Monday, June 29, 2009
Help This Expert: Working with a Disability
I recently received a question from an expert about how to continue an expert witness practice when the expert has a disabling health condition. Here's the email I received:
"A colleague of mine is a self-employed expert witness. He works out of a home office in a fairly rural town, and is occasionally called upon to travel to a client's offices or meet with attorneys. Last winter he suffered a stroke, and now finds that he cannot leave his home without assistance, and some of the tasks associated with his work are much more time consuming than before. This has raised some significant challenges as his recovery progresses, and I suspect other expert witnesses have already navigated these decisions.
At what point should one disclose a handicap to potential clients? Should one bill differently for tasks that take longer than before? How can one minimize having to work outside the home? Should all self-employed people carry long-term disability insurance? What accomodations are reasonable for a handicapped person to expect when he must travel to a deposition? There are many other questions surrounding this issue, but thus far I have more questions than answers."
I suspect some of you have faced this issue already and we should probably all consider what we would do. Please give any words of wisdom or resources you know of to help this expert.