The Legal Investigator Winter 2011 Vol.35, Issue 4 : Page 2

civil focus by Kathleen Cunningham FINDING AND MANAGING Investigators are often asked to obtain expert witnesses. This can be a daunting task. Finding the right expert and treating the expert well are crucial to the success of your case. Finding an Expert Ask fellow investigators if they have a name they are willing to share. The NALI listserve is an excellent source of information. Having the name of someone who referred you can help to get your foot in the door. Achieving that first contact with the expert is vital. There are expert-finding services who charge a fee. If this is in your budget, this may be the quickest way to find someone to retain. However, there are several free sources of finding experts of many different disciplines. Some have searchable databases and others publish free printed directories. What follows is but a small sample. Free Services: • The National Law Journal Directory of Expert Witnesses & Consultants (printed directory available) Fee-Based Services: EXPERT WITNESSES • SEAK, Incorporated (printed directory available) • ALM Experts (printed directory available) “ 4 • TASA ( • Forensis Group www.forensisgroup. com Some databases specialize in medical experts, but SEAK, Inc. lists experts in arson, premises liability, aviation or maritime issues, banking, engineering, employment, ergonomics, human factors, industrial accidents, corrections, metallurgy, intellectual property, ladders, accident reconstruction, etc. Other expert sources are available as well. If the expert you require is a medical expert, you will more likely be making cold calls. Being prepared for that initial contact is important. Know the case well enough to answer any questions the expert might have and be able to ask intelligent questions. It is important to remember that doctors and lawyers are notorious for a lack of affection for each Winning a case without the right expert can be difficult. Obtaining the right expert and maintaining a positive relationship with the expert will increase the likelihood of being able to work with him again in the future. A happy and motivated expert is an effective expert. the legal investigator

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