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filed. I recommend that you show your expert applicable jury instructions so there is no misunderstanding. If you need a report, tell the expert early. Let them know what material is discoverable and what they will be called upon to produce as that may impact what material goes into their file. When you get additional records, supplement the


expert’s file and make sure to send all depositions to the expert as well. When in doubt, be overly inclusive so the expert cannot be accused of failing to review material. If you send records that will have little or no bearing on the expert’s opinions, call the expert and tell them what you are sending so they do not waste time and money reviewing those records.


8. Once you have hired the expert and they have agreed to support the case, take care of them. Ask them to send their bill and pay it in a timely fashion. Give them plenty of notice for their deposition and trial and send them the deposition notice well before the deposition is to take place. If they charge a flat fee for their deposition and require prepayment, pay it. You should have determined this during the interview and it should be no surprise. If you have an expert who charges a flat fee for their deposition, get an agreement up front with opposing counsel that both parties will pay no more than $500 an hour. Pay the expert and have opposing counsel send the agreed upon hourly rate reimbursement directly to you. Experts hate to chase attorneys for money and the easier you make this aspect of the case, the more they will appreciate you. Te more they appreciate you, the harder they will work for your client.


9. When the case has concluded, send the expert a thank you letter letting them know the case has concluded. Inform them that the records can be destroyed. After all, if you have done things right, the expert will have worked very hard on the case and they have a real desire to see the result of their hard work.


Te guidance set forth will not guarantee success, but it should help you to select effective experts and make the presentation of your client’s case much easier. It will foster a bond between you and the expert and make them want to help you in the future. It will make them a more effective witness and they will feel like an integral part of the team. After all, life is a two-way street. If you treat others with respect and importance, they will likely do the same to you and that will insure your client’s success. 


Biography


Karl J. Protil's practice consists of personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on medical malpractice and claims against the federal government. He has extensive experience before federal courts through the United States and in state trial courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He is particularly active in cases involving brain damage to infants during birth. Prior to joining Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A., Mr. Protil spent six years in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and a year with Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland.


Trial Reporter / Summer 2009 25


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