Texas Rules Regarding Expert Witness Depositions and Interrogatories
Experts retained to provide trial testimony may be subject to deposition in Texas under Rule 190.3(b)(2) of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. The Rules of Civil Procedure generally do not provide guidance on how long any individual may be deposed, but does limit the total time for depositions of “parties on the opposing side, experts designated by those parties, and persons who are subject to those parties’ control” to 50 hours. Moreover, if a party designates more than two experts, the other party receives six extra hours of deposition time for each additional expert. According to Rule 190.3(b)(3), experts are not subject to interrogatories in Texas, as they may only be served on opposing parties.
Texas Expert Witness Reports and Disclosures Rules
Like most states, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure provide for two different levels of expert witness disclosure based on the role the expert plays in the case. However, instead of merely distinguishing between experts retained to testify at trial and experts retained just for consulting purposes, Texas Rule 192.3(e) lays out a more nuanced distinction, differentiating between (1) testifying experts and consulting experts whose mental impressions or opinions have been reviewed by a testifying expert and (2) consulting experts whose mental impressions and opinions have not been reviewed by a testifying expert. Discovery of the identity, mental impressions, and opinions of the latter category of consulting experts is not permitted under any circumstances. On the other hand, for testifying experts and consulting experts whose mental impressions or opinions have been reviewed by a testifying expert, the opposing party may discover each expert’s name, address, and telephone number; the expert’s opinions or mental impressions and the facts that form the basis of such opinions or impressions regardless of when or how those facts were obtained; any bias of the expert; and the expert’s current resume and publications. Further, only for testifying experts, the opposing party may discover the subject matter of the expert’s testimony and “all documents, tangible things, reports, models, or data compilations that have been provided to, reviewed by, or prepared by or for the expert in anticipation of” providing testimony.
Rules Regarding Lawyer-Expert Communications, Draft Expert Witness Reports, Expert Witness Notes, Etc. in Texas
As indicated above, while experts retained solely for consulting purposes are generally protected from discovery, testifying experts must disclose “all documents, tangible things, reports, models, or data compilations that have been provided to, reviewed by, or prepared by or for the expert in anticipation of” providing testimony. Rule 192.5(c)(1) of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure goes further to provide that any of the above discoverable information concerning experts is excluded from the definition of work product, which is protected from discovery. Finally, Texas cases suggest that communications between attorneys and testifying experts that would otherwise qualify as protected work product can become discoverable by virtue of Rule 192.5(c)(1). See, e.g., In re Jourdanton Hosp. Corp., 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 8209 (Tex. App. July 30, 2014).
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How does SEAK assist expert witnesses?
SEAK is the expert witness training company, and we’re here to help experts. We have many Free Resources For Experts. There’s a number of things available for download there. We have a number of books for experts that we’ve published. We put on training seminars for experts three or four times a year in various parts of the country. We have a directory for expert witnesses. We have over 2000 experts listed on the directory, so they can place themselves on the directory and they can get cases. That’s on www.seakexperts.com.
We work one-on-one with expert witnesses to help them grow and expand their practices, be better, be more effective, help them with their expert reports, and assist them with their expert depositions. If you’re an expert witness, and you’re looking to get better, you’re looking to get more business, we’re here to help.