Expert Testimony

Dr. Zunkeler provides expert testimony for legal professionals on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants based upon his findings and opinions, derived from a careful review of the available records and, if applicable, based upon a history and evaluation of the patient.

 

In providing deposition testimony, Dr. Zunkeler is committed to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Rules for Neurosurgical Medical/Legal Expert opinion services and the AANS Code of Ethics. Depending on the nature of the litigation, Dr. Zunkeler is available for depositions or for live testimony in court.

What should you expect from expert testimony?

In addition to meticulously preparing for deposition testimony, Dr. Zunkeler strives to follow the Rules for Neurosurgical Medical/Legal Opinions of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons to the extent to which these rules apply to the specific case:

 

A. Impartial Testimony

1. The neurosurgical expert witness shall be an impartial educator for attorneys, jurors and the court on the subject of neurosurgical practice.
2. The neurosurgical expert witness shall represent and testify as to the practice behavior of a prudent neurological surgeon giving different viewpoints if such there are.
3. The neurosurgical expert witness shall identify as such any personal opinions that vary significantly from generally accepted neurosurgical practice.
4. The neurosurgical expert witness shall recognize and correctly represent the full standard of neurosurgical care and shall with reasonable accuracy state whether a particular action was clearly within, clearly outside of, or close to the margins of the standard of neurosurgical care.
5. The neurosurgical expert witness shall not be evasive for the purpose of favoring one litigant over another. The neurosurgical expert shall answer all properly framed questions pertaining to his or her opinions on the subject matter thereof.

B. Subject Matter Knowledge

1. The neurosurgical expert witness shall have sufficient knowledge of and experience in the specific subject(s) of his or her written expert opinion or sworn oral testimony to warrant designation as an expert.
2. The neurosurgical expert witness shall review all pertinent available medical information about a particular patient prior to rendering an opinion about the appropriateness of medical or surgical management of that patient.
3. The neurosurgical expert witness shall be very familiar with prior and current concepts of standard neurosurgical practices before giving testimony or providing written opinion about such practice standards.

C. Compensation

1. The neurosurgical expert witness shall not accept a contingency fee for providing expert medical opinion services.
2. Charges for medical expert opinion services shall be reasonable and commensurate with the time and effort given to preparing and providing those services.

What are the potential shortcomings of neurosurgical expert testimony?

In the words of one of America's best known jurists:

 

'Young man, let me remind you that this is a court of law and not a court of justice.'

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 1841 – 1935; American jurist; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932; often called 'The Great Dissenter'; son of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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