October 1, 2018
What NOT to Do When Hiring Expert Witnesses
Let’s talk hiring expert witnesses. If you’re either considering finding one for a case, or you’ve already been down the road of hiring expert witnesses, each experience is a learning opportunity.
The Internet is swamped with articles on how to hire an expert witness, when you should hire an expert witness, and what expert witnesses do. But what about mistakes to avoid? Even in this area, you can learn from others’ mistakes.
When Hiring Expert Witnesses, Avoid These Errors:
Opt for easy representation over premium representation.
Consider your case as you start the process of hiring expert witnesses. Can you afford not to select the best possible expert witness? Working with Saponaro, Inc. can ensure you receive expert witnesses that can speak to the specific issues of a case. Our experts are vetted for experience and conflicts so when you begin working together there are no surprises. This service is done for a flat fee and all expert fees are quoted at the time the expert is named. This allows you to calculate the cost of your case.
Hire an expert witness to testify that cannot speak to the jury.
Many times expert testimony is complicated and foreign to the average juror. A strong expert can convey ideas and terms so that the jury can grasp the ideas being presented. Just because an expert has experience in a field does not mean they have the ability to convey information to a jury. Always remember that an expert witness behavior associated with low likeability is using highly technical (and therefore, inaccessible) jargon.
Believe everything you find or read online.
Vetting expert witnesses before hiring them is crucial – sometimes it can make or break a case. For instance, defense attorneys can research and question an expert witness’ credentials and resume during cross-examination, and if proper vetting hasn’t been completed and your expert witness cannot stand up to a Daubert challenge their testimony is of no value to your case. That means wasted money and time or worse: a losing case. Saponaro, Inc. takes the “guesswork” out of obtaining an expert. You can trust what you receive through us – we know the expert’s track record, background, credentials, and qualifications.
Waste precious time and staff scouring the web for expert witnesses.
Again, Saponaro, Inc. makes hiring expert witnesses easy. We get it – you’re busy and don’t have a lot of time to search and vet credible expert witnesses. But we do. And we already have a database of actively practicing professionals ready to go. We take the workload off your desk and can meet the strictest of deadlines, so you can use your time and staff on case work. We can take care of the evaluations for merit and/or screening your case with experts. Let us improve the efficiency and quality of your case management.
Avoid open communication.
Once your expert witness is chosen, it’s crucial to agree on deadlines and the best mode of communication from the outset. Keep in mind your expert should be an actively practicing professional, so setting clear communication expectations from the beginning will ensure effective communication throughout your working relationship.
Delay turning to your expert for guidance when deciding to pursue a case.
One of the most damaging things you can do when hiring an expert witness is NOT engage with them early. The most expedient and cost-effective way to decide if you should pursue a case is with an expert that can point out the strengths and weaknesses of the case from the start. If you do decide to pursue the case, include your expert in the discovery process. Experts can be invaluable in framing discovery requests, identifying productive issues to investigate, identifying the right personnel to depose, and forming deposition questions. Use your expert witness to your advantage as a strategic member of your team.
Hire Expert Witnesses the Right Way
Saponaro, Inc. is here to make the expert witness hiring process as simple and straight-forward as possible. Let us be a part of your team with:
- Increased efficiency
- Focus on core areas
- Access to skilled resources
- Increased speed of delivery
- Ability to calculate the cost of your Expert
For more information on working with an expert witness, download our free eBook on the “7 Best Practices When Working with an Expert Witness”. The seven steps outlined in this PDF will help you properly investigate your case and minimize costs accrued when determining whether your case is worth pursuing. Take the next step today.
September 27, 2018
How to Ensure an Expert Testimony and Opinion is Accurate
You already know that it takes a specifically qualified individual to be a strong expert witness, and that choosing the right expert witness can make or break your case. However, when attempting to hire an expert witness on your own, you might spend hours and hours locating a potential expert, not including the vetting process, and end up with an expert witness whose testimony is far from sufficient.
