Articles Posted in Expert Witness Marketing

In Publicity and Credibility Through Writing, expert witness marketing consultant Rosalie Hamilton offers her thoughts on expert witnesses as authors:

When your expertise is publicized in articles and books, it does not look like advertising, it does not feel like advertising, but, delightfully, it works like advertising. Publicity is, in fact, the best promotional avenue after networking. Even better – it is usually free.

Appearing in publications as a writer confers credibility and authority upon the author. Your profession may even demand that you have peer-reviewed, published works. One tangible benefit from writing is that attorneys search the Internet for publications related to the subjects of their cases in order to find related, qualified expert witnesses. Being a published author can create additional publicity in the form of media interviews, book signings, and book reviews. While writing requires a tremendous effort, the benefits of being published definitely make the effort worthwhile.

Legal Periodicals
Many legal newspapers, magazines and journals will accept articles from non-attorneys on a subject that will benefit their readers.

Trade Journals
Being published engenders instant respect from your peers, who know how challenging it is to write anything of substance. If an attorney consults trade journals to find experts, you will stand out.

Mainstream Publications
Reporters and editors seek out experts to comment on current news items. They maintain a large card file of people who can provide a “sound bite” spontaneously for print or air. Even one successful contact could provide valuable public exposure and enhance your credibility as an expert in your field.

Opinion Pages, Letters to Editors, Book Reviews
Keep in mind that these reach the general consumer rather than targeting the legal community. They are, however, free forums and, in many cases, widely read.

Note:Remember to identify yourself and list your contact information on any writing you submit for publication.

Excerpted from The Expert Witness Marketing Book by Rosalie Hamilton. Ms Hamilton is the leading authority on expert witness marketing and founder of Expert Communications. Rosalie provides customized marketing plans and consulting and coaching to individual experts and firms.

In her special report EXPERT PAY DISCUSSION, Rosalie Hamilton, the leading authority on expert witness marketing and founder of Expert Communications, writes:

You May Enjoy Your Work, But Don’t Work for the Fun of It – Make Sure You Get Paid!

A common refrain among expert consultants is, “How do I make sure I get paid?”

The most important step in getting paid is planning to get paid. Being compensated for your work is too important to leave to chance, hope or optimistic confidence in the decency of your clients. It’s business, for goodness’ sake!

Do attorneys like to sign payment agreements? Usually not, particularly plaintiff attorneys. But you should ask yourself why. If the fees are agreed upon, and you are obligated to do the work just as the client is obligated to pay for the work, why should putting that agreement in writing be a problem?

My recommendation is to use an agreement that lays out simply and clearly, at a minimum, your rates for review, deposition, court appearance, travel time, and expenses, as well as your required retainer. I also recommend that you include a cancellation policy so you are not left holding an empty bag along with an empty waiting room or office when deposition or court appearances are postponed or cancelled. There should be signature lines for you and the client and dates for both signatures.

In your engagement agreement, you can also choose to spell out your expected payment schedule and other details. You can specify additional elements as venue in case of disagreement, although some experts do not wish to bring up the negative.

Your engagement agreement can be called a Fee Schedule, Litigation Consulting Agreement or Contract, or it can be part of an engagement letter (see examples of engagement agreements in The Expert Witness Marketing Book).

The most important points in getting paid are:

1) Do not begin reviewing files until you receive a retainer for the estimated time of the review.
2) Do not deliver your written report until your invoices are brought current.
3) Do not leave your office for a deposition without having received payment from (usually opposing) counsel covering estimated testimony time.
4) Do not leave your office for a court appearance without having received payment from retaining counsel covering estimated testimony time and bringing all other invoices current, unless you have an established relationship with the law firm.

You will notice in my recommendations, (which are based upon many true stories with unhappy endings), the absence of the words, “having received a promise that counsel will have your check when you arrive to testify.”

In working with our expert clients on their fees and collection procedures my policy is this: If you are assertive, you will rarely have to become aggressive. For most people, having to be aggressive is not a pleasant experience, especially when dealing with attorneys. Avoid this situation by handling the administrative, invoicing and collecting procedures of your practice in a business-like manner – that is, clearly, consistently, and as early as possible.

