When one looks at the characteristics of attorneys, it becomes obvious that they do not spend a great deal of time finding the “best” expert witness:
1. Attorneys are middle persons who are controlled by the client. They will advocate the expert witness to the client, who ultimately pays for the services.
2. Attorneys are self-interested, in that they are concerned with how an expert appears to the decision maker (and you should be too).
3. They are impatient in that they want information now.
4. They are less knowledgeable of the subject matter of your expertise than you are.
5. They are sometimes lazy. Being lazy is neither a good nor a bad trait. Being lazy can be manifested by getting things done faster and more efficiently.
Attorneys make a profession out of finding evidence that supports their view, disregarding or explaining away any contrary evidence, and advocating their decision. Decisions are not long deliberated; they are quickly reached and then justified. Expert retention is no different. Attorneys choose one expert over another because they feel comfortable with that expert witness. That’s it. Thus, conveying quality to an attorney can be as critical to satisfaction as actually delivering quality. The most important question an expert can ask is this: If an attorney knew about my qualifications and abilities, and was looking for a consultant with my expertise, would that attorney hire me? If your answer is yes, then you must make yourself known to attorneys, and not rely on attorneys themselves to somehow find out about you.