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Help – My Attorney Won’t Talk To My Witness! – Expert Advice from a Broward County Injury Lawyer

March 22, 2010

The following is an expert answer given by Broward County Injury Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and is taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Attorney Won’t Talk To Witness

Question: What do you do when your personal injury attorney will not communicate with your expert witness because he does not want to pay his retainer?  Our previous attorney hired this expert and my family personally paid a substantial amount for his investigative services.  This present retainer is a nominal fee in comparison to what we paid the expert.  Our present attorney pays for the services of experts according to his contingency agreement. We do have some notes that the expert took from interviews of witnesses.  I talked with him a few days ago about what was discovered by the expert witness and he brought up a possible spoilage of evidence issue.   There is also other crucial evidence we want him to investigate further.

The court ordered a mandatory mediation and we do not feel that the discovery has been thorough enough in order to present our case effectively. We feel our attorney should leave no stone unturned, however he has not even returned our expert’s emails.  How can we be satisfied with any settlement offered if we still have questions that we want answered?  What would you advise in this situation?

Answer: You need to sit down and have a detailed, face to face, discussion with your attorney on what is going on with the case.  Without knowing the history of your case, and all the details of what has happened through both your attorneys, I could not give you an opinion as to whether the current attorney is handling the case correctly.

Make a list of your questions.  Take the expert’s emails with you.  Ask about the presentation that is going to be made at mediation, and whether additional discovery would help your case at mediation.  And, ask about the settlement and verdict range of cases similar to yours.  Your attorney should be able to answer all these questions to your satisfaction, or you should find an attorney that can.

I can tell you from my own experience as a Broward County injury lawyer, clients sometimes do not appreciate the critical legal issues in a case, and focus on more emotional issues that may not have much bearing on the outcome of a case.  Expert witnesses sometimes do the same.  Your attorney needs to focus on the elements of the claim which need to be proven in court, including damages, and utilize expert witnesses for that limited purpose.  It doesn’t do you any good to have an expert run up costs on a file if there is no benefit or use to the opinions he/she will be able to provide.

For more information or to speak with a Broward County Injury lawyer, contact Florida premises liability lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today.

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