Excerpted from The Expert Witness Marketing Book by Rosalie Hamilton. Read more: http://www.expertcommunications.com/

In Writing and Defending Your Expert Report, Meredith Hamilton, Managing Editor of “Expert News – The Practice Building Newsletter for Expert Consultants” published by Expert Communications, writes:

Do you remember being terrified with the threat, “it will go on your permanent record” in grade school? Guess what? It’s real.

Expert reports – Not only are they one of your primary work products as an expert witness, but they are “out there” forever as part of some court record. A superb one can decide a case, be discussed among attorneys and become your greatest marketing tool. A poor report can be used to discredit and undermine you for years.

For these reasons, we have for years endorsed *Writing and Defending Your Expert Report* as one of just a handful of books that we believe essential for an expert witness to have in their library. However, as anything dealing with the law is apt to do, the rules change. Published in 2002, drastic changes have taken place in the last twelve years, including the biggie in 2010 on discoverability of draft reports.

Well, the authors (and an additional attorney author) of that seminal text have come out with a better book. Current in all aspects, this text spells it out on how to write an expert witness report. The graphics and layout of the book make it easy to find what you’re looking for, and to discern the key points and takeaways.

Just a couple tidbits that were new to me: Did you know you could be precluded from testifying altogether if your report is too vague? Do you ever use the royal “we” in your reports? How about referring to yourself in the third person? Might want to think twice. And, just in case you missed something, they’ve included a starter Quality Control Checklist that you can customize to your practice.

Hands down, the best feature? Actual expert witness reports from a variety of disciplines, with graphs, pictures, the formatting of each report – over 246 pages of the text is sample reports. You want to see how the other guy does it? It’s here.

Authored by three experienced attorneys, *How to Write an Expert Witness Report* is my new recommended must have for expert witnesses. Read more about the 560 page hardbound text and get your copy for 150 plus shipping and processing at http://tinyurl.com/ndc58al

Find additional articles and resources for experts at http://www.expertcommunications.com.

Meredith Hamilton Expert Communications Expert Witness Marketing & Training 9090 Skillman St, #182A-350, Dallas, TX 75243 214-774-9920 Fax 214-774-9851 meredith@expertcommunications.com

In The Practice-Building Newsletter for Expert Consultants, February/March 2014, expert witness marketing consultant Rosalie Hamilton writes on leveraging the value of your clients. Ms. Hamilton is the leading authority on expert witness marketing and founder of Expert Communications.

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Marketing Brief ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Leverage the Value of Your Clients

The value of an established client cannot be understated. He/she already knows you do good work, and how to work with you effectively. Little promotion, or convincing, is needed. In addition to providing repeat business, a satisfied client can furnish referrals to other attorneys, sometimes in great numbers.

The cost of leveraging that client relationship, compared to the cost of acquiring a new client, is negligible. Yet many people fail to nurture and use previous clients to expand their practice. Why?

One reason might be complacency. “I helped Attorney Jones win a big case, so he will certainly remember me and call me again when my expertise is needed.” Maybe, maybe not. Hopefully, he will, but everybody gets busy and needs reminding.

An expert might feel it would be pushy to contact former clients. That viewpoint might be because the expert thinks (and perhaps communicates) in terms of selling, rather than networking, a strategy respected by all professionals.

I think the primary reason experts are missing potential repeat and referral business from clients is a combination of not comprehending the benefit of staying in touch and not knowing how to do so.

A surprising number of experts, when I ask whether they have a database or at least a list of former clients, reply that they do not. So that’s my first suggestion – develop a usable list, preferably in a contact database like Access, or at least a written list.

Then develop a system for staying in touch, preferably up to about four times a year, but at least twice. My book and articles, as well as materials and seminars from other marketers, are full of ideas for contacting and staying in touch with former clients. Send a short letter enclosing an article of interest to the attorney, whether written by you or someone else; a letter, email or professionally printed post card announcing an event in your professional life; or a short note enclosing a clipping you found about the attorney, acknowledging or congratulating her. You can also invite the attorney to lunch.

Another tip: In the “client” database I recommend that you create, include the inquiring attorneys with whom an engagement did not materialize for one reason or another. They are more likely prospects than are “cold” prospects who have never spoken with you. And don’t forget opposing counsel – they have seen you work and might want you on their side next time!

