An expert witness is defined as a specialist in a subject, often technical, who may present their expert opinion without having been a witness to any occurrence related to a lawsuit or criminal case.
If you have filed a lawsuit for a personal injury matter, your attorney will likely retain experts to substantiate your claims about the incident that caused your injuries or your current and future medical treatments and costs. Expert witnesses are instrumental to personal injury cases because their unbiased opinions and findings bring credibility to the plaintiff’s claims and strengthen cases overall.
In this blog, we will take a look at expert requirements in the state of Nevada pursuant to NRCP 16.1.
Expert Requirements in the State of Nevada Pursuant to NRCP 16.1 and Expert Depositions
Parties must disclose the identity of any expert witness they intend to present at the time of trial. NRCP 16.1(a)(2)(A). Such disclosure must be accompanied by an expert report that is prepared and signed by the witness. NRCP 16.1(a)(2)(B). The expert report must contain:
- A complete statement of the expert’s opinions and the basis/reason for those opinions;
- The facts or data considered by the expert witness when developing his or her opinion;
- The exhibits the expert will use to summarize or support the opinions;
- A listing of the witness’s qualifications, including all publications authored in the ten years prior to the disclosure;
- A list of all cases in the 4 years prior to the disclosure in which the expert testified as an expert in a trial or deposition; and
- The billing statements for the expert’s work on the file.
As for depositions, a party may depose the opposing party’s expert witness who has been disclosed as one who may be presented at trial only after the expert report is provided. NRCP 26(b)(4)(A). A party may not depose or serve interrogatories on an opposing party’s expert if that expert was only employed in anticipation of litigation or who is not expected to be called to testify at trial. NRCP 26(b)(4)(D). If a party wishes to depose the other party’s expert, the deposing party must pay the expert’s “reasonable and customary hourly or daily fee for the actual time consumed in the examination of that expert.” NRCP 30(h)(1)(A).
Draft expert reports and communications between counsel and experts are protected from disclosure, with the exception of communications related to: compensation for the expert’s work; the facts or data counsel provides the expert; or assumptions counsel provided the expert which the expert then relied upon to form his or her opinions. NRCP 26(b)(4)(B)(C).
The determination of whether an expert will be permitted to offer testimony at trial falls squarely within the district court’s discretion. It is a case-by-case analysis and will depend on the issues presented in the litigation, the particular facts in the case, and the party who is presenting the expert as a witness.