Expert Witnesses are now being faced with retaining counsel refusing to be responsible for payment of the expert fees.
Counsel will ask the expert to sign an agreement stating:
“All billings will be submitted to our firm. However, payment of these bills will be the sole responsibility of our client. You agree that as a precondition to your payments by our firm you will only be paid if and when (emphasis added) that client pays for the services rendered”.
What is wrong with this Arrangement?
- The expert has little or no recourse against the law firm when it refuses to pay him.
- The expert has little or no recourse against the firms “client” as the “client” has not signed the agreement.
When faced with this type of erroneous contractual provision the expert is well advised to call the law firms bluff and refuse to sign. Frequently the law firm will strike the provision and agree to be responsible for the expert’s fees and expenses.