— by Rosalie Hamilton, the Expert’s Expert on marketing. She consults and coaches and provides full-service marketing for experts, including web site development. She is the author of *The Expert Witness Marketing Book* http://www.expertcommunications.com

In I have been surprised, Meredith Hamilton, VP Marketing, Expert Communications, writes on engagement letters, most noticeably: attorneys have changed one or two provisions in the contract without notifying the expert and then sent it back signed without saying a word!

Back story: Last month I attended the FEWA Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter Dinner Meeting at the Tower Club in Dallas. Real estate expert Dr. Jack Friedman was presenting “Advertising and Promotion of Expert Services.” And while the topic was of interest to me, in all honesty I was looking forward to hanging out with a couple of our clients I knew would be attending.

Well lo and behold if I didn’t hear something that made me sit up straight and pay attention. Jack was discussing the elements and format of an engagement letter. He cautioned against sending as a Word document (or using “Compare Documents” feature if you did) because it could be altered without your knowledge. I thought to myself, “Surely not,” but as I began shaking my head, the stories came out from the experts attending. Sure enough, attorneys have changed one or two provisions in the contract without notifying the expert and then sent it back signed without saying a word! It never would have occurred to me to check line-by-line like that, but at least three experts confirmed that this happens.

So two lessons to take from this: There is always something you can learn and check your engagement documents carefully!

Read more: http://www.expertcommunications.com/

In 3 Tips for Improving your Expert CV, Rosalie Hamilton, the leading authority on expert witness marketing and founder of Expert Communications, offers advice on the form and content of your CV including:

Read your CV as though you were reading someone else’s CV, with three or four others having been received from people with similar credentials and experience. What can you do to improve your CV, including making your expertise instantly recognizable?

Read more: Expert Communications.

Ms. Hamilton provides customized marketing plans and consulting and coaching to individual experts and firms. Her Happy Clients (many of whom have made boatloads of money) are her credentials. She consults and coaches and provides full-service marketing for experts, including web site development. She is the author of *The Expert Witness Marketing Book* http://www.expertcommunications.com

In Is Self-Promotion “Bragging? Rosalie Hamilton, the leading authority on expert witness marketing and founder of Expert Communications,writes:

Does the thought of reciting your achievements and credentials make you cringe?
You’re not alone. Many experts are hesitant to ‘promote’ themselves. I want to share with you an email exchange I had with one of our readers on this subject.

The expert inquired:

I’ve never been all that good at self-promotion. It makes me feel uncomfortable, like I’m bragging or something. My grandfather used to tell me that it’s not bragging if it’s true, but I have a hard time with that.

I have been selected to give a presentation at a national trade conference and I want to put out an email to all my clients informing them of my good fortune. Part of me says go for it; part of me – the bashful side, I suppose – says to be more restrained. What do you say?

Is it in bad taste to announce this type of an honor? Guess I’m looking for solid validity, and seeing as how I love your newsletter I thought I’d run my predicament by you.

I responded with the following:

I understand your feelings. It is how were reared – to let someone else brag on us and not do it ourselves.

Business, however, is a different matter. Keeping in touch with your clients/prospects/possible referral sources such as business associates, vendors, etc., is a necessary part of doing business. People are so busy and over-communicated that if you don’t make yourself come up on their personal radar screen 2-4 times a year, business that should have gone to you will go to others simply because they didn’t think about you.

Being asked to speak is a good excuse to send what I call a Howdy card (and/or, now, an email). In my book, I listed 50 excuses for sending an announcement, and they are exactly that – excuses; the real objective is to simply remind people of your existence and, in a professional way, to remind them of your credentials. Be sure to state succinctly but completely what you do, which is the real reason for sending the announcement. Plus, the very fact that you were invited to speak demonstrates your stature in your field, which indicates your credibility to your attorney prospect.

Keeping a somewhat formal tone may make you feel more comfortable and less like you are bragging. It is, after all, a business matter, not a personal matter, even though it is an honor to have been asked.

I hope this helps you bridge that uneasiness in being upfront about the skills and accomplishments you bring to the table. How else will your prospects know how wonderful you are?

