My first experience testifying.

Let me tell you about my first experience testifying as an expert witness on behalf of a patient.  It was the early 90s and I had been in practice for maybe three years.  I was asked by the patient’s attorney to testify for his client, my patient.  I eagerly agreed, not knowing what the heck I was getting myself into.  The courtroom was in Camden.

Now, I had never testified before.  I had never been a juror.  I had never even been inside a courtroom.  My only knowledge of attorneys and courtrooms came from watching LA Law.  Yes, I’m dating myself here.  Anyway, the fateful day came, and I drove to the courthouse in Camden.  There was no Google Maps then, so I got a little lost looking for a building to which I had never been.  After finding a place to park I walked in, patient file in one hand, a model of the human spine in the other, garnishing a few quizzical looks.  I didn’t know there were multiple courtrooms, which one I was to go to, what floor it might be on, and so forth.  After a series of trial and errors, no pun intended, I found where I was supposed to be.  A man came up to me and introduced himself as the attorney for the patient and we went into a small room to discuss my testimony.  Yep, it was the first time meeting this attorney and the first time discussing what I should expect.  I received very little instruction other than to answer the questions posed to me and an assurance that I’d do just fine.  Right.

I sat in the back of the courtroom and when I was called, I walked up and took my place on the witness stand.  There I was, in my blue blazer, white button-down shirt, rep tie, grey flannel slacks and burgundy wing tips trying my best to look serious, mature, conservative, and professional.  I stood to take the oath, anxiety building, then settled in for a disaster akin to the Titanic sinking.  It went downhill from there.  I was a deer caught in the headlights and the defense attorney knew it and went in for the kill.  The judge looked like Wilford Brimley or Will Geer.  He looked like a kind old grandfather.  He was not.  At one point, the defense attorney had me so flustered that I raised an objection to which grandpa justice scolded me.  I would have paid a hefty sum if somebody would’ve pulled the fire alarm that afternoon.  Anyway, I’ll spare you the gory details.  Needless to say, it didn’t end well.

But now, I’ve been in practice 35 years and have had plenty of opportunities to testify as an expert witness in court, via video deposition, and via zoom.  I now know a thing or two.  And what I know, I’d like to pass on.  I’ve written a short eBook on how to prepare a chiropractor for testimony.  It is written from the perspective of a chiropractor who has experience testifying. It is my hope that you’ll be able to glean from it a few nuggets of information.  Simply click on this link to download your copy.

Yours in health,

Dr. Mark A. Bolinger

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