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Cross-Examination of Plaintiff's Trucking Safety Expert: Neutralizing the False Narrative of Unsafe Operations

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, September 7, 2023

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will equip defense counsel in trucking cases, or any case involving a safety expert, to not only prevent the plaintiff's safety expert from inflicting damage but to use the plaintiff's expert to tell the defense's narrative. This webinar will show what useful cross-examination covers and how to neutralize the most significant threats in the case.


Preparing to cross-examine the plaintiff's safety expert begins on the first day of the case. Thorough knowledge of the defendant driver, the company, and the facts gained from interaction with the defendants is critical. Equally important is the knowledge of the safety expert. Many plaintiffs' safety experts appear in numerous cases and may be less prepared. Having complete knowledge of their testimonial history is invaluable.

Defense counsel will benefit from determining if courts have limited or stricken the expert's opinions and contacting the attorney who successfully limited the testimony. A safety expert may have testified in support of the current defense position in a prior case for the plaintiff. Shifting testimony can indicate to the court that the expert may tailor opinions to fit the client's needs.

Dissecting the safety expert's report is both an art and a skill. Where the expert lacks all of the information, the defense can get an admission that the expert did not have the whole story from the plaintiff and exploit that fact to the advantage of the defense. Counsel should also examine the reports to identify where the expert's testimony was contradictory in different cases with similar facts.

Listen as this experienced panel shows how to establish the expert's bias, demonstrate the expert's shaky foundation, and get the plaintiff's safety expert to help tell the defense narrative to the jury.



  1. The role of the plaintiff's safety expert
  2. How to "know your client"
  3. How to investigate the plaintiff's safety expert
  4. Leveraging instances where the expert's testimony was limited
  5. Understanding the expert's report
  6. The role of defense experts
  7. Structuring the cross-examination


The panel will review these and other essential topics:

  • Knowing the client and the story
  • Discovering all there is to know about an expert
  • Dissecting the expert's report
  • Structuring cross-examination so that the expert helps tell the defense narrative


Crocker, James
James A. Crocker

Kopka Pinkus Dolin

Mr. Crocker concentrates his practice on his experience handling high-exposure cases including transportation,...  |  Read More

Rolen, Aaron
Aaron J. Rolen

The Bassett Firm

Mr. Rolen practices in the areas of transportation litigation, personal injury and premises liability.

 |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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