Once the attorneys have a duly executed “Preliminary Conference Order,” they will then proceed to follow (or “comply”) with that order.
To break it down, the plaintiff’s attorney will usually prepare copies of all medical and hospital records, etc., and authorizations to obtain those records. Photographs, accident reports, physical evidence, video surveillance which depicts the accident, etc. must also be exchanged or made available for review.
The defendants must make the accident location available for review by the plaintiff and his/her expert witness, usually a certified engineer who specializes in the related field of engineering. For example, if a plaintiff was injured on a broken floor in a store, the attorneys for the defendant store must make the premises available to photograph and inspect the area. The plaintiff’s attorney generally attends this site inspection with an engineer who may be an expert witness in the case. A safety engineer may be considered a suitable choice to perform the inspection. You want to choose an expert that will stand the evidentiary test of being qualified as an expert witness. Academic and work experience, publications by the expert, and knowledge of the specific related defect are all important in establishing whether the person may be qualified to testify as an “expert witness” in Court.
Depositions of all litigants is mandated by the PC Order. In the next blog, I will discuss in length the definition of a deposition (and how to prepare for a deposition, vis a vis ,what is expected of a witness at a deposition.