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Which Side, Plaintiff or Defense, Should an Expert Work For?

September 6, 2012

Which side, plaintiff or defense, should an expert witness work for? What about both? There are advantages and disadvantages to specializing in working for one side as well as balancing work coming from both plaintiff and defense. To make the decision, experts should weigh the implications for how they would like to build their expert practice.

Advantages for Working Both Sides:

1. Build credibility: experience working both sides offers a unique perspective and skill set.

“Experts who work both sides tend to have a more global outlook on the entire claims process” -Brian Haden of Insurance Claims Specialists

2. Reinforces your ability to be objective.

3. Harder for opposing counsel to portray you as a “hired gun,” and jurors and judges are likely to view you as impartial to either side.

Guidelines:

1.Decide if your expertise works to the advantage of one side.

2. There are always skeptics. If an attorney or fellow experts view an expert as a “flip flopper” just remember:

Flip flopping means taking inconsistent stands on the same issue on different cases with no good reason… If you take inconsistent positions from one case to another-on similar fact patterns-there is a bigger problem than simple working both sides.

3. Plan ahead.

If you ever hope to get cases from XYZ Company and you get a chance to take a case adverse to XYZ Company, you must weigh that carefully.

 

Source: click here.

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