Building Rapport with Experts

Build Rapport - Orange Legal

Build Rapport – Orange Legal

 

By: Nicole Ward

Maintaining a good relationship and building rapport with your expert witness can ultimately be what helps you successfully execute your case.  Cases are usually won by the side that knows what they are doing and uses their resources tactically.   It is simply not enough to have a strong claim or a valid patent.  Gaston Kroub, a founding partner of Kroub, Silbersher & Kolmykov PLLC offers great advice for building a good rapport with your experts to strengthen your case.  According to Kroub, there are 3 essential tips:  Indulge your expert, offer incentives, and stay away from broad technical issues during cross-examination.

First, indulge your expert.  How?  Your tactic will obviously be different for every expert, and Kroub provides an impeccable example of how he spoiled his. Kroub arranged his schedule to meet his expert’s desires.  His expert liked to meet on Mondays, and wanted to be flown in over the weekend so that he could prepare for the meeting without the distractions from his home.   He also wanted a change of scene for some downtime.  Your first instinct very well may be to say no because why should you have to bend over backwards according to his schedule, and why should you spend more money for him to have a little vacation?  The answer is simple.  Because in the end, the results will undeniably be better work product for a low additional expenditure.  Also, experts are usually a source of referrals!  The saying “it pays to be nice” may very well suit this situation.

Many companies like to spread their litigation work around to various firms. You don’t want the expert to compare you to other firms that he or she worked with previously and announce that your firm is a “step below.”  You should also understand that the expert may be working for you, but always treat them as a partner.  The experts are working with you in hopes of a winning verdict for your client.

Second, always remember that just like any employee, they are in it to get paid.  For some experts, litigation support is the leading contributor to their livelihood.  So in addition to indulging, offer an extra bonus to their expert compensation package as this may lead to a more motivated expert and a passionate testimony.  Ipso facto, your expert will be more emotionally invested in the outcome of the case.

Third, stick to specific issues pertaining to the case.  Try to stay away from very broad technical issues during cross-examination.  Drill the opposing expert on the legal issues that favor your side.

These tips are instrumental for a tactical advantage in your case.  And hey, by spending more time engaging and indulging your expert, you may even learn a thing or two from these “smart people.”

 

For more awesome tips on building rapport, or building your success, check out our blog. To look at all of the services offered by Orange Legal, click here. To schedule with Orange Legal, click here, give us a call at (800) 275-7991, or contact us online.

 

Kroub, Gaston. “Beyond Biglaw: 3 Tips For Happy Experts.” Above the Law. N.p., 27 Jan. 2015. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.