Thursday, November 25, 2004

Expert Deposition Transcripts Online

Want to check on an expert's history before you retain him? Many of you may aleady know about the extensive database of judicial decisions on expert testimony, available at reasonable prices, via the "Daubert Tracker" at Now we've learned of a new online service -- -- that wants to be the place you go when you need to review an expert's deposition transcripts from prior litigation. Of course, there's always TrialSmith, but to use TrialSmith, you have to be a plaintiffs' lawyer, and there's a nontrivial subscription fee.

The key to any service like this, naturally, is the database, and the folks at have developed an interesting strategy for building theirs. Right now, the site lists about 300 transcripts available for download. The list is searchable by case name or expert name, and also browsable by expert field. You can download a transcript by paying a fee of about $2.50 a page. Or you can become a registered user and earn credits toward downloads by uploading expert transcripts of your own. But that's not their most ingenious idea. The service is also encouraging court reporters to upload transcripts, even old ones, for $2.00 a page.

One way or another, the time is surely approaching when someone will do for expert testimony what Lexis and Westlaw have done for the corpus of decisional law. The savvy expert will recognize that fact now, and will assume that any testimony he offers may be preserved, syllable by syllable, for the ages -- in readily accessible form.

Update 12/8/04: Tom Mighell points to additional online resources for expert transcripts.
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.