Frequently Asked Questions
Expert Witness Search
What are the benefits to having an expert witness on a case?
Expert witnesses provide assessments and opinion testimony based on specialized knowledge, training or experience. Expert witnesses can provide credibility to the claims made in your case, strengthening your argument.
How do I know I can trust an expert provided by Guidepoint?
Each expert provided by Guidepoint has been screened through a thorough vetting process that incorporates their verification of previous litigation experience, criminal background checks, Daubert Frye challenges, social media and more. We test the accuracy of each expert’s credentials in order to provide our clients with knowledgeable experts they know they can trust.
Our attorneys usually find their own experts. What are the benefits of using Guidepoint to find experts instead?
Guidepont Legal Solutions allows attorneys to work more efficiently, focusing on their clients and cases instead of sourcing expertise. Guidepoint’s custom recruitment both within and outside Guidepoint’s extensive network of experts fits seamlessly within our clients’ processes, finding hard-to-find experts, replacing experts that are conflicted out, or addressing any case-specific requirements.
How are Guidepoint’s experts different from those I can find online?
Guidepoint experts are typically not “hired guns.” Guidepoint connects clients with experts who are highly credentialed and dedicated to their fields of expertise. In the case of an Expert Witness Search, Guidepoint is committed to providing clients with an expert who can help them gain a better understanding of their specialized field. Additionally, Guidepoint’s experts are vetted to establish their credentials and suitability.
We have our own network of individuals we like to reuse. Is there a benefit to using new individuals as experts on different cases?
Guidepoint Legal Solutions clients find it helpful to supplement a list of experts they have already used with new experts to avoid over-usage and find more suitable matches.
After I use an expert on a case, can I use him/her again for subsequent cases?
If you have additional cases that require their expertise in the future, Guidepoint can connect you with the same expert.
How long does it take to find an expert?
At Guidepoint, we pride ourselves in providing our clients with highly-credentialed experts in a timely manner. An Expert Witness Search will be completed within 3 – 5 business days, if not sooner. The Legal Solutions team works to service our client’s requests as soon as possible. Please notify us if you require an expedited search.
Does Guidepoint Legal Solutions expand beyond medical expertise?
The Guidepoint Legal Solutions team can service requests for experts in any field or industry. To do so, the Legal Solutions team custom recruits experts that best suits a client’s needs while also drawing on Guidepoint’s extensive network to locate experts in the requested field.
Case Merit Analysis
How long does it take for a Case Merit Analysis to be completed?
A Case Merit Analysis will be completed within two business days, if not sooner.
How do I share files needed to complete a Case Merit Analysis or Event Chronology?
Our clients are emailed a secure link where they can upload relevant files. Legal Solutions uses a HIPAA compliant solution to ensure the safety and privacy of your documents.
Expert Witness Work
What is an expert witness?
An expert witness is a person who is qualified to give reliable expertise in a court of law on a specialized field. They are characterized as an expert because of their “knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education” (FRE Rule 702).
Why is there a need for an expert opinion? What is the goal when serving as an expert witness?
Expert opinion is used in cases to relay facts about a specialized field to a judge or jury, aiding them in making a decision. An expert’s testimony is based on objective data that provides information when a case concerns material that is difficult for a courtroom to understand.
In what ways can I interact with clients in the legal sector through Guidepoint?
Case-Specific Expert Witness: You will provide your initial impressions of a case after reading a short paragraph describing the details of a case and the standard of care involved. In many cases, you will be asked to participate in a 20-minute vetting call for the client to assess your fit for the case. If retained by the client, you will be asked to review the case, and possibly to participate in a deposition or provide trial testimony, depending on the nature of the case.
Subject Matter Expert: You will offer your expertise to clients through a one-hour call, where the client may ask for your opinion on a range of issues or to gain insight into a topic pertaining to their case. The client may request to retain you as a case-specific expert witness after the call if it is mutually agreeable.
Survey: You can participate in an anonymous survey related to a legal claim.
How could I benefit from being an expert witness?
By serving as an expert witness, you will be compensated while you help others become more familiar with your specialized field. Additionally, you will gain experience working with those outside of your area of expertise and by participating in a deposition or trial.
How does this differ from my current role as a Guidepoint Advisor?
Similar to your current role at Guidepoint, you will continue to offer your expertise to a client by operating as a subject matter expert for the legal sector. Unlike your current role, however, you have the chance to be retained by a client as a case-specific expert witness in an independent engagement with the possibility of testifying in court.
Does this change my current Guidepoint membership?
This will not affect your current membership at Guidepoint. You will remain a current member of the Advisor network.
How does working as an expert witness with Guidepoint differ from other firms?
Working as an expert witness with Guidepoint provides additional opportunities to work with clients. You may participate in either a one-hour consultation per the original Guidepoint model or be retained by a client as an expert witness for participation in a legal case. Additionally, by participating in our unique Surveys, you will be able to test claims and reveal trends about your field.
Eligibility and Requirements
Who can serve as an expert witness?
An expert witness must be someone who has specialized skills and knowledge in a certain field. Any professional can be an expert witness, such as a doctor, teacher, engineer, accountant, or architect.
Must I be actively participating to serve as an expert witness?
A practicing expert is preferred to serve as an expert witness, although courts accept testimony of retired individuals if their experience outweighs the fact that they are not actively practicing.
What are the ethical guidelines for serving as an expert witness?
An expert witness should be able to both impartially and thoroughly review and report information while using factual evidence to support their claims. Additionally, an expert witness should charge a fee that is directly correlated to the amount of time spent on the case.
What is the time commitment for an expert witness?
If retained by the client as an expert witness, you can expect to spend at least a few hours reviewing the case. Additionally, you may need to participate in a deposition and give trial testimony, which can last a day or longer. If hired as a subject matter expert, you will speak to the client on a one-hour phone call.
Am I expected to be biased towards my client as their expert witness?
No. As an expert witness, you should offer your unbiased review of the facts of the case. You are not trying to help your client “win,” but rather help them gain a better understanding of your field.
Will I be expected to participate in a legal trial?
Some clients are looking to speak with a subject matter expert to gain more insight into a specific topic. In such instances, you would not need to participate in a legal trial and instead will consult with them during a one-hour phone call. A client may choose to continue to use your services by asking you to offer testimony in a legal trial.
When will my opinions be used as testimony?
Advisors will be able to determine at the start of an engagements if they will operate as a consulting expert, a testifying expert, or both.
Is my information public when I participate in a survey?
No. Your information and answers will remain anonymous if you participate in a survey related to a legal claim.
What is a conflict check and why is it important?
A conflict check will be conducted once you and the client are paired. This is necessary to ensure that there are not factors present that would negatively affect the outcome of your testimony, such as a conflict of interest or bias.