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Anyone moonlight as an Expert Witness?

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  • Hatton
    replied













    I have a very jaded view on this subject.  If you are going to do expert witness work for plaintiff attorneys you better be prepared to be grilled on the witness stand as if you were on trial.  You better be able to communicate your findings to average IQ jurors in a non-condescending manner.  Be prepared to tell the jury exactly what you were paid and how much you have made as an expert in your career.  You cannot say my wife does my taxes so I don’t know.  You also should be prepared to state how many of the procedures in question have you yourself performed in your career and in the last year.  Oh do not accept any cases in your referral area.
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    What about if I only want to do defense cases?
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    From what more senior people have told me you can’t really do this for very long. If you get a rep as being a bag man for defense attorneys then the first question you get on the stand is supposed to be “how many cases have you done?”

    “ok and how many times have you testified against another doctor?”

    I’ve actually been fairly edified what little work I’ve done in this space by how much it seems that the attorneys I’ve worked with really want you to tell the truth. Lawyers talk in absolutes and want specific timelines and often you just aren’t able to give them exactly what they want and that’s the end of it.

     

     
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    So it’s a bad thing if you have a lot of cases? Seems counterintuitive.
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    You come across as a professional witness.  Juries do not like this.

    Leave a comment:


  • I Find This Humerus
    replied










    I have a very jaded view on this subject.  If you are going to do expert witness work for plaintiff attorneys you better be prepared to be grilled on the witness stand as if you were on trial.  You better be able to communicate your findings to average IQ jurors in a non-condescending manner.  Be prepared to tell the jury exactly what you were paid and how much you have made as an expert in your career.  You cannot say my wife does my taxes so I don’t know.  You also should be prepared to state how many of the procedures in question have you yourself performed in your career and in the last year.  Oh do not accept any cases in your referral area.
    Click to expand…


    What about if I only want to do defense cases?
    Click to expand…


    From what more senior people have told me you can’t really do this for very long. If you get a rep as being a bag man for defense attorneys then the first question you get on the stand is supposed to be “how many cases have you done?”

    “ok and how many times have you testified against another doctor?”

    I’ve actually been fairly edified what little work I’ve done in this space by how much it seems that the attorneys I’ve worked with really want you to tell the truth. Lawyers talk in absolutes and want specific timelines and often you just aren’t able to give them exactly what they want and that’s the end of it.

     

     
    Click to expand...


    So it's a bad thing if you have a lot of cases? Seems counterintuitive.

    Leave a comment:


  • I Find This Humerus
    replied




    Register on seak website. I’ve done 5 cases so far which has been a small part of my consulting. Stay within your area of expertise. You’re not paid to say what the retaining counsel wants you to say. You are paid to give an honest expert opinion based on the records provided and that might also mean going against their opinion. Highly recommend their conferences.. it’s an good investment if you’re motivated to get into this work!
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    What is seak website?

    Leave a comment:


  • MPMD
    replied







    I have a very jaded view on this subject.  If you are going to do expert witness work for plaintiff attorneys you better be prepared to be grilled on the witness stand as if you were on trial.  You better be able to communicate your findings to average IQ jurors in a non-condescending manner.  Be prepared to tell the jury exactly what you were paid and how much you have made as an expert in your career.  You cannot say my wife does my taxes so I don’t know.  You also should be prepared to state how many of the procedures in question have you yourself performed in your career and in the last year.  Oh do not accept any cases in your referral area.
    Click to expand…


    What about if I only want to do defense cases?
    Click to expand...


    From what more senior people have told me you can't really do this for very long. If you get a rep as being a bag man for defense attorneys then the first question you get on the stand is supposed to be "how many cases have you done?"

    "ok and how many times have you testified against another doctor?"

    I've actually been fairly edified what little work I've done in this space by how much it seems that the attorneys I've worked with really want you to tell the truth. Lawyers talk in absolutes and want specific timelines and often you just aren't able to give them exactly what they want and that's the end of it.

     

     

    Leave a comment:


  • Sajimone
    replied
    Register on seak website. I’ve done 5 cases so far which has been a small part of my consulting. Stay within your area of expertise. You’re not paid to say what the retaining counsel wants you to say. You are paid to give an honest expert opinion based on the records provided and that might also mean going against their opinion. Highly recommend their conferences.. it’s an good investment if you’re motivated to get into this work!

    Leave a comment:


  • Hatton
    replied
    Defense work will be psychologically better for you.  Good malpractice defense attorneys like to use a variety of doctors so he/she  does not appear to be using a professional witness. With that in mind you can do this for some time but not forever.  I assume you are ortho so that may have less emotion in it I don't know.  If the case you are involved in goes to trial expect the plaintiff attorney to be very unpleasant.

