May 2016

How to Find a Qualified Expert Witness


Most attorneys ask colleagues for commercial real estate expert referrals that they may have used in the past; however, the expert referral may not be the right one for the current case.

It is recommended that an attorney utilize a combination of ways to search out an expert.   An attorney can narrow down a search for an expert by allowing Google to find them.  For instance, google search: ”commercial real estate expert witness breach of lease Los Angeles.” The pay per click expert agencies may come up first and then the individual experts on the first page.  

Dealing directly with the individual expert is usually less expensive. The agency may charge more for experts.  Most experts try to be competitive, so their hourly rate will be in a narrow range.   An individual expert’s rates that are higher may indicate more depth of experience compared to a higher fee from an agency.

It is recommended that an attorney should interview an expert in person after he or she reviews the expert’s curriculum vitae.  The expert’s experience must fit the lawyer’s needs in addition to having testified in court on the specific matter.  It helps if the expert is likeable.  It is important to a jury to see an expert who is passionate about his or her skills and not pompous.  Experts should be delighted to be interviewed and should not charge for the time.  Of course if it is an out of town need, this interview may be performed by video conference.

“I have relied solely on Lee Segal to handle the assets of two charitable trusts for the past 18 years. As a real estate broker with nearly three decades of experience, I can honestly say that Lee Segal is incredibly ethical and easy to work with, and has always done his best to represent me and my interests without interjecting his own opinions or doing anything for his own gain. His outstanding communication skills make everyone involved feel like they’ve won.” Kimberley Olson, Commercial Real Estate Asset Manager
Kimberley Olson, Commercial Real Estate Asset Manager