Testimony Standards

Foot and ankle surgeons are frequently called upon to provide expert medical testimony in legal or administrative proceedings. It is in the public interest for this testimony to be knowledgeable and objective. A foot and ankle surgeon must recognize a responsibility to provide testimony that is truthful, impartial, scientifically correct and in accordance with the merits of the case. To this end, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) has adopted the following Standards for Expert Witness Testimony. These Standards apply to all ACFAS Fellows and Members who provide expert opinion services to attorneys, litigants, or the judiciary in the context of civil or criminal legal matters and include written expert opinions as well as sworn testimony.

Expert Witness Affirmation Statement Statement

Impartial Testimony 

  1. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall not knowingly provide testimony that is false.
  2. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall provide opinions and/or factual testimony in a fair and impartial manner.
  3. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall evaluate the medical condition and care provided in light of generally accepted practice at the time, place and in the context of care delivered.
  4. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness will indicate when his or her beliefs may differ from standards of practice prevailing at the time of the occurrence or when his or her beliefs differ from generally accepted theories of medical science.
  5. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness will not adopt a position of advocacy except as spokesperson for the field of special knowledge they represent.
  6. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall seek and review all pertinent medical records related to a particular patient prior to rendering an opinion on the medical or surgical management of said patient.

Subject Matter Knowledge

  1. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall have sufficient knowledge of and experience about the standard of care and the available scientific evidence for the condition in question during the relevant time, place and in the context of medical care provided and shall respond accurately to questions about the standard of care and the available scientific evidence.
  2. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall provide evidence or testify only in matters in which he or she has relevant clinical experience in the areas of medicine that are the subject of the proceeding.
  3. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall be prepared to state the basis of the testimony presented, including when his or her opinion varies from generally accepted standards that prevailed at the time of the occurrence, and whether that opinion is based on personal experience, specific clinical or scientific evidence.

Qualifications

  1. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall have a current, valid, and unrestricted license to practice podiatric medicine in a state or U.S. territory.
  2. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall maintain a current certificate from the American Board of Podiatric Surgery (ABPS), or the certifying body, if any, in the country in which the foot and ankle surgeon took his or her training.
  3. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall be engaged in the active practice of foot and ankle surgery.
  4. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall not misrepresent his or her credentials, qualifications, experience or background.
  5. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness that is testifying as a medical expert is currently engaged in the practice of medicine.

Compensation 

  1. The foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall not accept a fee that is contingent upon the outcome of a case.
  2. Compensation for a foot and ankle surgical expert witness shall be reasonable and commensurate with the time and effort necessary to evaluate and provide testimony on the facts of the case.

Educational Opportunities

Upcoming