Saturday, April 08, 2006
Expert Witnesses - Check Your CV
Here we go again with the CVs. Yes, you've heard it before, but...proof, check, check again -- bulletproof your CV diligently and update regularly! A recent article in the San Diego CityBEAT, "False Witness: An Expert's Problematic Resume and Court Testimony Could Jeopardize Hundreds" prompted me to get on my soapbox about this one more time.
When bulletproofing an expert's CV it's fair to say that I can be nit-picky. But with good reason. Opposing counsel can and will find any discrepancies (in dates, co-authors, years, association/organization memberships, degrees, certifications, etc.) and magnify or distort them in such a way as to diminish your credibility and discredit you.
Not only can mistakes in your CV damage your reputation within your field of expertise, but as a matter of court record, now frequently available on the Internet, one such incident could effectively be the end of your expert practice.
On an even larger scale, exposure of incorrect data in your CV could invalidate the outcome of all cases on which you've previously worked as an expert and could even result in criminal charges against you for perjury (see the article mentioned above).
Be nit-picky. Have a disinterested third party read your CV line by line and ask you questions about various listings. Make sure it is up-to-date. Go over it with a fine tooth comb so many times you're absolutely sick of it.
Lying on a CV is one thing, but to risk your credibility and career because of a careless mistake or typo would be heartbreaking and pointless.