Whether you are about to retain an expert witness or about to cross-examine one, you want to learn everything you can about the expert’s experience and background. A new service, Expert Witness Profiler, helps you do exactly that. It provides you with a dossier that covers everything from the expert’s professional background and testimonial history to the expert’s social media profile and news coverage. More specifically, the profile includes:

  • Testimonial history.
  • Challenge (Daubert/Frye) history.
  • Disciplinary history.
  • Licensing and certifications (including verification).
  • Educational background (including verification).
  • Professional background.
  • Associations and memberships.
  • Personal information.
  • Publications.
  • Teaching and research.
  • Patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
  • References in news, blogs and social media.

When you purchase a profile, you receive a booklet covering the items listed above. Hyperlinks within the document take you to relevant cases, orders, and other documents. Where available, the document will also include transcripts, motions and briefs relating to the expert or to challenges to the expert. You can see a sample profile on the company’s website or download one in PDF.

According to the company, each report involves at least 20 hours of research by attorneys and professional legal researchers who have access to data not readily available to the public. It says its reports “deliver a deeper, broader and timelier result than if the legal professional attempted to acquire information about an expert on their own.”

Pricing of Profiles

To order a profile through the website, you first create an account, if you haven’t already, and then provide information about the expert. The cost of a single profile, delivered to you within 10 business days, is $450. Shorter delivery times cost more: $650 for five business days, $750 for two business days, and $900 for one-day turnaround. The company also offers volume discounts for purchases of 50 or more reports in a year.

Expert Witness Profiler was founded by Jim Robinson and Myles Levin. Robinson is an attorney and former litigator who was also the founder of JurisPro Inc., a free resource to find and research expert witnesses. Levin if the founder of The Daubert Tracker, an expert witness service whose central feature is a database of decisions interpreting and applying Daubert and its progeny. See my earlier reviews of The Daubert Tracker here and here. Information from The Daubert Tracker is incorporated into Expert Witness Profiler’s research.

By way of disclaimer, you will see if you visit the Expert Witness Profiler website that I am on the company’s advisory board. I have received no payment or compensation of any kind from the company and I have no stake in its performance, financial or otherwise. My service as an advisor consisted solely of providing feedback on the concept early on and additional feedback after launch.

To my mind, the cost of a profile is money well spent. At a lawyer’s hourly rate, you could not do this same depth of research or access the same variety of data sources for anywhere near the $450 price of a report. As I said at the outset, whether you are preparing to hire an expert or to cross-examine one, you should leave no stone unturned in investigating the expert’s background. Expert Witness Profiler can help prevent surprises regarding your own expert and may just provide the Achilles heel to undermine your opponent’s expert.

Much is made of the fact that Sonia Sotomayor was a federal district judge before she was named to the federal appeals court. After all, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, she would be the only one of the nine justices to have sat on the trial bench.

The experience of someone who has served as a trial judge would be a worthy addition to the high court, many believe. If so, then one of the bread-and-butter issues in which trial judges get no shortage of experience is the admissibility of expert testimony.

So what do Sotomayor’s appellate opinions on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tell us about how her trial court experience shaped her rulings on expert witness issues?

I researched the expert-related cases in which she either wrote the opinion or sat on the panel. My analysis is published in the article, Sonia Sotomayor’s Top 5 Rulings on Expert Witnesses, on the Web site of IMS ExpertServices.

The use of expert witnesses in litigation has skyrocketed. Have our ethics rules kept pace? I have posted an article, Proposed: A Lawyer’s Code of Expert Ethics, at the Web site of IMS Expert Services, that sets out a draft of a proposed code. The idea is to generate discussion about whether such a code is needed and, if so, what it should say. I would encourage you to add your thoughts to the discussion so far by posting a comment at the bottom of the article.

Jurors do it. Litigants do it. But when happens when experts do it? The “it” in question is blogging, and the issue is what impact it may have on a trial. While I’ve seen several articles dealing with jurors blogging or litigants blogging, I had not seen any about experts blogging — until now. I wrote a piece,
Expert Blogs: Loose Lips Sink … Trials?, for the e-newsletter of IMS ExpertServices. The article surveys lawyers and experts on the dangers, or not, of expert witnesses with blogs.

That is the question addressed in a recent Connecticut Supreme Court case, as I report in an article recently published on the Web site of IMS ExpertServices. Excerpt:

The defective ladder is a much-maligned icon of products liability law. But when an engineering expert gives his opinion on why a ladder fell, is his testimony based on observation or science? The answer is important, because it dictates whether a trial court must conduct a gatekeeper hearing under Daubert in advance of the expert’s testimony.

In a recent Connecticut case, Prentice v. Dalco Electric Inc., the trial judge allowed the expert to testify without such a hearing. This was a mistake, the state Supreme Court ruled on appeal, overturning a $1.2 million verdict for the plaintiff.

Read the full article.