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

March 24, 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: Follow Up to "Attorney Won’t Talk To Witness"

QUESTION: Thank you for your quick reply. We dealt with this problem by actually paying the fire expert’s nominal retainer. We feel questions still need to be answered.  Problem is that he only wants to give his additional investigative report to our attorney. We haven’t even seen the initial report and photos that we had paid for.  I thought we have the right to see all these reports, being that it was our money. What is going on here? Seems like we are out of the loop.

Also, should our attorney prepare for this mediation the same as he would if this were the trial?  (Complete all necessary depositions, obtain expert reports, photos, etc.)  Are we allowed to express our opinions or ask questions during the mediation?

ANSWER: It is very difficult to second guess an accident injury attorney working on your case.  I don’t know the type claim you have, nor anything about what has happened to this point.  You really need to sit down with your attorney and hash these issues out.  If you’re not comfortable with the attorney, go meet with another one to get a second opinion, or discuss transferring the file.  If you are going to trial on an accident injury case, you have to be 100% confident with the lawyer, and the preparation that has gone into the file.

You do have a right to see copies of expert reports, especially if you paid for it, or any other documents in the file.  There are strategic reasons for not having the expert prepare a report prior to trial. Whenever an expert prepares a report, the report becomes discoverable by the other party.    An expert can provide his opinions verbally to you or the attorney, but the attorney may not want the expert to prepare a report just yet.  Depending on the type expert, he can testify at trial without ever producing a written report.

Not sure where you’re located, but in Florida (I am a Broward County injury lawyer), the client has an absolute right to look at his file, the work being done on the file, expert reports, etc.  If he won’t let you see the file, you can contact the state Bar Association, and maybe they’ll contact him for you.

Regarding preparation for mediation, you do not prepare for mediation as you would trial.  There are alot of reasons for this, primarily money and time. There is no reason to spend the time and money necessary to prepare for trial, if you don’t need to.  This is one of the main reasons that judges in Florida accident injury claims began making mediation mandatory – so that the parties would get together to discuss resolving the case prior to incurring all the costs of preparing for, and going through, trial.  You don’t need all discovery done at the time of mediation.  You need enough done to be able to intelligently, and accurately, discuss your claim, and give the other side enough information to evaluate the merits of your claim.

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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