Due to the increasing number of settlements in civil cases (over 95%) much of the litigation and examination of experts take place during their depositions.

Forensic psychiatrist Thomas Gutheil, MD answers the question;

As an expert witness, what are some of the stranger things that have occurred during your depositions?

In one such case the retaining attorney completely lost his temper at the other side’s demeaning manner and smashed his ball point pen down on the table. The pen shattered, spraying the other side with plastic shrapnel. The other side maintained its cool. After order was restored, he asked for his pen back. I use this example to convey that, although we are experts, we have no business intervening, even if we are psychiatrists: let the storm pass and wait for the next question.

Dr. Gutheil will be speaking at the SEAK National Expert Witness Conference to be held on May 3-4, 2014 in Orlando, FL.

How to Excel at Your Deposition: Techniques That Work

Thomas Gutheil, MD

With fewer trials the deposition of the expert witness has taken on increased significance. In this presentation, Dr. Gutheil will explain and demonstrate techniques that will help the expert witness excel at his/her depositions. He will discuss the various fair and unfair strategies and tactics of counsel and how to effectively deal with them. Dr. Gutheil will review effective presentation skills and demeanor that the expert can utilize effectively at deposition.

Thomas G. Gutheil, MD is Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gutheil had been associated with the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston, for nearly a half century and had served as a staff member there for 40 years. An internationally known teacher, lecturer, author and consultant on medicolegal issues, risk management and malpractice prevention, Dr. Gutheil is the first Professor of Psychiatry in the history of the Harvard Medical School to be board certified in both general and forensic psychiatry. He has authored/co-authored over 300 publications and is an experienced expert witness.