General Advice

Derogatory Reports

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The best medicolegal reports are those that are devoid of emotion. Clear, non-polarised, objective reports stand on their own.

Unfortunately, some expert reporters deviate from the midline and allow themselves to engage in less desirable activities.

The Shooting Gallery

I am referring specifically to the tendency for one reporter to lampoon another reporter’s report in an effort to denigrate the latter.


This occurs most frequently in that section of the report dealing with impairments. Most impairment guides are quite prescriptive. Set processes are to be followed in calculating impairments. Departure from those processes renders the impairment assessment inaccurate and probably un-usable.

The difficulty that arises is that not infrequently, the critical reporter is incorrect with the criticism. Whilst the initial discredit cast upon the first reporter will eventually dissipate, it does cause initial consternation within the legal profession. As reports are exchanged and responses are received, the heat will probably be reflected back upon the critical reporter. He then also suffers.

Whilst I am not suggesting that inaccuracies should be left undisclosed, a high level of professional courtesy is required in exposing perceived errors. Critical observations can be courteously couched. After all, none of us can afford to live in a house constructed entirely of glass.