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Anyone moonlight as an Expert Witness?

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  • Sajimone Sajimone 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 93
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    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!

    #85862 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2585
    Joined: 05/01/2017

    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.

     

     

    #85876 Reply
    I Find This Humerus I Find This Humerus 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 252
    Joined: 12/02/2017

    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!

    Click to expand…

    What is seak website?

    #86151 Reply
    I Find This Humerus I Find This Humerus 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 252
    Joined: 12/02/2017

    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.

    #86153 Reply
    hatton1 hatton1 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3120
    Joined: 01/11/2016

    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.

    Click to expand…

    You come across as a professional witness.  Juries do not like this.

    #86228 Reply
    Lithium Lithium 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1219
    Joined: 02/15/2016

    I would shift between being a defense witness for docs and a prosecution witness against independently practicing mid-levels.  Only I might do the latter for free  😆 .

    #86229 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2585
    Joined: 05/01/2017
    Earnest refinancing bonus

    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.

    Click to expand…

    Not necessarily. My understanding is that it’s a bad thing if you only do work for one side, makes it seem like you have an agenda.

    #88027 Reply
    Avatar nwdpath 
    Participant
    Status: Retired
    Posts: 22
    Joined: 05/10/2017

    I own a practice that is involved in some medicolegal consulting.  I have to say largely it is not easy money and depends on your patience for lawyers.

    #88124 Reply
    I Find This Humerus I Find This Humerus 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 252
    Joined: 12/02/2017

    I own a practice that is involved in some medicolegal consulting.  I have to say largely it is not easy money and depends on your patience for lawyers.

    Click to expand…

    Care to elaborate? Not necessarily looking for “easy money” but “different money.” PM me if needed please.

    #88176 Reply
    Avatar LizOB 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 322
    Joined: 06/05/2017

    Does anyone know of a doc who has made a lot of money at this without a title/academic credentials?

    I think it’s quite a bit harder to really make money at this unless you are in academics.

    The people I know who have really done well are all high up in major quaternary centers.

    Click to expand…

    Yes, my dad. He’s EM, not academics. I don’t know exactly how much has had made with it, but he typically does a couple of cases per year. And even more cases that he reviews (and bills per hour of course), gives his opinion for the law firm that the firm then chooses not to pursue.

    My impression from talking to him is that experts develop a reputation among lawyers and judges, and someone who can explain things well to jurors without getting flustered under pressure or being condescending will easily find more work

    #88182 Reply
    Liked by hatton1, MPMD
    WealthyDoc WealthyDoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 270
    Joined: 02/03/2016

    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!

    Click to expand…

    What is seak website?

    Click to expand…

    I think this is a good place to start.  But I suppose I’m a bit biased.  😉

    A Side Hustle to Consider–Medicolegal or Insurance Consulting

     

    Wealthy Doc is a FI (Financially Independent) physician. He enjoys financial freedom and wants to help others achieve that as well. See more at http://www.WealthyDoc.org

    #88193 Reply
    I Find This Humerus I Find This Humerus 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 252
    Joined: 12/02/2017

    Does anyone know of a doc who has made a lot of money at this without a title/academic credentials?

    I think it’s quite a bit harder to really make money at this unless you are in academics.

    The people I know who have really done well are all high up in major quaternary centers.

    Click to expand…

    Yes, my dad. He’s EM, not academics. I don’t know exactly how much has had made with it, but he typically does a couple of cases per year. And even more cases that he reviews (and bills per hour of course), gives his opinion for the law firm that the firm then chooses not to pursue.

    My impression from talking to him is that experts develop a reputation among lawyers and judges, and someone who can explain things well to jurors without getting flustered under pressure or being condescending will easily find more work

    Click to expand…

    But how did he start? How did he get his foot in the door?

    #89066 Reply
    ReFinDoc ReFinDoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 145
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    How about starting here? https://www.seak.com/expert-witness-resources/

    SEAK also has resources for marketing your practice.

    My takeaways from the seminar:

    Be upfront with your fees, no one expects you to work for free.

    Admit the obvious, you are being paid to be there. Don’t fight with the attorney about trivial matters. You will look obstructionist and waste time.

    Don’t answer a question where any part of it is wrong or a mis-characterization.

    Tell a story. Have a narrative. Make comparisons.

    If you have a skeleton in your past, be upfront with it.

    The facilitator, James J. Mangraviti, offers a consulting service.

    A small touch of humor can be appropriate.

    Call up a local attorney and offer your services. Everyone had a first time.

    Think of witnessing as a sideline.

    How not to answer questions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emsLrZg160s

    #91506 Reply
    Avatar WCInovice 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 40
    Joined: 12/17/2017

    Bumping this thread….

     

    Can anyone share the rates they are charging for their services?

     

    I was solicited (actually took the call on accident) but seemed like a case I could give reasonable insight on.

     

    Not sure what type of fee schedule I should ask for. I know some of the basics – ie get some money up front, etc – but I’m looking for ball park rates.

     

    EDIT.

    Sorry, saw some figures above that were helpful.

     

    I’m willing to issue a written statement or look at the case, not willing to testify.  That may be a deal breaker but I have too busy of a practice to deal with actual testifying.

    #235112 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 6326
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    Seems like a lot of people are throwing assumptions out, but not been my unfortunate personal experience. There are indeed career people that make a living doing it, and you are pretty much getting paid to argue the side of the “team” you’ve signed up for.

    That’s how you’re literally paid, it’s what the incentives are, it’s just fooling yourself if you think otherwise. Always keep it in mind. I dont know why anyone would want to do this work, either side, or will be stressful and being on the stand is awful.

    The person they had for causation in my case wasnt even in the appropriate field of medicine (might not have been able to find one) and was a straight up company man and an idiot. A lot is just personality and optics and how good or bad each lawyer is.

    From what I’ve seen, lawyers get who they can and docs under charge. You will get asked pay rates, how many you do, etc…

    #235203 Reply

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