By: Michael Lavinger, Esq., Director at Medilex
As a busy practicing attorney, you are often drawn in multiple directions simultaneously, with impending deadlines and time constraints. Medilex understands that. If you are an attorney who frequently hires experts, you must have thought about how to get the most out of each engagement and relationship with your experts. Here are 6 things to be mindful of to be recognized by experts as a great attorney to work with.
First, be mindful of time constraints. No attorney wants to have a client coming to them at the last minute so simply treat experts as you would want to be treated. Remember that attorneys practice law during the day. It’s what they do for a living. By contrast, doctors typically work 50-70 hours per week. That means that doing expert work has to be squeezed in around their day job.
Second, really listen to what the expert has to say. It is better to find out early on—not on the verge of trial—if a case has problems. If an expert seems to be giving a supportive opinion, test that opinion by asking probing questions. If the expert seems to be giving a negative opinion, test that opinion by asking probing questions. Don’t just accept everything at face value. That said, don’t argue with an expert.
Third, provide a summary of the case. Consistent with any discovery concerns, give the expert a factual basis, a list of clear questions, and a delineation of damages.
Fourth, make sure the records are both complete and organized. Disorganized and incomplete records create chaos and delay, and add to the billable time.
Fifth, to the extent possible for a lay person, when speaking to the expert, try to know about the case.
Sixth, by making timely payment. Everyone wants to be paid timely and not have to be a bill collector. Treat others as you would want to be treated.