Thursday, January 26, 2006

Expert Witness Database on Westlaw

The new EW-DOCS database on Westlaw contains documents from expert witnesses filed in the state and federal trial courts throughout the United States. A document is an expert report, affidavit, deposition, or trial transcript.

Users have three options for searching this database:

1. the traditional "terms and connectors" search
2. natural language
3. template

The template search provides a search box for key words and phrases along with fields for the expert's field, type of case, party for whom the expert testified, federal and/or state courts, and jurisdiction.

I tried some sample searches. It's interesting to see the range of material -- for instance, in Washington I looked at an economist's analysis of the wine distribution industry and an engineer's statement about how seatbelts functioned in an accident --and how an expert's affidavit is structured.

Thanks to my colleague Cheryl Nyberg for this tip.

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