Before you are retained as an expert for a case, your expert witness resume introduces you to prospective attorney clients looking to work with an expert in your specialty. Once you’re retained as an expert, your expert witness CV or resume introduces you to opposing counsel, the judge, and the jurors on the stand, establishing you as an expert. Although the expert witness CV is the bedrock of your qualifications in a particular field, it will also be the first stop for opposing counsel as they look to challenge your expertise.
To ensure that your expert witness CV or expert witness resume offers a complete picture of your qualifications and forestalls as many challenges as possible, focus on including these seven sections.
An expert’s education forms the foundation of their expertise. As such, it must be thoroughly outlined in the expert’s CV or resume. Begin with a list of your degrees, your major or field of study, the institution(s) where you received your degree(s), and the year(s) earned. If you received any academic honors, such as graduating summa cum laude, include these on your CV as well. Round out the education list with any education you have received outside of a degree program. Continuing education courses, seminar attendance, and certain types of field-specific education will fall into this category.
2) Work History
Most attorneys want to see a detailed overview of your career history within your field of expertise. As such, the work history you list on your expert witness resume should include any positions you’ve held that are relevant to your expertise. If you’re a medical professional, you should list all the positions you’ve held since you were in medical school. If you’re a non-medical professional, you should list as many positions as you feel are relevant to your primary area of expertise.
Your number of years of work experience will also play a role in how many positions you list on your expert witness CV. If you’ve only been working for 10 years, you should list every position you’ve held in those 10 years in detail. If you’ve been working for 40 years, it might make more sense to narrow down the experiences you list to the last 20 years. When in doubt, more information is better—especially if the experience is relevant to the issues at hand in the case.
Work history on your expert witness resume can be listed in a similar fashion to any CV or resume. Include the title you held, your employer, the years you worked in the position, and a brief description of key responsibilities in the role. Make sure to be as comprehensive as possible. Any gaps in work history on your expert witness resume will almost certainly be addressed at deposition or trial.
3) Licenses and Certifications
Closely related to an expert’s education are the licenses and certifications they have earned. Like degrees, licenses and certifications are typically earned through participation in a course of learning followed by demonstration of knowledge or skills gained. List your licenses and certifications similarly to how you list your education. Name the credential, the granting institution, the year earned and the expiration date, if any. If you’ve received recertification at any point, list those dates as well.
3) Publication History
A list of your publications further cements your qualifications as an expert witness who not only currently practices in their field, but is a thought leader in the discipline. It also helps attorneys focus on your value to the case on a particular sub-topic. For instance, if you’re an expert witness who has published extensively on how a certain mechanical process works, you may be an ideal choice to explain that process to a jury.
List both research you’ve published and any independent articles you’ve written on topics in your field of expertise, including articles in trade or professional journals. Use a commonly-recognized citation format like APA style or Chicago style to keep entry formatting consistent and easy to parse.
4) Speaking and Public Appearance History
Many expert witnesses are well-recognized in their fields from their frequent appearances at conferences, seminars, trade shows, commencement ceremonies, and other public speaking events. These events can be listed on your expert witness resume in a similar form to publications.
When listing speaking engagements, list the title of the speech or paper (if any), the venue, and the year. Any relevant details of note might be profitably added as well. For instance, “Keynote speaker at inaugural meeting” of a new professional organization in your field.
5) Litigation History
Every expert’s previous experience in litigation will be relevant during the expert witness qualification process, so it’s important to lay out this experience clearly in your expert witness CV or resume itself.
The list should include the level or type of participation you’ve had in each case, such as consulting, giving a deposition, or appearing at trial. If a case’s identifying details cannot be listed due to confidentiality rules or agreements, a general description of your participation will suffice. For example: “Gave deposition on how fluid dynamics affect pump operations.”
7) Professional and Corporate Affiliations
Many expert professionals are members of professional organizations relevant to their fields. This section of your expert witness resume should list your professional affiliations or memberships. The list may be organized alphabetically, by time spent in each organization, or by listing organizations most relevant to your testimony near the top. Corporate affiliations, if any, should also be listed. This could include anything from serving on the board of directors, advisor, or consultant for a company.
A Note on References
Just as on a CV or resume for employment, an expert witness CV or expert witness resume need not include the line “References available” or a list of references with contact information. A separate list of references and their contact information, however, should be readily available.