So, how do you make sure an expert is the right choice for your case and that their expert testimony and/or opinion is what is needed for a successful outcome? Start with the characteristics of the ideal testifying expert witness below.
The Ideal Expert Testimony
“The jury…is the sole judge of the credibility of all witnesses, including experts,” says a legal source, “and if the expert’s credibility is successfully impeached on any point, it is impeached on every point.”
The Credibility of your expert witness is the first and most important way to ensure their opinion and testimony will be accurate. Many cases are lost when an expert is not a trusted resource. This is where the vetting process comes into play. By hiring testifying expert witnesses through Saponaro, Inc., you are receiving a network of experts who have already been appropriately vetted and qualified to provide substantial expert testimony.
We know the expert’s strengths and weaknesses; we know their expertise on the subject at hand; and we know our experts are willing to support their opinions, with facts and data, through deposition and/or trial.
Objectivity is next on our list of keys to ensure a substantial expert testimony and/or opinion. A testifying expert witness must be objective. Although we all want to believe that the case we are investigating has merit, especially since the damages are significant, the expert must not have their own agenda when it comes to rendering opinions.
It is not the expert witness’s role to make a case for one side or the other, it is the expert’s responsibility to know the standard of care; to investigate if there have been breaches from known and accepted standards of care; and to back-up those opinions with facts. If your expert opinion and/or testimony is not based on specific and consistent details and facts, the other-side will see that your expert is not objective and challenge the expert opinion as invalid.
Having foresight in preparing an expert for deposition or testimony is another way to ensure success. The opposite of foresight, myopia, is a recipe for disaster for expert testimony, especially during cross-examination. If your testifying expert has a lack of foresight, or a conclusive understanding of the role they need to play in your case, they may easily be blindsided by certain questions and statements brought up during their deposition or at trial.
It is essential to guide your expert witness and fully explain to them the expectations you have of them in your case; what they might experience from the attorneys on the other-side; how to respond to questions designed to “trick” the expert in their response; and how to stay effective and on point during examination. Otherwise, you will face immense challenges to overcome an expert who has not been properly prepared.
Clear communication is another must-have for an accurate expert testimony and/or opinion. Your expert must be briefed on how you would like for them to address their opinions, especially during testimony, so that a jury can understand and appreciate the merits of the case.
What good is hiring a testifying expert witness who speaks so far above the jury that there is more confusion following testimony than there was before your expert presented their opinion? The expert witness should take complicated subjects and explain them using words the average person can understand and relate to. Difficult medical terms need to be defined in laymen’s terms, and drawn-out sentences used to sound more intelligent are not necessary for substantial expert testimony. Answers and information that can be explained in as few words as possible are better.
Find the Testifying Expert Witness You Need
Saponaro, Inc., is chosen every day by trial attorneys because of our strong selection of premier experts in all areas of litigation. We thoroughly screen your case with our experts to obtain the best available match.
Trust in Saponaro, Inc. for professional and objective expert testimony. We have thousands of experts standing by to assist you with your case. Find one today.
September 12, 2018
Is Expert Witnessing Right for You?
What does it take to become an expert witness, and do you have the time and interest in assisting on legal matters?
An expert is a specialist with advanced knowledge in a professional area, such as any medical or hospital personnel, as well as the fields of automotive, finance, engineering, law enforcement or education, to name a few industries. This person has knowledge and expertise in a particular area, which is due to hands-on work in that specific specialty. An expert witness is someone who gives sworn evidence on the applicable standards of care in a court of law.
Expert witnesses are not required to argue a case. They are required to give unbiased facts and opinions, within their area of expertise. Although an expert witness is used to help attorneys develop a winning strategy, such as framing discovery requests and identifying productive issues to investigate in depositions, they should never venture outside their area of expertise. Expert witnesses are used to provide truthful, impartial input on a particular subject matter during the trial.
