April 30, 2014
I've just completed a Meeting of Experts for one of my ongoing civil cases and was struck by how efficient this simple exercise can be. Of course I’ve attended a stack of expert meetings in the past, but I never fail to come away thinking what brilliant mechanism this is for getting positive and quick results!
However, I’m often asked how can there not always be common ground between impartial experts in a world of 1’s and 0’s? Well, of course it comes down to interpretation of the evidence, both from a technical standpoint and in consideration of its value to the Claim (or Indictment). In my most recent meeting, which only took an hour, the expert for the Appellant and I found significant common ground in both areas, and in doing so considerably reduced the burden to the court.
The meeting should be called after both experts have submitted their initial reports, as it will be at that point that they each really understand what’s going on and are therefore in the best position to focus on the important issues. Counsel and instructing solicitors: you can contribute to the agenda of the meeting as it is designed to answer your questions; after all it’s your case to present. As a result of the meeting, there should be produced either a joint statement or a list of agreed points, with any matters remaining as points of disagreement laid-out with well thought-through explanations as to why these points cannot be agreed. My advice would be to aim to produce a joint statement.
That’s my thought for the day. I hope you enjoy our new site and feel free to give me a call and discuss your case.