    Leave a comment:


  • I Find This Humerus
    replied




    I have a very jaded view on this subject.  If you are going to do expert witness work for plaintiff attorneys you better be prepared to be grilled on the witness stand as if you were on trial.  You better be able to communicate your findings to average IQ jurors in a non-condescending manner.  Be prepared to tell the jury exactly what you were paid and how much you have made as an expert in your career.  You cannot say my wife does my taxes so I don’t know.  You also should be prepared to state how many of the procedures in question have you yourself performed in your career and in the last year.  Oh do not accept any cases in your referral area.
    Click to expand...


    What about if I only want to do defense cases?

    Leave a comment:


  • VagabondMD
    replied










    How do you even get started if you don’t know anyone currently doing it?
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    Word of mouth is how I got started. One of my senior partners turfed some IR cases to me. Once you are known for doing the work, you get more cases. Now I am the senior partner turfing cases to my younger colleagues as I have mostly lost interest in this work.

    I also have a good friend who is one of the leading med mal plaintiff attorneys in our city. I do some minor case review work for him, but he has been an outstanding resource for issues that have come up in our practice and for me personally.
    Click to expand…


    This is what I have heard however none of my colleagues are involved with expert witness work so I need to get “in” on my own but don’t know how/where to begin.
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    I guess you will have to do some networking. Perhaps you could call some defense firms and offer to do case reviews.

    I would recommend starting with the defense work. It is more natural to do.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hatton
    replied
    I have a very jaded view on this subject.  If you are going to do expert witness work for plaintiff attorneys you better be prepared to be grilled on the witness stand as if you were on trial.  You better be able to communicate your findings to average IQ jurors in a non-condescending manner.  Be prepared to tell the jury exactly what you were paid and how much you have made as an expert in your career.  You cannot say my wife does my taxes so I don't know.  You also should be prepared to state how many of the procedures in question have you yourself performed in your career and in the last year.  Oh do not accept any cases in your referral area.

    Leave a comment:


  • I Find This Humerus
    replied







    How do you even get started if you don’t know anyone currently doing it?
    Click to expand…


    Word of mouth is how I got started. One of my senior partners turfed some IR cases to me. Once you are known for doing the work, you get more cases. Now I am the senior partner turfing cases to my younger colleagues as I have mostly lost interest in this work.

    I also have a good friend who is one of the leading med mal plaintiff attorneys in our city. I do some minor case review work for him, but he has been an outstanding resource for issues that have come up in our practice and for me personally.
    Click to expand...


    This is what I have heard however none of my colleagues are involved with expert witness work so I need to get "in" on my own but don't know how/where to begin.

    Leave a comment:


  • VagabondMD
    replied




    How do you even get started if you don’t know anyone currently doing it?
    Click to expand...


    Word of mouth is how I got started. One of my senior partners turfed some IR cases to me. Once you are known for doing the work, you get more cases. Now I am the senior partner turfing cases to my younger colleagues as I have mostly lost interest in this work.

    I also have a good friend who is one of the leading med mal plaintiff attorneys in our city. I do some minor case review work for him, but he has been an outstanding resource for issues that have come up in our practice and for me personally.

    Leave a comment:


  • I Find This Humerus
    replied
    Bueller?

    Leave a comment:


  • I Find This Humerus
    replied
    How do you even get started if you don't know anyone currently doing it?

    Leave a comment:


  • I Find This Humerus
    replied




    This seminar had experts from multiple fields. Accident reconstruction, forensic accounting, marine architecture. Maybe 1/4 of the audience  (75) were physicians; Family docs, ortho, spine surgeons. No academics that I could tell. Appeared that most were interested in supplementing their regular incomes rather only doing expert testimony. Payment seemed to range from $250 to $500 hour to review and maybe $5000 to testify.

    Certainly an area most physicians are terrified of. Requires an unique skill set and attitude.
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    Do you have to take a course?

    Leave a comment:


  • ajm184
    replied
    It seems in my very limited observation that an expert witnesses credentials are the entrance fee.  Yes, it is essential to be board certified in the given specialty, yes physician has seen similar cases of x over a 20+ career, yes I am department head of prestigious hospital y/residency chair of specialty z.  Excellent skills in diagnosis/complications etc to follow the charting (obviously you only get to see what was 'written' down in the totally unintelligible language of another physician   ).

    IMO, a critical skill/requirement of an expert witness is 'presence'.  The ability to convey to a judge/jury your view of the situation in a clear manner and a message that is adaptable to multiple people/personalities within an audience.

    An obvious, but chicken and egg logic, being on the winning side.  In this, it behoves the physician to pick carefully with whom they are an expert witness (do careful due diligence on the firm/lawyer you are a witness) for/cases.  An example, do you really want to be an expert witness for a lawyer trying/defending their first Med-mal case?  If you get stuck with bad three or four bad cases in which the side you represent loses, it is partially your reputation on the line and you may not get another call to be an expert witness.

    Lastly, though you may have a particular bias/preference to do client or defense; you'll need to be on both sides of the coin to be most effective as an expert witness over time.

    Leave a comment:

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