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Expert Witness Fee Share From Firm

Expert Witness Fee Share From Firm

Expert Witness Fee Share From Firm

(OP)
My apologies if this question has been addressed, however, if one is to provide expert witness testimony for a client while working for a consultant firm, does the expert receive additional fee as an adjustment to his/her salary? How is the rate normally decided?

RE: Expert Witness Fee Share From Firm

Is the client yours or the consulting firm's?

If it is yours, your rate would apply. If it is theirs, then their rate for your time would apply. You would be paid your normal hourly rate for testifying.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Expert Witness Fee Share From Firm

We use an inflated rate when the engineer in our firm spends time in depositions, court appearances and the prep time that goes with those two activities.
The engineer still gets the same salary as always.

The additional fee is justified in that depositions and court appearances are many times non-scheduled activities that pop up in the midst of other profitable work and also
requires (usually) a higher order of specialized skills, knowledge and abilities.

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RE: Expert Witness Fee Share From Firm

When working for a corporation for salary, even if there is a premium on expert testimony, the individual engineer usually gets no bump for the effort. Wrong perhaps, since the individual is exposed to greater stress than typical; however, as JAE noted, there is not an increase.

That's different if you do the expert witness services separately as Mike noted.

RE: Expert Witness Fee Share From Firm

Yes - I guess if you are a sole proprietor and charge 3x your normal rate then you'd get 3x the benefit directly.

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RE: Expert Witness Fee Share From Firm

As an aside, I do not surcharge my rates for testimony, either in deposition or trial. I guess part of that is because about 70 percent of my work is forensic and it comes with the territory. I charge the same rate for any time I spend on anything. My hourly rate (and that of my associates) is higher than typical "design" or "consulting" fees; but I consider that we're reasonably efficient in engineering and even though we charge more per hour, our total fee is not significantly higher than others who charge lower unit rates.

RE: Expert Witness Fee Share From Firm

(OP)
Thank you all for the thorough responses (I would not expect less).

RE: Expert Witness Fee Share From Firm

We have different rates for forensic work than design, but it ends there. We do not charge more for testimony.

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