Last Minute Designation of an Expert Witness

An Expert Witness who receives a phone call on a Wednesday morning from an attorney for a designation of an Expert Witness by the following Friday is a common occurrence.  It is dangerous for an attorney to make a last minute expert designation, because the Expert Witness he chooses may not be a good fit for that case.  In addition, the Expert Witness may have a heavy caseload; as a result, the expert start-up fees may be double the normal price.

The Expert will be required to work weekends and evenings to keep up with the case research and reading the substantial volumes of materials 30 to 60 days before arbitration.   A quality Expert Witness may insist on charging a retainer fee 2 to 3 times higher than normal for his standard of care, custom and practice and fiduciary duties to the attorney.

The increase in the retainer is for the Expert Witness to keep up with the billing, and the retainer may be used for the last billing.  Most experts bill on a monthly basis; however, the last minute designation often requires the expert to be paid every 10 days.

In conclusion, it is best for an attorney to employ an Expert Witness early in order to retain the best possible result for the client.

“I have known Lee Segal for more than 30 years, and I respect him enormously both professionally and personally. His unwavering honesty combined with his keen understanding of the nuances in the real estate field, has made him highly regarded by friends and colleagues alike. You can always count on him to be moral and upright in any circumstance.”   Sheldon Katzer, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation
Sheldon Katzer, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation