I brought a couple posts from the Lean and Mean Litigation Blog to your attention back in December. These posts discussed the need of formulating a discovery plan before taking depositions.
Here is a related article titled "Mastering the Blind Cross-Examination" written by Mark A. Nuebauer. This article questions the need to depose everyone and provides tips on cross-examining a witness who has not been deposed.
An excerpt: "To be effective, blind cross must have a specific goal. More often than not, each witness in a trial is intended to lay out a specific fact or a set of key facts that help provide the premise for that side’s case. Cross-examination should be a laser beam designed to attack that side’s contention of that fact or set of facts. In short, blind cross-examination should be a stiletto, not a sledge hammer attack."
In our last med mal trial we did not take the deposition of a single defense expert witness – and there were more than eight of them disclosed. (I don’t recall the exact number. I am traveling and don’t have access to my file.) The decision not to depose these experts not only saved our client tens of thousands of dollars in court reporter and expert fees but also gave us the element of surprise at trial.