Intro: Contamination, Hired Guns & Hot Tubs!
New Expert Evidence Guidelines – Our Four Part Series
If you want to get the attention of experts and instructing solicitors alike, the use of words like “hired gun”, “inappropriate communications”, and “contamination” will surely do the trick.
These are just some of the additions to the greatly expanded expert evidence practice note (GPN-EXPT) released by the Federal Court of Australia in late 2016. Other additions are, for the first time, recognition of the use of “consulting experts” and “hot tubs”, and several pages of guidance regarding the joint expert and concurrent evidence processes.
Whilst the new guidelines have now been in place for some time, and you have no doubt already read and used them, rather than tell you what they say we will focus on how you can get the best out of them.
But is there anything really new?
In our experience, the guidelines are generally formalising the practices already adopted in the use of expert witnesses in Victoria. However, there are a few specific components that can be used to your advantage. Most of the additional guidance relates to conferences of experts, joint reports and concurrent evidence. Here we devote a subsequent issue to this topic into a series of four ‘bite-size’ parts:
- Part 1: Instructing Experts – Help us help you
- Part 2: Conference of Experts and Joint Reports - Conquering the Conclave
- Part 3: Concurrent Evidence or “Hot Tubbing” - Hot tubbing heats up
- Part 4: Consulting Experts - Fact or Fiction?
We welcome the expanded guidance provided in GPN-EXPT and whilst its position regarding consulting experts is clear, it is our view that some of the possible interpretations of the guidance are not correct. A consulting expert, used in the right way and in the right circumstances, can be beneficial to the legal team and the expert evidence process.
Senior Managing Director