Rule 26 Disclosure of an Expert Witness in a Medical Negligence Case

It is a bit of a stretch to describe anything as a “form” for disclosing the opinions of an expert witness in a medical negligence case. Forms are designed to avoid re-inventing the wheel, shortcutting repetitive processes in lawsuits. There is rarely anything repetitive about the medico-legal issues that arise in a medical negligence case. Before putting pen to paper, an attorney must have a real grasp of the medicine and the law as it applies to a particular case.

That said, it is helpful to check an earlier Rule 26 disclosure as a prompt for the type of information that can be included, so I am providing this Rule 26 disclosure as an example. Download file. It sets forth the bases for the expert’s knowledge in the field, including an express statement that the expert is licensed to practice in Tennessee (or a contiguous state). It describes the expert’s familiarity with the standard of care in the locality, including how the expert gained that knowledge. The disclosure lists the materials that the expert has reviewed in forming his opinions. The disclosure states that the expert is familiar with the applicable standard of care and explains what that standard of care requires. It states that the defendants failed to act with the appropriate standard of care, and that failure to act with the standard of care resulted in the injuries and death of the decedent. The disclosure states that the expert’s opinions are held within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.

You will see this disclosure is very detailed. Some people try to get by with less, and depending on your opponent and your judge you sometimes can get by with less. The law is unclear on how much detail is required in an expert witness disclosure. When drafting an expert disclosure in a medical negligence case, it is helpful to check Tenn. Code Ann. 29-26-115 and a prior Rule 26 disclosure to refresh your recollection about what information should be included. Hopefully, this “form” will help you in your case.