The Role of the Expert Witness in Product Liability Litigation

Note: Last day of class ends at approximately 1:00 pm

According to the Federal Rules of Evidence, an expert witness is anyone who can assist the trier of fact (the jury) in understanding any issue in dispute at trial. The witness' ability to give this assistance can be derived from any specialized training, education, background, or experience. To be effective in providing this assistance, however, requires that the expert witness understand the true role that he or she is to play both before and at the trial.

This seminar will address the critical issues that every person who may be, has been, or is, an expert witness must understand to assist both the attorney and the product manufacturer, regardless of which side the expert serves.

What Will You Learn

By attending this seminar, you will be able to:
  • Employ the risk/utility balancing process necessary for effectively addressing the issue of design defect
  • Recognize the critical elements that govern the interaction between human behavior and product behavior
  • Apply the technical/legal elements that will enhance your effectiveness as an expert witness

Is This Course For You

This seminar is intended for anyone who is or may become an expert witness in product liability litigation. In-house experts typically have engineering, engineering management or field technician responsibilities. In addition, insurers, risk managers, corporate product safety personnel, attorneys and those who manage product liability litigation will benefit from insight into selecting and using expert services and witnesses more effectively and efficiently.

Materials Provided

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Course Requirements

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Topics

(Day two ends at 1:00 p.m.)
  • The Legal Framework of Negligence and Strict Liability
  • The Relationship Between the Attorney and the Potential Expert Witness
  • Investigation of an Accident Years After an Occurrence
  • Developing the Background Necessary to Understand the Product and its Environment
  • Understanding How to Allege or Refute the Existence of a Product Defect
  • Analyzing the Role of Human Behavior and its Relationship to the Cause of an Accident
  • Guidelines for Effective Presentation Before Trial and on the Witness Stand
  • The seminar will also include overnight problem assignments and a demonstration of direct and cross-examination of an expert witness.