Best of success,
Rosalie

Ms. Hamilton provides customized marketing plans and consulting and coaching to individual experts and firms. Her Happy Clients (many of whom have made boatloads of money) are her credentials. She consults and coaches and provides full-service marketing for experts, including web site development. She is the author of *The Expert Witness Marketing Book* http://www.expertcommunications.com

In The Straight Truth, The Life Of An Expert Witness, construction site expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company, writes:

So, why would you want to become an expert witness?

After all, the work can be very tedious and demanding. It can require the expenditure of long hours for two, three, or even four weeks at a time.

You will be under extreme pressure to meet deadlines from retaining counsel-and opposing counsel will look for, and seize upon, every opportunity to attack your credibility. While you are being deposed by opposing counsel, everything you have ever done will seemingly become fair game.

Your opinions will be questioned. Opposing counsel will attempt to pick you apart. Attorneys may even belittle you on the witness stand.

Throughout it all, you will have to remain calm, composed, and professional.

In light of everything I’ve mentioned, let me repeat the question-why would you want to become an expert witness?

The answer lies within each individual…

You may have years of extensive experience in a particular field.

You may have extensive education in a particular field or industry.

You may be looking for additional income.

You may be looking to retire, and seeking to put your experience to good use.

Read more: http://www.jurispro.com/WilliamGulyaJr. William Gulya, Jr., Middlesex Trenching Company, specializes in excavation & construction site preparation.

At Expert Communications.com, expert witness marketing and training expert Rosalie Hamilton reviews The A to Z Guide to Expert Witnessing by Steven Babitsky, Esq., James J. Mangraviti, Jr., Esq., and Alex Babitsky, MBA. Ms. Hamilton recommends:

Resource lists – checklists for CVs and reports; directories of different resources such as legal journals, bar associations, etc.; and especially the model documents – fee schedules, expert reports, and consulting agreements.

Publishers description: The A-Z Guide to Expert Witnessing is the comprehensive work on expert witnessing. The topics covered include civil procedure, evidence, qualifications, CV writing, forming and expressing opinions, report writing, testifying skills, marketing, fee setting, billing, collections, ethics, privileges, discovery, avoiding abuse and much more. It features 24 concisely written chapters, 26 appendices, hundreds of examples with easy to read summary head notes, priceless practice pointers and a detailed index.

Find additional articles and resources for experts at http://www.expertcommunications.com

In Watermarking an Expert Witness CV, construction site expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company, writes:

A recent article on a prominent expert witness directory site recommended and encouraged their experts and consultants to watermark their curriculum vitae. Their reasoning, according to the article, was because, “As disconcerting as it may be, unscrupulous activity does exist in the legal industry….”

The next thing I knew I received a copy of an email addressed to Mr. X from his adversary copying me requesting a copy of my expert report, as the deadline for submission of expert reports had expired. I immediately informed Mr. X that because he had not returned my retainer agreement and payment, nor sent me any discovery, I was not to be considered his expert on the case. I enclosed a copy of my original letter stating I had closed the file, and copied his adversary on my email to Mr. X.

Shortly after, I received a copy of a motion to the court made by the opposing attorney stating that I should be removed from the witness list and removed as Mr. X’s expert for the reasons stated in the motion. About a week later I actually received a call from the judge assigned to the case. The judge asked me what was going on. I explained the circumstances and sent the judge copies of my retainer agreement, letter / emails to Mr. X.

That same day I received a call from Mr. X, which was odd because he had never returned any of my calls in the past. He was extremely angry. He threatened me with legal action if I did not agree to be his expert, I refused. I was not concerned about his threat; my retainer agreement was clear, and I had made several requests for the status of my retainer agreement and payment with no response. I had provided clear notice I was not to be considered retained and was closing the file.

So the question remains: Would a CV with a watermark have prevented this? Not likely. An attorney who is using an expert’s good reputation by stating to their adversary they had retained that expert never intending to actually retain them is not going to let a little watermark stop them.

William Gulya, Jr., Middlesex Trenching Company, specializes in excavation & construction site preparation and is author of the book, “The Straight Truth: The Life of an Expert Witness.”