What is an Experts' Hot Tub?

An Experts’ Hot Tub is a method of cross-examining expert witnesses in building dispute proceedings at NCAT. In a traditional cross-examination, expert witnesses are questioned and cross-examined separately by each party, with little opportunity for discussion or collaboration between them. In an Experts’ Hot Tub, the expert witnesses are brought together in a more collaborative environment where they are encouraged to discuss and debate their opinions and findings in a more open and transparent manner. This allows for a more efficient and productive exchange of information, and can often lead to a faster resolution of disputes.

The Benefits of an Experts' Hot Tub

When compared to traditional expert witness cross-examination, an Experts’ Hot Tub offers several advantages in resolving disputes efficiently and effectively. First, it can help to reduce costs, as the parties will share the cost of the experts’ fees, and the hot tub process is typically quicker than traditional cross-examination. Second, it facilitates a fair resolution by enabling experts to consider each other’s opinions and evidence together in a transparent and collaborative manner, leading to a more just outcome. Finally, the hot tub approach allows for more focused and efficient examination, reducing the need for unnecessary and time-consuming duplication of evidence. These benefits make the Experts’ Hot Tub approach an attractive option for resolving building disputes in NCAT.

How an Experts' Hot Tub Works

In an experts’ hot tub, the experts are questioned simultaneously, with the tribunal member and legal representatives present to facilitate the process. The experts are encouraged to comment on each other’s statements, which can lead to a more thorough and well-rounded analysis of the issues at hand. The tribunal member can ask questions to clarify any points and ensure that all relevant issues are covered. Legal representatives can also participate in the questioning process and may cross-examine the experts after the hot tub session. Overall, the process is designed to encourage collaboration between experts and promote a just resolution.

Preparing for an Experts' Hot Tub

Preparing for an Experts’ Hot Tub session can be a complex process that requires careful consideration and preparation. To ensure a successful outcome, it’s important to select the right expert witnesses, who have the necessary qualifications and experience to provide a balanced and impartial view of the dispute. It’s also essential to familiarize yourself with the experts’ code of conduct and understand the procedural directions given by the tribunal member. Additionally, legal representatives can play an important role in preparing for a hot tub session, by gathering all relevant evidence and briefing their experts on the relevant issues in the case. By following these steps, homeowners and legal representatives can be better prepared for the hot tub process and maximize their chances of a successful outcome.

Participating in an Experts' Hot Tub

Participating in an experts’ hot tub can be a complex process, but with the right approach, homeowners and legal representatives can ensure they make the most of the opportunity. One key aspect of effective participation is asking relevant questions that help clarify the issues and reveal any misunderstandings or inaccuracies in the evidence. It’s also important to stay focused on the real issues, avoiding unnecessary distractions or disputes that may derail the process. Finally, all participants should adhere to the guiding principle of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW), which requires parties to act honestly, fairly, and in accordance with the law.


In conclusion, the use of experts’ hot tub in NCAT cross-examination is a highly efficient and cost-effective approach to resolving home building disputes. It allows for simultaneous questioning and commenting by experts on each other’s statements, with the guidance of a tribunal member and legal representatives. To effectively participate in a hot tub session, it is important to ask relevant questions, stay focused on the real issues, and adhere to the guiding principles of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW). Overall, the benefits of this approach for homeowners and legal representatives cannot be overstated, as it provides a fair and just resolution to building disputes. To learn more about the NCAT home building dispute process, please refer to our article, “Understanding the NCAT Home Building Disputes Process.”