December 2011 Bar Bulletin
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December 2011 Bar Bulletin

Laying an Expert Foundation

By Kris Henderson
Reference Services Librarian


This month's theme, "Groundwork," reminded me of "foundation," which in turn made me think of "laying a foundation" - as in laying a foundation for the admission of evidence. Specifically, I thought about laying a foundation for expert testimony.

So, that led me to the topic of this month's article - resources at the Public Law Library on the use of expert witnesses.

Working with Expert Witnesses

We have several resources specific to working with expert witnesses, including Wendy Gerwick Couture and Allyson W. Haynes, eds., Litigators as Experts: Strategies for Managing Expert Witnesses from Retention Through Trial (ABA 2010); Cecil C. Kuhne III, A Litigator's Guide to Expert Witnesses (ABA 2006); and David M. Malone and Paul J. Zwier, Effective Expert Testimony (NITA 2d ed. 2006).

The three-volume Expert Witness Checklists has information on the use of expert witnesses in general, but most of it is devoted to working with particular types of experts. See Douglas Danner and Larry L. Varn, Expert Witness Checklists (West 3d ed., updated through 2011).

Experts in Particular Contexts

Several other books discuss working with experts in particular contexts, including Michael G. Atkins, et al., Expert Witnesses: Intellectual Property Cases (West 2009–2010 ed.); and David L. Faigman, et al., Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony (West 2007–2008 ed.) (each of five volumes is devoted to a subject or group of subjects).

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