Excerpted from How to Become an Expert Witness: SEAK’s A-Z Guide to Expert Witnessing

FREE DOWNLOAD247 Sample Deposition Questions for Expert Witnesses


Expert Witness Head on Attacks on Credibility

ð      Isn’t it a fact that your professional license was suspended in 2014 in the State of Florida?

ð      You were convicted of perjury in 2002, weren’t you?

ð      You were censured in 2013 by your professional organization for giving misleading expert testimony, weren’t you?

ð      You have lied many times in your life, haven’t you?

ð      Are you the same [name of expert] whose expert opinion was found to be “wholly unreliable” by US District Judge Smith of New York?


Expert Witness Learned Treatises

ð      Do you consider [such and such source] to be authoritative?

ð      Do you agree or disagree with the following statement from [such and such source]?


Expert Witness Investigation/Research

ð      You didn’t have all the time you needed to do a proper job in this case, did you?

ð      You never reviewed [such and such document], did you?

ð      You never visited the accident scene, did you?

ð      You never read [so and so’s] deposition, did you?

ð      You never personally did [such and such], did you?

ð      You never were provided with [such and such document], were you?

ð      You never even asked to do [such and such], did you?

ð      There are bugs in the computer program you used, aren’t there?

ð      Your opinion is based on a number of assumptions, isn’t it?

ð      You cherry picked only the supportive studies, didn’t you?

ð      You intentionally destroyed the notes you took in this case, didn’t you?


Expert Witness Testing

ð      There were other tests you could have performed, weren’t there?

ð      Is [such and such] one of the tests you could have performed?

ð      You never performed [such and such test], did you?


Hired Gun/Professional Expert Witness

ð      You are being paid $500 an hour to be here today, aren’t you?

ð      You are making over $200,000 a year serving as an expert witness, aren’t you?

ð      You are here, because you are paid to be here, right?

ð      You actively seek out more expert witness assignments, don’t you?

ð      Is this a copy of your listing in SEAK’s National Directory of Expert Witnesses?

ð      You are listed with several expert witness referral services, aren’t you?

ð      You are a professional expert witness, aren’t you?


Expert Witness Bias

ð      100% of your expert witness work is on behalf of defendants, isn’t it?

ð      You have been retained by retaining counsel on dozens of other cases, haven’t you?

ð      If plaintiff loses this case, isn’t it a fact that you are highly unlikely to collect all the fees that you are owed?

ð      The defendant is a friend of yours, isn’t he?

ð      You own a large chunk of stock of the plaintiff’s company, don’t you?

ð      You would like the plaintiff to prevail, wouldn’t you?

ð      You live over 1,500 miles from here, don’t you?

ð      As a Democrat, you believe in wealth redistribution, don’t you?

ð      As a Republican, you believe in tort reform, don’t you?

ð      You state on your web page do you not, quote, “Call me today and I’ll help you win your case” unquote, don’t you?


Expert Witness Impeachment

ð      Did you state at your deposition [such and such which is inconsistent with what you are saying today]?

ð      Did you write in [article] [such and such which is inconsistent with what you are saying today]?

ð      Did you write in [your report] [such and such which is inconsistent with what you are saying today]?


Influence of Retaining Counsel on the Expert Witness

ð      You used those words in your report because retaining counsel asked you to use them, isn’t that right?

ð      Counsel had you on a budget, didn’t he?

ð      You told counsel exactly what he wanted to hear, didn’t you?

ð      Retaining counsel helped you write your report, didn’t he?


Expert Witness Qualifications

ð      You don’t have [such and such credential] do you?

ð      You flunked your boards the first two times you took them, didn’t you?

ð      You are a jack of all trades, master of none, aren’t you?

ð      You have never published in your field, have you?

ð      You have never been invited to present on this topic, have you?

ð      You hold zero academic appointments, isn’t that correct?

ð      You were a mediocre student, weren’t you?

ð      You have never won any awards in your field, have you?

ð      You haven’t any real world experience in this field in the last ten years, do you?

ð      You are not really an expert in this area are you?

ð      Even you would agree that our expert witness [Ms. So and So] is more qualified than you?


 Methodology of Your Expert Witness 

ð      Your theory in this case was specifically developed for litigation purposes, wasn’t it?

