In 2010, Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 was amended to require full expert reports and other disclosures for retained expert witnesses, but only summaries of anticipated opinion testimony of non-retained experts. During the ensuing nine years, courts have weighed in on the distinctions between retained experts and non-retained experts. Even still, the distinctions are murky.
A professor informs his eager students that he will be away for a whole month. He further explains that he has been asked to serve as an expert witness in an important and high-profile case. After an audible moan from the students, the professor continues by saying that he will be travelling to the big city, where he will be expected to deliver his expert opinion. All of this sounds like quite an expensive exercise, which leaves you wondering, “Just how important is an expert witness?”