In When the Phone Rings … Twelve Questions for Prospective Expert Witness Assignments, insurance claims expert witness Kevin M. Quinley, CPCU, ARM, AIC writes:
Consultants and expert witnesses are more used to answering questions than asking them. When the phone rings, there may be an attorney or prospective client on the other end of the line. He or she poses questions to the consultant or expert, trying to gauge whether there is a good “fit” between the client’s needs and what the practitioner can offer in the way of experience and expertise. After answering prospective clients’ questions, effective consultants and expert witnesses may have some queries of their own. In fact, they should. Here are 12 questions that can form the basis of an effective fact-gathering process which unearths aspects of a case to help the consultant and expert witness gauge the degree of fit:
(2) Do you represent the plaintiff or the defendant? This can be useful to know if you are trying to “balance” your practice and representation between plaintiffs and defendants. If you can strike a balance, you better the odds against opposing counsel painting you as a biased gun for hire. For example, thus far my insurance claim practice in litigation support has been split almost evenly down the middle – half for policyholders and half for insurers. If you have a preference and comfort level in representing one particular side in your area of expertise, this question brings that factor to the surface, inviting you to weigh it when deciding whether the case is a good fit with your interests and expertise.
Kevin M. Quinley is a leading authority on insurance issues, including risk management, claims, bad faith, coverages and litigation management. He is the author of more than 600 articles and 10 books. You can reach him through http://www.insuranceexpertnetwork.com/.