Cornell Law School explains it well: “experts may testify on any subject within their area of expertise so long as their testimony will assist the jury.”
Becoming an Expert Witness
Joining Saponaro, Inc. is beneficial if you have an interest in expert witness work, since we can answer any specific questions you might have and we can walk you through the process of assisting as an expert witness, from the initial case evaluation; through deposition; and as a testifying expert in court. A strong expert witness exhibits certain qualities. You should consider expert witnessing if you:
- Are fair and objective, no matter which side you are asked to assist.
- Have the ability to meet deadlines and communicate directly and accurately your findings.
- Able to support your opinion from investigation through court testimony.
- Have a schedule that is somewhat flexible to allow for depositions and trial appearances.
- Have the ability to present your findings in an easy to understand approach
- Are an actively practicing medical, hospital, dental or healthcare professional.
If you understand the role an expert witness needs to play, and have a genuine interest in providing unbiased opinions, as well as supporting those opinions, you could be an ideal candidate to become an expert witness in our network pool. If you do, there is no pressure, and you can pick the cases you feel the most comfortable providing opinions on.
How Much do Expert Witnesses Get Paid?
Our experts set their own fee schedules, and the hourly rate normally depends on the area of expertise – generally experts in medical fields will command higher hourly rates and fees than those in non-medical fees.
Saponaro, Inc. refers from a pool of expert witnesses covering a multitude of subject areas, including:
- Accident reconstruction and automotive experts
- Accounting experts
- Blood bank experts
- Construction expert
- Dental experts
- Dermatology experts
- Expert toxicologist
- Forensic experts
- Handwriting analysts
- Insurance coverage expert
- Nurse experts
- Nursing home experts
- OB/GYN experts
- Pediatric experts
- Physicians and other medical experts
- Police experts
- Psychiatric experts
- Radiology experts
- Worker’s compensation experts
Expert witnessing provides the opportunity to grow and share your expertise with people who need it. You have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life outside of your day-to-day career. Share your knowledge and expertise with those who need it. Put your expertise – the expertise that you spent long nights and many years building and broadening – to good use.
There is no risk to inquire about becoming an expert witness with Saponaro, Inc. Start expert witnessing today.
June 1, 2018
April 9, 2018
In this case, a patient was lying fully anesthetized on an operating room table for a surgical procedure. Several minutes into the procedure, the table began to move without being directed by OR personnel. Efforts to stop the movement by using the standard control pendant or over-ride switches were unsuccessful.
March 8, 2018
Auto accidents are a leading cause of serious injury and death. Accident Reconstruction, liability, and severity analysis experts will strengthen your case, but many times cost is a worry. Follow our straight forward referral process that allows you to calculate your cost of hiring an Expert so you can focus on the case, not the cost.
February 9, 2018
Because of your experience as a malpractice attorney, and for many of you in States with caps on damages, you already understand that not all malpractice cases are created equal. But each file in your office represents individuals and their families, and you want to provide them with assistance in answering their questions and concerns and need to do so with a limited time and cost investment. We can help you get questions answered in a cost efficient and timely way. Many times records are voluminous and deadlines are looming.
January 9, 2018
Attorneys and legal specialists often find themselves swamped with mountains of documents and data that can be overwhelming and potentially stall cases. At Saponaro, Inc. we support firms by meticulously examining and organizing this information, providing expert advice and opinions, and saving firms time and money.
Saponaro, Inc. has over 40 years of experience streamlining litigation organization, and tailoring our services to the needs of our clients, and we furnish an upfront quote before the job begins. (more…)
November 7, 2017
Deciding on whether or not to pursue a potential medical-legal matter can be challenging and expensive if you do not have the right plan in place. Here are a few tips to make your decision easier, cost-effective, and successful.
October 4, 2017
The recent arrest of a courageous nurse at the University of Utah as she refused to allow a police officer to draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant offers some important lessons about preparing for interactions with police, whether they are investigating you or one of your patients.