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Expert witness

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  • Expert witness

    Hi

    we have a jointly appointed expert witness. We have found out from a comment made in an email that the expert and defendants solicitor have talked on the phone without our knowledge!

    this was they say not in relation to specific details but the solicitor enquiring if the report could be undertaken with/without certain aspects!

    i am unrepresented but this seems wrong to me as all other communications have been via email with all parties copied in

    please can someone help

    thank you
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  • #2
    If you are concerned then you need to put it in writing to the other side. It may sound like they are trying to take advantage here and CPR 35.7 says that where one party gives instructions to the joint expert, they must at the same time copy in the other side.

    So any questions to the joint expert should be copied to you at the same time I.e. via email as you say. It's reasonable for you to be suspicious if the other side's solicitors is now talking to the expert on the telephone but all previous communications to the expert has been by email - you should make that point.

    If it were me I would be putting a strongly worded email to them along the lines of:-

    1. You understand that they have spoken to the expert on X date by telephone but failed to inform you at the time about what was discussed.

    2. CPR 35.7 requires all instructions to the expert to be sent to the other side at the same time. They have not done that and are therefore in breach.

    3. You are concerned that because you are a litigant in person, they may be trying to take advantage of that situation. There was no good reason for the solicitor to have a telephone conversation with the expert nor was it appropriate given that all prior communications have been by email to all 3 parties.

    4. You reserve the right to draw the contents of your email to the court about the conduct of the other side's solicitors and breach of the CPR.

    5. Ask them to confirm whether there have been other conversations with the expert where they have not copied you in at the same time and if so, get them to explain exactly what was discussed.

    The expert has a duty to the court and not the parties so its not correct for the other side to be asking questions about what should and shouldnt be in thereport without informing you.
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