer review setting with respect to your analysis and honesty?
Will you agree not to express any opinion that you would not fully support in a formal peer review setting?
Will you testify as if there was an expectation that this deposition transcript were going to be reviewed by the chairman of your department(s)?
Is there any aspect of the care rendered by Dr/Nurse ________ that you believe you would have done differently?
Any aspect of the care that you find fault with/disagree with?
Is it your opinion that your way of handling the case as you just testified to represents the standard of care in the year _____.
Did you purposely exclude from your report any critical opinions that you had reached about the care in this case?
Whether purposely or not, did you exclude from your report any critical opinions that you had reached about the care in this case?
Did the plaintiff receive optimal care?
If the plaintiff had contacted you is there any way you would have been able to serve as plaintiff’s expert?