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:
(1) What does the case involve? This is a threshold question to assess whether the subject matter of the case falls within your area of expertise. If you are a nephrologist and the issue involves hematology, this is a tip-off that the caller may need a different expert. If you are an authority on agent errors and omissions but the case involves an underwriting mistake, it may not lodge in your “sweet spot.” Best for you to know this before investing time burrowing down fruitless rabbit trails. Or maybe the answer will confirm that the matter is well within your wheelhouse.
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/.