The Reliable Expert Witness

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The Reliable Expert Witness


A guide to professional reports and expert evidence for courts, arbitrations, and other tribunals.


Author: Mark Tottenham  | ISBN:  978-1-911611-33-2 | Format: Paperback | Price: €20 | Publishing:  September/October 2020


Professionals from many disciplines, businesses and industries are regularly called upon to prepare reports or to give evidence in courts, arbitrations and other hearings. Whether described as ‘expert’, ‘skilled’, or ‘specialist’ witnesses, their contribution is often crucial to the outcome of the case.

Experts can be publicly embarrassed if they are ill-prepared, or do not understand their duties to the court. Many high-profile miscarriages of justice have arisen because of the conduct of such witnesses, who have given biased evidence in favour of one party, or simply failed to understand the courts’ requirements.

Mark Tottenham, an experienced barrister and mediator, and award-winning writer on legal issues, has written this short and authoritative guide to the responsibilities of professional witnesses. Drawing on authorities throughout the English-speaking world,  he outlines: the duties of an expert witness; the requirements of a written court report; how to prepare to give evidence in court; how to maintain a professional detachment from the client and instructing legal team; the involvement of expert witnesses in preparing pleadings and ‘Scott schedules’; and the role of expert witnesses in other forums such as mediations, inquests and public inquiries.

Content Includes

  • Types of Expert and Professional Witness
  • The Duties of Expert and Professional Witnesses
  • Enforcement of Experts’ Duties.
  • Accepting Instructions
  • Factual Investigations
  • Conducting Professional Research
  • Reaching a Conclusion
  • Preparing and Writing an Expert Report
  • Communication and Consultation Between the Experts and the Instructing Legal Team
  • Meetings With Other Experts
  • Pleadings, Affidavits and ‘Scott Schedules’
  • Oral Evidence at Hearing
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Other Hearings or Inquiries


  • APPENDIX 1 – Checklist for Accepting Instructions
  • APPENDIX 2 – Checklist for an Expert Report
  • APPENDIX 3 – Case Law on Duties of Expert Witnesses

Who Should Buy This Book?

This is an essential handbook for any professional asked to assist in court or arbitration proceedings.

About the Author

Mark Tottenham is a practising barrister. He is a qualified trust and estate practitioner (STEP). He is an experienced mediator, and is qualified to use online dispute resolution (ODR) platforms, including CREK ODR and Smartsettle ONE. Mark has written and lectured on many areas of law including lead author of A Guide to Expert Witness Evidence (Bloomsbury Professional 2019) and editor of the Irish Tax Reports. He has written for Laffoy’s Irish Conveyancing PrecedentsThe Conveyancing and Property Law Journal, and The Medico-legal Journal of Ireland. He regularly gives CPD lectures for Central Law Training, and has taught in the Law Society of Ireland, and DIT Bolton Street.


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