Don't save your review of an expert's CV for the night before the deposition. Read it well in advance of the deposition, then mark it up and investigate the expert's claims.
Has the expert exaggerated his qualifications? Such exaggerations can seriously undermine his credibility. Has the expert included items on his CV that are simply wrong? It happens. Even typographical errors indicate a level of sloppiness on the expert's part.
Here are some things to look for--
- What does the CV say about the expert's areas of expertise? How does this overlap with what the expert is going to testify about in your case? Sometimes there is a large gap between what the expert actually does at work and what he or she plans to testify about at trial.
- What are your expert's particular areas of research interest? Again, there is often a large gap between what the expert spending time researching in real life, and what he or she has been hired to testify about in your case.
- Does the CV contain puffery? Are there claimed memberships that have expired? Are there claimed licenses that have lapsed? Were the majority of the expert's honors and award granted years ago? All of these things are fair areas of inquiry at the deposition.
- What is omitted from the expert's CV? Always check news databases and published opinions to find out more about the expert's professional life and activities.
- To whom is the expert beholden? If the expert is working or consulting for industries that hold views contrary to the one you are presenting in your case, this is something you'll want to explore further at the deposition. If the expert's CV lists grants, find out who sponsored those grants.
Too often an expert's CV is all but ignored at depositions, when it is almost always fertile ground for questioning. Just remember to prepare yourself for these questions in advance (and to review your own expert's CV before presenting it to the other side).For more about cross-examining experts, see also these related posts: "Preparing for Expert Depositions by Looking Ahead to the Cross-Examination at Trial" and "Cross-Examining Experts During Depositions: A Tip."
For those who have my book Deposition Checklists and Strategies, see also Chapter I, VII, Expert Depositions, and §1:216 Five Ways to Hit Homeruns with an Expert's CV.