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Ethics of Working with Experts and Witnesses

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Description

Preparing witnesses – whether fact witnesses or experts – for deposition or trial or conferring with them during breaks in testimony fraught with ethical issues.

Expert witnesses are paid for their time, not their testimony. Though they may be hired to support a client's view of the facts, there are limits to how experts can be coached. There are also real limits to how attorneys can prompt fact witnesses, for instance to "not remember" unfavorable facts. There are also significant ethical issues involving how to handle inadvertently produced privileged documents and when testimony goes in an unexpected adverse direction.

This program provides a practical guide to the ethical issues and traps of working with witnesses.

  • Paying witnesses for their time versus their testimony
  • Prompting a witness to "not remember" unfavorable testimony
  • Conferring with witnesses during deposition breaks and the limits of what you advise
  • Dishonest witnesses – what are your obligations to the court and your client?
  • How to handle the inadvertent production of privileged documents
  • Drafting witness affidavits without interviewing the witness

Contributors

  • Elizabeth Treubert Simon

    Elizabeth Treubert Simon is an ethics attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where she advises on a wide range of ethics and compliance-related matters to support Akin Gump's offices worldwide. Previously, her practice focused on business and commercial litigation and providing counsel to clients regarding professional ethics and attorney disciplinary procedures. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Discipline and the District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct Rules Review Committee. She is the immediate past chair of the District of Columbia Legal Ethics Committee. She writes and speaks extensively on attorney ethics issues. She received her B.A. and M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Albany Law School.

    Click here for more information about Elizabeth.

  • Thomas E. Spahn

    Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a broad complex commercial, business and securities litigation practice. He also has a substantial practice advising businesses on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections. For more than 20 years he has lectured extensively on legal ethics and professionalism and has written "The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner's Guide," a 750 page treatise published by the Virginia Law Foundation. Mr. Spahn has served as member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a member of the Virginia State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Yale Law School

    Click here for more information about Thomas.

January 19, 2024
Fri 1:00 PM EST

Duration 1H 0M

This live web event has ended.

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