Monday, January 08, 2007

One Expert's Method for Handling a Billing Dispute

Attorneys and experts disagree on payment - nothing new there. But this expert refuses to take it lying down in a battle with the Department of Health and Human Services in Arkansas. His bill was for $165,000 originally, and more than $200,000 after late fees and charges for the additional documentation they requested were added; the state claims that $60,000 is more than fair.

As Charlotte Tubbs reported in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette article "Agency, witness tangling over pay":
"Quietly, a two-year battle brewed behind the high-profile court case between the department and the witness it hired, George Rekers. The dispute involved department requests for billing explanations, Rekers' accusations that the department's attorney behaved unethically and department accusations that Rekers conducted unnecessary research."
The whole article is quite interesting, with other unrelated bits of information such as how that department chooses experts for litigation:
"Professional and academic requirements are case-dependent. 'There are times when academic skills are important and sometimes experience is more important,' [Health and Human Services Department spokesman Julie Munsell] said."
I wonder how this will affect the expert's reputation with other attorneys? With the court system in general? If he gets paid, will it be worth it?

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