The Problem with Personal Referrals
Attorneys clearly prefer personal referrals when their own experiences provide an insufficient basis for selecting and retaining an expert witness. (See my previous discussion about Everett Harry’s survey results.) Unfortunately, obtaining relevant personal referrals is often problematic. When seeking recommendations for experts with specific areas of expertise (or when seeking information about a specific expert, mediator or arbitrator), attorneys typically send email blasts to their colleagues.
Based upon my discussions with attorneys, it is clear that responses to such requests are limited because:
- Attorneys are inundated with “too many” of these types of email requests and therefore choose to ignore most of them
- Attorneys are in trial or otherwise occupied and are simply “too busy” to respond
- By the time attorneys have read the emails, so much time has passed that they consider it “too late” to respond
When information is actually returned in a timely manner, it is often redundant, insufficient and/or simply not helpful. Attorneys require a better system for accessing information from colleagues and other professionals.