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I find myself sitting in a conference room with 7 attorneys — all with the same firm. We’re discussing the subject case when one attorney says, “You’ll have to submit a report” prior to testifying … “Haven’t you written about that before?” What report is she referencing?

I actually hadn’t written about that until now and thought possibly it would be of interest to other auctioneers serving as expert witnesses and/or providing consultative assistance, and yes, I prepared the necessary report.

For any of those auctioneers who testify in court (as expert witnesses) regarding auction issues, there are the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which might govern certain disclosure requirements. For instance, Rule 26(a)(2)(B) says:

(B) Witnesses Who Must Provide a Written Report. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, this disclosure must be accompanied by a written report — prepared and signed by the witness — if the witness is one retained or specially employed to provide expert testimony in the case or one whose duties as the party’s employee regularly involve giving expert testimony. The report must contain:

(i) a complete statement of all opinions the witness will express and the basis and reasons for them;

(ii) the facts or data considered by the witness in forming them;

(iii) any exhibits that will be used to summarize or support them;

(iv) the witness’s qualifications, including a list of all publications authored in the previous 10 years;

(v) a list of all other cases in which, during the previous 4 years, the witness testified as an expert at trial or by deposition; and

(vi) a statement of the compensation to be paid for the study and testimony in the case.

As noted above, these rules apply unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court — and/or if that state has other requirements. As well, expert witnesses providing consultation for preparing for trial and who are not expected to be called as a witness at trial generally do not have to disclose a written report.

Over the past 10+ years, we have submitted dozens of reports as well as providing consultative services to attorneys in preparation for trial and/or settlement discussions in regard to a variety of auction-related issues. Here’s more information on that: https://auctionlegalconsulting.com/.

It would probably be worth mentioning (again) that this type of work involves much more than what is in the public record. Further, many times some issues are confidential to the client(s). However, to the extent I can discuss details, I endeavor to do so to save other auctioneers from these same proceedings.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.