"professional witness" - bias
Cooper v. Schoffstall - Pennsylvania Supreme Court - September 7, 2006
majority - http://www.courts.state.pa.us/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-51-2005mo.pdf
concurring - http://www.courts.state.pa.us/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-51-2005co.pdf
The court held that, under state law, discovery was available to determine if a doctor was a "professional witness" whose pattern of compensation in past cases could raise the "inference of the possibility that the witness has slanted his testimony...so he could be hired to testify in future cases."
The court said that the "appropriate, threshold showing to establish cause for supplemental discovery related to potential favoritism of a non-party witness retained for trial preparation is of reasonable grounds to believe that the witness may have entered the professional witness category. In other words, the proponent of the discovery should demonstrate a significant pattern of compensation that would support a reasonable inference that the witness might color, shade, or slant his testimony in light of the substantial financial incentives."
If such a showing could be made, the party would be allow to depose the witness by written interrogatories concerning: a) the compensation in the pending case; b) the character of the witnesses' litigation-related activities, and in particular, the approximate percentage devoted to specific types of litigation and/or work on behalf of a particular litigant; c) the number of cases in the past 1-3 years; d) the approximate portion of the witness's overall professional work devoted to litigation-related services; e) the approximate income from such services.
Query: Is this an issue which could be raised in SSD/SSI cases?