Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Attorney Refuses to Pay Expert for Deposition

Payment for expert consultants to the legal community is an ongoing issue (and one we addressed in "Expert Pay Discussion"). Here is the most recent story I've heard:

Hi Meredith
I have a question for your readers: Prior to giving a deposition I always ask for a payment to cover my time and expenses, refunding any extra amount. I recently had a problem with a client who balked at this and said he would "personally" insure I was paid on time.

Well that was January and still no payment -- a few weeks ago they (the deposing attorneys) claimed never to have received the invoice -- an old scam I've run into many times in my consulting career. My question is, if I don't receive the up front payment, do I have the right to refuse to appear at the deposition, especially if I've been subpoenaed to appear?
The subpoena in this situation complicates matters in my mind. Any advice from the trenches?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Attorneys' Thoughts on Expert Witnesses

At LinkedIn, a social networking site, one user posted several questions about expert witnesses, such as how attorneys find experts, who does the searching, and how much they pay. The attorney responses are interesting and might give you some ideas on ways to reach your prospects and how attorneys see experts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

President Bush and Expert Witnesses

Here's one to make you think: As reported in President Bush just signed an executive order that prohibits expert witnesses being paid on contingency.

Even if not legislated, hasn't the avoidance of contingency payment been understood, accepted, and practiced by experts for quite some time? Opposing counsel has always been willing to tear up an expert witness for such an arrangement, so most retaining counsel and experts have avoided the practice. (Also, I thought it was already illegal in some states.)

Am I missing something?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Build Your Network at Conferences

'Tis the season for conferences, seminars, and association meetings. I know some of you will be attending the SEAK National Expert Witness Conference and probably many others will be attending conferences by the organizations in their area of expertise.

Take a boatload of business cards with you and talk to everyone you can. Find out about them, how you might be able to help them or if you know someone you could introduce them to that would be of benefit to them. Your associates in your field can be a great source of collaboration and referrals. But start by building a relationship - people work with (and refer!) those they like from a human perspective first and foremost.

If you go to any expert witness conferences - do the same! Many cases require more than one type of expert. If you are able to provide your retaining attorney with the name of another expert he needs for the case, you become an even more valuable resource for the attorney and the expert appreciates the referral and may reciprocate.

Don't neglect to attend the networking functions and meals where you can meet one on one with the speakers, mostly attorneys and judges (and ALWAYS have your business cards handy!). Don't sell yourself but do introduce yourself and provide a face to go with your name. If you can, get a business card from them and follow up with a note of appreciation regarding their presentation.

Get Better Results from Your Google Searches

Google offers a great "cheat sheet" on different tricks you can use to get the best results from your searches