Louisiana Rules Regarding Expert Witness Depositions and Interrogatories
Under Article 1425(D)(1) of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, a party may obtain discovery of experts whose opinion will be presented at trial by deposition, interrogatory, and a request for documents and tangible things. There is no specific time limit for depositions in Louisiana, but Article 1438 provides that the court may shorten or lengthen the time for deposition on a showing of cause.
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Louisiana Expert Witness Reports and Disclosures Rules
The extent of disclosures required for experts in Louisiana depends on whether the expert is expected to be called at trial or was retained only for consulting purposes. Information regarding the latter group of experts is discoverable only upon a showing of exceptional circumstances under which it is impracticable for the party seeking discovery to obtain facts or opinions on the same subject by other means.
On the other hand, as mentioned above, experts whose opinions are expected to be presented at trial may be subject to deposition, interrogatory, or a request for documents relating to the facts known and opinions held by such experts. Additionally, experts who were retained or specially employed to provide expert testimony in the case or whose duties as the party’s employee regularly involve giving expert testimony may be required by court order to provide a written report. This report must contain a complete statement of all opinions the witness will express and the grounds for such opinions, the facts and data considered by the expert, an exhibits that the expert will use, the expert’s qualifications, including a list of publications penned in the last ten years, a list of all cases in which the witness has testified as an expert in the last four years, and a statement of the compensation to be paid to the expert.
Rules Regarding Lawyer-Expert Communications, Draft Expert Witness Reports, Expert Witness Notes, Etc. in Louisiana
Article 1425(E)(1) of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure relates specifically to lawyer-expert communications, draft expert reports, and expert notes. This provision generally protects from discovery those expert notes, drafts, and communications that would reveal the mental impressions, opinions, or trial strategy of the attorney for the party who has retained the expert to testify. However, such materials may become discoverable upon a showing of exceptional circumstances under which it is impractical for the party seeking discovery to obtain facts or opinions on the same subject by other means. Additionally, under Article 1425(E)(2), such materials will become discoverable if the expert relies on them in forming his or her opinion. This provision also makes clear that whether an expert considered alternative approaches is always discoverable.