Monday, April 28, 2008

Different Fees for Different Clients?

An expert witness recently emailed me this question: "Does it affect an expert's credibility to use different fee schedules with different clients?"

My immediate response was that all information is discoverable these days - anything you make public on the Internet, print and mail out (even to individuals), say, do, etc., - can and will be 'cussed and discussed' as my mother says, and used against you. I can't imagine a good answer when asked about it in deposition or court by opposing counsel.

What makes this particular question even more dangerous is that the expert was charging plaintiff attorneys at a different rate from defense attorneys. I actually cringed when I read his email.

Am I way off-base? Do you think this expert could be unwittingly inviting trouble or am I over-reacting?


Kathie K. said...

I charge different fees for government clients such as public defenders, police departments and district attorneys. I do this because I get repeat work from these clients and they cannot pay my standard fee. I occasionally reduce my fee for an indigent client and I take pro bono cases when an attorney does. I received an award from the Maryland Lawyers Volunteer Association for a pro bono case that I did. I have never had an opposing attorney make an issue of this and I have had a lot of court and deposition testimony.

Meredith said...

Your policy makes sense. It seems that what doesn't work in one expert's area of expertise may be the perfect solution in a different area of expertise.

ifindexperts said...

I have seen quite a few experts offer variable rates, based on their client, and that usually happens for 1 of 2 reasons: either altruistic motives (pro bono, ethical basis of case, such as an immigratuion or persecution case) or because the client has demonstrated poverty of their client. T