There are a lot of ways you can find an expert witness to support your pending litigation including:
Referrals from Other Attorneys
Attorneys speak to each other constantly, asking for tips and advice on how to deal with certain legal issues. This consists of recommendations on expert witnesses. Experts that have exceeded expectations in prior cases and trials are often in the best situation to be recommended again.
Expert Opposed Attorney in Past Case
It’s not uncommon for attorneys to look for experts that have testified against their client in a prior matter. One of the best compliments an expert witness can get is to have the opposition’s attorney request to have their business card at the completion of a deposition, for a future case.
Expert Witness Referral and Locator Services
A lot of attorneys consult third party expert referral/locator services for help. There are a number of reasons that attorneys utilize these services, including:
- They’re unable to locate a suitable recommendation for an expert.
- They don’t have the desire or time to search for an expert by another means.
- The opposition has already retained their first-choice expert.
- Their first-choice experts are not available or have retired.
- They require an out-of-state expert witness and are unable to receive a recommendation from an expert in that location.
- The area of the expert is very narrow (for instance, desert exposure) and there aren’t a lot of experts in that area.
- They are facing a court-imposed imminent deadline to designate experts.
Referral services for an expert witness are not typically an attorney’s first choice in deciding on an expert. There are 3 primary reasons for this. First, they don’t get a trusted associate’s opinion as to how effective the possible expert is. Second, there might be a fee by using the service, like a considerable increase in the expert’s hourly rate. And third, because the witness is registered with a referral firm, it might be brought up in front of the jury that could show prejudice.
Professional and Legal Associations
Attorneys searching for an expert will usually speak with specific discipline or professional associations. A lot of these associations offer lists of experts and consultants, online membership directories, literature searches, and recommendations. These services may be complementary to the attorney and may be provided as a free service to the association’s members. Experts may contact the professional organizations in which they have memberships to find out if they offer these services.
A lot of lawyers look for experts that have published articles and texts. They believe these experts to have the credibility essential to someone that “wrote the book” on specific topics requiring expert testimony to the trier of fact. Experts that have been published in a specific field are easily located through online publication searches.
Counsel can also turn to certifying agencies when looking for experts. For instance, the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners (ABIME) lists an estimated 1,500 licensed physicians that have passed a demanding exam and have board certification in their primary clinical field. Some certifying agencies offer counsel a list or directory of members for use in choosing experts or they have these directories accessible online.
Attorneys might try to utilize universities when searching for experts. Professors and other types of instructors might have increased credibility in the eyes of a jury. Those experts that act as professors, instructors or even adjunct educators at universities and colleges enhance their visibility to counsel.
Experts Used in the Past
Attorneys sometimes use experts that have previously done well for them in prior trials or litigations.
Jury Verdict Reviews
Jury verdicts and settlements are disclosed in print and web-based legal publications. These reports consist of the outcome of the case and sometimes include the names of the expert witnesses in the case on both sides. Counsel sometimes will get in touch with experts that are reported in jury verdict reports when taking on a new case.
Client Referral of In-House Experts
The client itself is frequently looked to by attorneys when looking for an expert. These in-house experts, often the employees of the company, are knowledgeable, available, and will testify devoid of added payment. However, the neutrality of these in-house experts will usually come into question.
Attorneys frequently look to the internet to find expert witnesses. There are a lot of websites of expert witness directories wherein experts may list themselves such as SEAK Expert Witness Directory. These websites can bill the expert or attorney an annual fee, or they might be free to each of them. Additionally, attorneys can locate an expert witness’s web page using search engines. The Internet is quick and is easily used, and it’s a very vital means attorneys can use to find expert witnesses.
Attorneys can sourcebooks and use directories for the location of experts. A lot of these publications need an annual listing fee for the expert to get listed. Many directories also have an online listing. For instance, SEAK Expert Witness Directory.
Some lawyers look to the classified sections or professional services of national and state legal publications in their hunt for experts.
Paid Online Legal Research Services
Attorneys also use paid legal research services to find expert witnesses. The two most utilized services are Westlaw and LexisNexis. These databases are pretty broad and may be used to locate experts from:
- previous cases the expert has testified in,
- previous reports and transcripts,
- jury verdict reporters quoting the expert, and
- print and online directories of expert witnesses.
Other Expert Witnesses Referrals
Lawyers can get in touch with experts they have previously used to acquire recommendations on an expert in a related or possibly in a different field. Experts usually know and affiliate with lots of other experts (in other fields) and frequently refer one another back and forth across their professional circles in each major American city.
As an example, an attorney can call a psychologist they have worked with for the endorsement of a psychiatrist. Experts in a specialty might be willing to refer an associate for cases when they aren’t available or have enough capacity or are conflicting out of a case.
Attorneys can sometimes request a fact witness into becoming their expert witness. A good example of this is treating physicians for major medical malpractice cases.
Presentations by Witness
Attorneys can hire experts they have observed give presentations at an attorneys’ professional organization or another forum. Live group presentations are a wonderful chance for an expert to exhibit their abilities since they allow the expert to exhibit both their knowledge and their presentation proficiency. Note, that opposing attorneys can acquire the expert’s handout materials to use against them throughout cross-examination at your future trial or deposition.
Networking and Social Acquaintances
Attorneys can hire experts they have become familiar with socially or maybe they have seen each other professionally during their careers.
Real Estate Expert Witness Services by Craig Cherney, Esq.
Craig Cherney is a trusted client advisor and a sought after real estate expert witness who is hired by the nation’s top Real Estate Litigation Attorneys to help resolve their litigated real property matters. Craig has appeared as a testifying expert witness before judges and juries in California, Arizona, Nevada and other jurisdictions across the country. Craig Cherney, Esq. Expert Witness Real Estate. 480-399-2342.
Disclaimer: This Post Is Not Legal Advice.
You should not ever depend on an online post for legal advice as the law and codes changes often, information sometimes might not be accurate, there can be exceptions to the rule, and wholesale reliance on such matters could be damaging. Always consult with experienced attorneys for current, effective, and factual legal advice.