Friday, November 06, 2009
Being mentioned or quoted by the media can be a very effective (and inexpensive) marketing tool and who wouldn't want to be mentioned in the New York Times? See some original tips to accomplish that in this post at Nolo's Legal Marketing Blawg.
Worried about the economy's effect on expert witnesses? Head over to the Expert Witness Blog to read Rick Van Bruggen's opinion on why experts are "recession proof". While you're there - if you are based in the New York area, check out the schedule for the Gotham City Expert Witness Group.
What will happen to your practice if you have surgery? Dr. Jean Murray has some good tips for "Keeping Your Business Going After Surgery" at the Small Business Boomers blog.
And lastly, in keeping with my effort to stay on top of my "to-read" list, Scott Kirsner of the Boston Globe wrote an article on "Timely Tips to Empty Your Inbox".
Friday, October 23, 2009
I charge a non-refundable deposit when an attorney gives me a trial date and asks me to commit to this. (I don't charge them until they ask me to make travel plans). I have been charging a full day fee since I often have to re-arrange my clinical schedule and even give up shifts to travel.My Reply:
I recently had a trial that I was committed to go to be postponed and I hadn't received the deposit yet (I had worked with this firm before and trusted them).
How do other experts charge for this? Do most charge a fee before committing to travel? Non-refundable? How much?
I am wondering now if I should charge a scheduling fee, perhaps 50% of the required amount for a trial that is non-refundable. I want to be fair to the attorney since they can't control when a trial is postponed.
You should NOT empty your waiting room, re-arrange appointments, etc., to schedule deposition or courtroom time UNTIL you receive a check for the full,
estimated time. Then, if they postpone or cancel, you can refund money on a sliding scale (see Fee Schedule and related info in The Expert Witnessing Marketing Book) based on how easy/difficult it is and based on the date of postponement/cancellation, how easy is it is for you to restore your local work schedule.
I hear this over and over, and experts should not experience loss of income due to dates being moved by the courts and the attorneys.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Check out this excerpt of a deposition of an expert witness by the famous (infamous?) Houston attorney, Joe Jamail.
Friday, July 24, 2009
On another front, attorney Robert Ambrogi recently wrote about 2009's Top Five Expert Rulings to date that includes decisions about improper exclusion and the right to confront an expert - decisions that could affect you.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Have you planned for retirement? Will you simply close up shop and end your practice? Are you considering selling your expert witness practice? Many experts have contemplated this issue. And it matters, even it seems years away, because your end goals could affect the practice management and marketing decisions you make today and in the years to come.
Here is what one expert emailed me on the subject:
"Question: In a year or two, I would like to retire but I don't know what to do about my clients and practice. I have been an expert witness for about 20 years and have built a good nationwide practice with a number of law firms that use my services over and over along with a constant flow of new clients. My web site has an "employment" section that implies a qualified associate has the potential of acquiring the practice in addition to making a respectable income. The employment section has been on the web site for 6 or 8 months but so far there has not been any interest."
What are your thoughts? I would love to hear your experiences and plans. Please leave your thoughts in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also contact me if you would be interested in writing a guest article on this topic or a related one for our newsletter, Expert News.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Also, a reminder from me to make sure you change your message as soon as you return and turn off your automatic email reply.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I provide expert witness services in the insurance and reinsurance industries both in court and in arbitrations. Here is a recent experience. I was called by "Joe", a client for whom I have been retained a few times. He needed an expert in marine cargo insurance. I declined, as this is not an area of my expertise. Joe asked if I knew of anyone who could qualify; I told him I would help if possible. I then called "Jim", a fellow expert/friend, passing along the request from Joe. Jim said he didn't qualify, but he was in turn trying to assist an attorney in locating an expert in a certain type of property insurance, and asked if I knew of anyone with that background. I said "yes-me"; Jim said he would pass it along. I then called "Dick" another expert/friend about the marine cargo. He was qualified and was grateful for the lead. I asked him to call Joe. Right after that, an attorney called, said Jim had recommended me and wanted to discuss the engagement.
Here is the outcome of these events:
-- I got the property insurance engagement from the attorney Jim was trying to help. It was a very lucrative and challenging assignment.
-- The law firm that engaged me is a major player in this arena; now they know me well, and a name partner told me "we'll work together again."
-- After testifying at the arbitration Hearing, I received calls for expert service that I traced back to recommendations from the chairman of the arbitration panel.
-- Dick was retained by Joe for the marine cargo case, and was grateful for my recommendation-this will reinforce our assisting one another in cases that we cannot take ourselves.
-- Joe called thanking me for recommending Dick-this keeps me on Joe's radar screen as well.
All of this happened as a result of me receiving a call for a case that I couldn't take. Instead of stopping at "no thanks", my thought was to help some friends and keep my name in front of them. I view every call as a possible opportunity. When approached on something outside of my expertise, I will tell the attorney "I understand that subject and have some familiarity with it. However, actual job responsibilities with the specific subject have not been sufficient to prevent me from being vulnerable under cross-examination, and I would not do anything that might detract from the merits of your case. Therefore, I must decline." Almost always, they express gratitude for expressing it as a respect for their client and the client's interest. I can then often nudge the conversation to my areas of expertise, get in a brief pitch, and follow up with a CV. Again, it's a way to create a potential opportunity out of a declination.
Sounds like a win-win situation to me. Do you see any potential pitfalls?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
The book centers around the five pillars of thoughtleading:
Pillar 1: Publishing your ideas
Pillar 2: Speaking before groups
Pillar 3: Keeping your edge with fresh thinking
Pillar 4: Creatively leveraging the Internet
Pillar 5: Making vigorous use of the media
A quick, worthwhile read.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The wife of an expert witness who died unexpectedly contacted me last week. She was trying to close his practice in the most responsible way possible - contacting clients, trying to refer them to other experts, returning files to attorneys, etc. It was overwhelming, especially trying to collect unpaid fees and expenses. I helped her as much as I could, but it served as a reminder that we should think about who will handle what we leave behind and how we can make it easier on them.
If you are uncomfortable discussing such things, write some instructions to be available after the "unexpected". Perhaps even try to divide duties among more than one person. Please give it some thought.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
"Communication is the lifeblood of promotion. A well-built, well-maintained database is one of your most valuable businss assets. Possibly you could even sell the information to a younger expert witness in your field when you retire. For now, your database is your field of prospects. The better you create and cultivate that field, the greater will be the crop you harvest. "