How to create and maintain a professional testimony log
When you are doing work as an expert witness, you may be asked for a copy of your testimony log.
Federal Rule 26, the duty to disclose, is a ruling regarding expert reports and discusses testimony logs. This Federal rule is used at the State Level as the requirement for many cases.
If you have testified at Deposition or at Trial, you need to keep a record of these cases for the past four years. Speaking at an arbitration, mediation or signing an affidavit is not “testimony” and should not be included.
Failure to maintain and disclose this trial and deposition information may be the basis for having your testimony not allowed or stricken.
The easiest way to organize this information is to keep a Word document titled “Testimony Log” and either use a table or a narrative to include the following information:
- The title of the case and case number. You can find this information on the complaint or on the Notice of Deposition when you are being advised about your deposition.
- Name and location of the Court. You can find this is on the notice of deposition.
- Date of testimony, this is the actual date that you testified.
- Name of Judge in the case of a trial, again it should be on the Complaint or Notices for testimony.
If you are not sure of the above, just call the attorney’s office and they can give you the information.
Testimony that is scheduled but not yet given should not be included in your testimony log. Wait until after you have testified then add it to your log.
When an attorney requests your CV/resume, you will want to send your testimony log at the same time. When you turn in a written report, be sure to attach your CV/resume and testimony log again, so it can be submitted to the Court along with your report.
Here is a sample of a testimony log done on a Word Table:
Having a professional looking testimony log showcases your experience as a credible expert witness and will likely result in you getting more expert work.