The Reliable Expert Witness



Author: Mark Tottenham  

ISBN:  9781911611332 

Format: Paperback 

Published:  9th December 2020


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


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 barrister and mediator. He was the lead author of A Guide to Expert Witness Evidence (Bloomsbury Professional 2019), the leading Irish legal textbook on expert evidence, which won the Dublin Solicitors’ Bar Association’s Practical Law Book of the Year award, 2020.

He was the founding editor of, an online publisher of law reports, and Decisis Law Ireland (DLI), a monthly law–reporting journal. He has written for  The Irish Times, Irish Independent, Laffoy’s Irish Conveyancing PrecedentsConveyancing and Property Law JournalMedico-legal Journal of Ireland, and is the editor of the Irish Tax Reports. He has lectured at the Kings Inns, the Law Society of Ireland, and the school of architecture at the Dublin Institute of Technology (now Technical University, Dublin).

He is a graduate of history from Trinity College Dublin. He formerly worked as a genealogist, and for Hodder Headline publishers in London.


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