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Considerations When Hiring an Expert

Here are some suggestions for working with your expert:

1.  Look for your expert early!  The right expert will be able to help you in the discovery process and can help you prepare deposition questions and flow. 
2.  The "right" expert will not only have knowledge, skill and experience - he/she will also tell you when there are problems, and is a good teacher. 
3.  Hire the expert as a consultant first, and later decide whether he/she should testify.  You may not have to disclose the findings if an expert consultant reaches unfavorable conclusions, or other problems arise.   Although unfavorable findings are never pleasant to hear, it is better to face them early, rather than try to first deal with them during trial.  Of course, this is another reason to retain an expert early.
4.  Remember that an expert witness may be asked disclose interactions with you; therefore, the expert should maintain a file that includes all communications, include you in all communications about the case, and be aware that it is likely the opposing side will eventually have a copy of all of it.
5.  Assume that everything you send to your expert will eventually be discoverable to the opposing side.  
6.  That said, show your expert everything in your file except something that is your undisclosed work product.  Definately show the expert everything the opposing side has.
7.  Keep paper trails to a minimum.  Reports can be written, but it may be better to do so after discussion about the findings and any concerns. 

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