The ABC’s of Cross-Examining Vocational Experts and Medical Advisors
a) Introduce doubt-how firm is the opinion
b) Introduce doubt-how firm is the foundation
c) Introduce doubt as to the qualifications
3. Impeachment-the least effective and most difficult
a) The post-hearing attack
b) Showing bias
1. The DOT
1. Always ask for DOT numbers of jobs the VE testifies your claimant can do.
2. Never question a VE who has not testified adverse to your client.
3. Always be prepared to present your own hypothetical question.
4. Always assure that the VE has testified regarding the effect of the claimant’s alleged limitations, if found credible. If they are separable, and/or of varying supportability, ask questions about each limitation, or various combinations.
5. Where you have several medical opinions which would preclude work, ask the VE about each one individually. Sometimes it helps to ask about them in many combinations.
1. Identity of past relevant work
2. Exertional, postural, environmental requirements of past relevant work
3. Skill required in past relevant work
a) Skills v. Traits
b) The exact job, not as generally performed
1. To same or lower skill level
a) The SVP
b) Worker Function ratings
2. Uses the same or similar tools and machines
3. Involves the same or similar raw materials, products, processes or services
4. Factors interfering with transferability
b) Medical limitations
c) Mental limitations
1. Characteristics of the job
2. Numbers of jobs
1. Use of Reference material to challenge VE testimony
2. VE contradicted Census Reports
1. To clear up ambiguities in the record.
2. To fill gaps in the record.
3. To make a preemptive strike against a hostile expert.
Continue to THE USE OF VOCATIONAL AND MEDICAL EXPERT WITNESSES.