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Hourly rate for expert witness

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by bkk, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    What legal services do you provide other than being an expert witness?

    Not too many, but he charges 2x for the extralegal ones.
     
  2. miker

    miker Senior member

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    You should charge more if you and your "client" have already decided what your expert opinion is. No sense selling your soul cheaply.

    People should get a discount for impartiality.
     
  3. bkk

    bkk Senior member

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    You have not given us enough information. What is your field, credentials, background? What is the subject about which you are being asked to testify? Are there many others in the field who can offer this same testimony? How much is at stake in the case? Where is the case pending? Who is the ultimate client?
    Sheesh, step away from the computer for a couple days and you have 2 pages of responses. Thanks to those who have responded already. -Subject is an e-reader lawsuit. It deals with an argument as to one company claiming another company stole IP. -Based on the criteria of needing someone intimate with the e-reader market, preferably someone who has worked in the field, and needing to not currently work for a manufacturer of e-reader products, I would be one of few with those qualifications. Here is a blurb on what they are looking for: "I am seeking a consultant with experience in eReader technology. Ideally someone who understands the development history and features of the various eReaders available today." Someone with a marketing and product development background is key. -I have not read the lawsuit, but potentially the defendant would need to pay millions based on sales of their product. -Case is pending in CA. -Ultimate client is an e-reader manufacturer. I would be hired through a contracting firm.
     
  4. bkk

    bkk Senior member

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    if you're not even expert enough to know what people in your field charge.... [​IMG]

    Your line of work must have some billout rate for consultants, use that as a starting point.


    Based on what I've found through Google, the rate for consulting is different than what should be charged as an expert witness. Since the end clients are in vastly different markets, so are the rates.
     
  5. bkk

    bkk Senior member

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    I'm employed as an engineer in Canada. My hourly rate is $205/hr. For legal services, including acting as an expert witness, I charge 1.5 times my hourly rate.

    Hope that helps.


    Very helpful. Your background and equation are right in line with what I need.
     
  6. fredfred

    fredfred Senior member

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    BKK -

    I'd put you as a software engineer or so. Minimum would be $250/hr. But if it's a million dollar lawsuit, then your cost is insignificant. So $250/hr or $350/hr makes no difference to them. So I'd then go with $350/hr. $425 is possible, too. After that, I'd hesitate to hire you. If you think you could lost the gig due to cost, $350 is safe.

    And if it is contractor company and then a law firm, the law firm is just going to pass the cost along anyway. Again, they won't care about the cost. But factor in the contracting firm percentage. I.e, don't have them raise a $425/hr cost - it'll get too high. Guide them with this if needed. Say, ok, I'll take $375/hr, you get the $50/hr (or whatever).
     
  7. P. Bateman

    P. Bateman Senior member

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    A former firm I was with paid $250 and billed $450.
     
  8. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    My experience with experts, and especially with lawyers, is that nobody wants to openly discuss what they charge. Everybody is vague when it comes to discussing their fees except when discussing them with actual clients.
    Not arguing with what your experience has been, obviously. Just strikes me as odd, given that in the jurisdictions I'm familiar with the expert's rates are required to be disclosed either in their initial report or in some other discovery vehicle. At least for experts with some experience under their belt, it means their rates -- at least what they've charged in the past -- are a matter of public record. My sense -- and again, your experience may be completely different -- is that lawyers are often vague about what they charge because they don't necessarily have a single fixed rate and want to leave room to negotiate depending on the client, the type of case, how busy they are, etc. You don't want potential client X to know you're charging client Y $250/hour if you're planning to ask X for $300/hour. To the OP, I'd say that based on the subject matter, etc. the last few posts are in the ballpark of what I would think is reasonable, although completely off the top of my head I'd say that something in the $200-$300 range sounds more in line with what I'd expect than something north of $350 (although, as someone suggested, the amount at stake in the lawsuit might influence how price-sensitive the potential employer is).
     
  9. bkk

    bkk Senior member

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    Thanks again guys. You've provided just what I need.
     
  10. jhva3

    jhva3 Senior member

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    If this is BN being sued by Spring Design charge $1,000.00 an hour. They can afford it.
     
  11. otc

    otc Senior member

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    I know this is a spammer necrothread and is most likely already resolved but:

    The rates charged by expert witnesses in my experiance are almost always included in the reports they file with the court. If a case actually goes to trial and testimony is required, compensation is almost always one of the first questions out of the lawyers mouth.

    The prices quoted in this thread seem normal but if you want to see real numbers, ask for some expert reports and transcripts from similar cases.
     
  12. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    $400/hour is about the average I've paid for expert witnesses.
     
  13. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Read a report today (may have been filed as long ago as late 2009) and the expert was billing 650.
     

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