Expert Witness Training
for Medical Professionals (Scotland)

13 – 14 December 2021

Start: 13 Dec 8.30am
End:  14 Dec 5pm

Kimpton Charlotte Square, Edinburgh

CPD accreditation: 6 hours per day

(from the Royal College of Surgeons of England)

Cost: £400 (+ VAT) for one day
£795 (+ VAT) for both days

Our comprehensive two-day expert witness training course equips you with the essential knowledge, confidence and support needed to succeed in medico-legal practice.

With a wealth of experience in the legal and healthcare sectors, we are uniquely placed to offer this expert witness training and follow-up, carefully tailored to your medico-legal requirements. The course is accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

You’ll examine a wide range of issues, from setting up your medico-practice through to report writing, how to handle the meeting with experts, and appearing in court. The training is led by practising medical expert witnesses, healthcare lawyers and healthcare barristers – all with extensive experience in the medical negligence field.

Learning outcomes:

Through interactive sessions with renowned lawyers and clinicians, you’ll learn how to:

  • set up and develop your own medico-legal practice (the tips and the pitfalls to avoid)
  • understand your responsibilities as an expert witness and the relevant legal processes
  • write clear and succinct reports and prepare joint statements
  • give evidence in court and deal with cross-examination (with practical role play)
  • understand what the judge requires.

Throughout the day, you’ll have the chance to network and share insights with other medico-legal experts. Our medico-legal experts also provide ongoing support and mentoring after the course to help you develop your professional skills and practice.

Programme

Expert Witness Training for Medical Professionals (Scotland)
13 – 14 December 2021
Kimpton Charlotte Square, Edinburgh

Day One – Prepare

Dr Adrian Rees, GP and Expert Witness, and Lauren Sutherland QC

  • Practicalities of setting up a medico-legal practice
  • What to expect from instructing parties
  • Writing a CPR-compliant report (for experts who wish to work with English lawyers)
  • Writing a clear, concise and well-structured report
  • How to put forward a well-reasoned opinion and be persuasive as an expert
  • Dealing with alternative scenarios if evidence is accepted or rejected
  • Examination and discussion of sample reports – good and bad
  • The roles of various players – client, claims management company, claimant solicitor, barrister and other witnesses
  • Developing your practice and winning instructions
  • Q&A
Day Two (morning) – Practice

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

Funding

  • 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?
Day Two (afternoon) – Perform

Lauren Sutherland QC, Ampersand Advocates

Consultations with experts

  • The purpose of consultation with the expert
  • The roles of various parties at the consultation
  • Preparation for consultation
  • Revisal of the expert report following consultation
  • What to do if there are suggested changes to the expert opinion

Joint meetings of experts

  • The purpose of joint meetings of experts
  • The role of the expert in a joint meeting of experts

Appearing in court

  • Various courts in which you may appear
  • Standard of proof
  • The role of solicitors, counsel and the judge
  • Preparation for court
  • Adverse judicial comment and its effect
  • Examination and cross-examination
  • Techniques for giving evidence in court
  • How to withstand cross-examination

Practical test

  • The chance to answer questions

Speakers

Ann Logan

Partner and Clinical Negligence Lawyer, Balfour + Manson

Professor Charles Hennessy

Professor of Law, Strathclyde University

Dr Adrian Rees

GP and Expert Witness

Lauren Sutherland QC

Clinical Negligence Advocate, Ampersand Advocates

Testimonials from previous events

  • This course corrected many of the misconceptions I previously held, simplified lots of mysteries and gave me the confidence to start a medico-legal practice.
    Dr Colin Malcolm
  • This course is a must for anyone who is embarking on becoming a medico-legal expert.
    Dr Smruta Shanbag, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
  • Excellent course. First-class speakers. I should have done this ten years ago.
    Jon Moss, Consultant in Interventional Radiology
  • I wish I had attended this course earlier in my professional career.
    Mr Pragnesh Bhatt, Consultant Neurosurgeon
  • Very helpful and informative course. Invaluable material for anyone considering medico-legal work. Also, enjoyable and entertaining.
    Rosie Cochrane, Consultant Psychiatrist
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