By Steven Babitsky, Esq.

The 7 deadly sins, which can help ruin or destroy an expert witness’s career are:

1. Greed
2. Sloth
3. Wrath
4. Pride
5. Arrogance
6. Envy
7. Gluttony

Experts do not intentionally fall prey to these sins but often succumb gradually on a slippery slope.
Experts are well-advised to be vigilant about their actions/inactions to have a long and successful career.

Here are some examples of these deadly sins committed by expert witnesses:


Example 1
An expert witness who was charging clients for 24 hours per day while traveling.

Example 2
An expert witness who charged a client $5,000 and then dropped out of a case due to a conflict of interest.


Example 1
An expert witness testifies she only “thumbed through” the records before forming her opinion.

Example 2
An expert who deposited his retainer check but forgot to send in his report in a timely manner.


Example 1
An expert witness who went on a tirade sending counsel a very nasty email.


Example 1
An expert who sues a client for an outstanding bill of $500 after being paid $15,000.


Example 1
An expert who let counsel write his entire report and signed it claiming in court it was his work.

Example 2
An expert misstates repeatedly his forensic income.


Example 1
An expert who had over 100 cases with one firm but who is not satisfied with his forensic income.


Example 1
An expert witness who is inadvertently hired by both sides of a case giving each side a favorable opinion.



The 10 ways expert witnesses can avoid destroying their expert witness practice are:

1. Do not be seduced by the money.
2. Think long-term, not short-term in your actions.
3. Do not become overly dependent on one or two clients.
4. Avoid taking short cuts: do the work.
5. Avoid (when possible) fee disputes with counsel.
6. Do not bend the facts/science to help counsel “make the case.”
7. Be honest and thoughtful.
8. Pass up problematic cases.
9. Just because it is legal does not make it a good idea.
10. Avoid reports/opinions which you cannot defend.

About the Author

Steven Babitsky, Esq. is the President of SEAK Inc., The Expert Witness Training Company ( and can be reached at