ð      Would you agree with me that your methodology is not generally accepted in the field?

ð      You weren’t able to calculate a margin of error, were you?

ð      Your methodology has never been subjected to peer review and publication, has it?

ð      You never built a prototype of your proposed alternative design, did you?

ð      You extrapolated, didn’t you?

ð      You never ruled out [such and such alternative explanation], did you?

ð      Your math is just plain wrong, isn’t it?

ð      You didn’t comply with [such and such professional standard] in this case, did you?


Expert Witness Opinions

ð      You are not 100% sure of your opinion, are you?

ð      You can’t provide any objective justification for that opinion, can you?

ð      You are just saying what retaining counsel is paying you to say, isn’t that true?

ð      You formed your opinion before you had all relevant information, didn’t you?

ð      Your opinion is exaggerated, isn’t it?

ð      Your opinion is the same in every case, isn’t it?


Your Expert Witness Report

ð      Are you aware of the 27 different mistakes in your report?

ð      Your reports from other cases are in many ways identical to your report in the case, aren’t they?

ð      Retaining counsel asked you to use those words in your report, didn’t he?

ð      And you used those words despite not fully understanding what they mean, didn’t you?

ð      You weren’t under oath when you wrote your report, were you?

ð      Am I correct in assuming that you have heard of the expression “it wasn’t documented it wasn’t done?”


© 2015 SEAK, Inc.  by James J. Mangraviti, Jr., Esq., Nadine Donovan, Esq. and Steven Babitsky, Esq.


James J. Mangraviti, Jr., Esq., has trained thousands of expert witnesses through seminars, conferences, corporate training, training for professional societies, and training for governmental agencies including the FBI, IRS, Secret Service, and Department of Defense.  He is also frequently called by experts, their employers, and retaining counsel to train and prepare individual expert witnesses for upcoming testimony.  Mr. Mangraviti assists expert witnesses one-on-one with report writing, mentoring, and practice development.  He is a former litigator who currently serves as Principal of the expert witness training company SEAK, Inc. (www.testifyingtraining.com ).  Mr. Mangraviti received his BA degree in mathematics summa cum laude from Boston College and his JD degree cum laude from Boston College Law School.  He is the co-author of twenty-seven books, including: How to Write an Expert Witness Report; How to Prepare Your Expert Witness for Deposition; How to Become a Dangerous Expert Witness: Advanced Techniques and Strategies; The A–Z Guide to Expert Witnessing; Depositions: The Comprehensive Guide for Expert Witnesses; How to Excel During Depositions: Techniques for Experts That Work; Writing and Defending Your Expert Report: The Step-by-Step Guide with Models; The Biggest Mistakes Expert Witnesses Make and How to Avoid Them; Cross-Examination: The Comprehensive Guide for Experts; National Guide to Expert Witness Fees and Billing Procedures; and How to Market Your Expert Witness Practice: Evidence-Based Best Practices.  Mr. Mangraviti was the co-founder in 2000 of SEAK’s Expert Witness Directory (www.seakexperts.com ), which is an often-used national resource for attorneys to locate expert witnesses.  He can be contacted at 978-276-1234 or jim@seak.com. 

 Nadine Nasser Donovan, Esq., is a former trial lawyer with extensive litigation experience.  She has been on the SEAK faculty since 2002 and has trained hundreds of experts.  She is licensed to practice law in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.  In addition to her work consulting and teaching for SEAK, Ms. Donovan is a partner in the Boston-based firm of Mulvey, Ennis, Keefe, and Donovan, LLC.  Her practice area includes the defense of medical professionals in medical malpractice actions and before medical licensing boards. In addition, Ms. Donovan is a Legal Writing Instructor at Boston University School of Law, and an Adjunct Professor at New England School of Law, Boston, where she teaches a course in Medical Malpractice.  Ms. Donovan also serves as a Dispute Resolution Arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.  Ms. Donovan previously practiced litigation in New York City, first as a prosecutor in Queens and then as counsel for the city of New York.  Ms. Donovan received her J.D. cum laude from Boston College Law School.  She graduated from Fordham University summa cum laude with a B.A. in French Literature.  Ms. Donovan is the co-author of the text How to Write an Expert Witness Report.  She may be contacted at 617-791-4282 or nadine@seak.com.