Ann Logan, Personal Litigation Solicitor and Partner at Balfour + Manson
Instruction of an expert – The perspective of a solicitor
- What documents should you receive?
- The letter of instruction
- Accepting instructions and when to decline
- Issues of conflict of interest/bias
- What do lawyers want from the expert witness?
- The legal process from the time of instruction and the role of the expert in that process
- Availability for meetings and consultations
The duties of an expert
- What is an expert witness?
- The duties of the expert witness to the court
- The role of the expert witness
- Kenney v Cordia – duties of the expert
- Liability of the expert for the opinion expressed in the report
The expert report
- Why is the expert report important?
- The different types of expert report
- The role of the expert report
- Report writing – layout, format, declaration and CV
- The language lawyers use
- The use of medical terminology
- The use of medical records within the report
- Documentation in support of the expert opinion – NICE/SIGN guidance, college guidance, GMC guidance, literature and textbooks
- The role of the expert witness in advising on a case of failed consent – drafting the expert report
The law – the crucial legal cases
- Hunter v Hanley/Bolam – the test of medical negligence
- Bolitho – analysis of the logic of the expert opinion
- Montgomery – the law on consent
- Chester v Afshar – and causation in consent cases
- Causation in medical negligence cases
- Loss of a chance in medical cases
- Understanding material contribution in law
- Forms of funding available to solicitors
- Recoverability of fees for work performed by experts
- Rates of fees in Scotland
- The role of the auditor in relation to expenses
- Negotiation of fees with solicitors
- Who is responsible for payment of the expert witness fees?