Discovery Rules Identity of An Expert Witness

The Law Court has emphasized the importance of compliance with the discovery rules. See Employee Staffing of Am. v. Travelers Ins. Co., 674 A.2d 506, 508 (Me. 1996). It is important to know who the expert is that will be testifying as to certain matters. If the party against whom the testimony will be offered does not know the identity of the witness, that party is prejudiced. It may not depose the witness, may not find its own expert to refute the testimony of that witness, and may not research the expert's credentials for use on impeachment. For instance, in Pitt v. Frawley, 1999 ME 5, PP6-9, 722 A.2d 358, 360-61, the Law Court held that it was not error for the Superior Court to prohibit testimony by an expert who had not been designated pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 26(b). The court reasoned that the defendants had been prejudiced because their ignorance as to the witness' testimony affected their decision on how to proceed with their case.