What is LEXsourcing?
It combines our proprietary REsearch process with a value-added relationship with your firm, creating new strategies that create a new paradigm for expert witness REsearch. This partnership is especially valuable during this unprecedented time which has resulted in minimal staff in many firms.
LEXsourcing is a combination of several relationships that legal service vendors and consultants have with their law firm clients, including:
All of these concepts are used to achieve some of the same goals which are critical in the current environment in many law firms.
- Added value
- Client satisfaction
- Competitive advantage
- Ethical practices and procedures
- Highest and Best Use
- Leveraged resources
- Minimized risks
- Predictable processes and outcomes
- Professional responsibility requirements
- Quality control
LEXsourcing and Expert Witnesses
So what does LEXsourcing have to do with expert witness research?
Recent surveys have revealed that the process of engaging expert witnesses in law firms is not a methodical or well-organized process. While some law firms have even created an in-house expert witness “department” or have one attorney or staff professional dedicated to managing the engagement of expert witnesses throughout the firm, the majority of firms are still using a piecemeal, catch-as-catch-can approach, with each individual attorney leading the efforts to find the expert witnesses for his or her own cases.
If the latter more closely resembles your firm's approach, your method has a number of potential pitfalls:
- Duplicated efforts, resulting in duplicative charges that may not be billable to clients
- Wasted time and resources, preventing attention to other clients' needs
- Potential conflicts of interest when an expert witness candidate is contacted multiple times
- Confidentiality concerns
On any given day, different attorneys are using different resources to find different expert witnesses for different clients and different cases. The number of times the word “different” is used in this sentence should demonstrate the repetition that happens in this haphazard approach. Repetition means wasted time, wasted money, wasted resources.
Even if you have a trusted professional in-house through whom expert witness requests are processed, the actual search process may not avoid some of the consequences mentioned above.
Why not try a different paradigm?
How would you like to have an in-house expert on expert witnesses? An "Expert Witness Expert" at your immediate disposal.
Would an in-house strategic partner be more likely than an outside search firm to help you accomplish your goals in finding the right expert witness?
Could your firm save money (or could you save your CLIENTS money) if you didn't have to outsource your expert witness searches?
While we handle the most important aspects of your quest for an expert witness, we can also handle the minutia that can bog down your staff.
We have three goals in the LEXsourcing model:
- cost-effective added value
You can have your own "Expert Witness Expert" by subscribing to our LEXsourcing program. That's all we do. If someone in your firm is currently addressing your expert witness needs, chances are that every search is taking that person away from other important tasks. Instead, let US be your in-house expert witness experts.
Rules of [Early] Engagement
You are handling dozens of cases. You are focused on the case that is scheduled for depositions next week, or the case is going to trial soon.
One of your most important clients calls today to tell you that they have been served with a complaint. As soon as you hear the details, you will know whether an expert witness will be needed. And since opposing counsel has obtained service on your client, that means that the other side has already had time to think about their strategies and possibly even started searching for an expert witness. Before the opposition narrows the field, shouldn't you start immediately?
With an in-house expert witness research team that you already know and trust, a quick email with a copy of the complaint may be all that is needed. Your LEXsourcing team can start the research without any further concern on your part while you handle more pressing matters.
Can your case be prejudiced by declaring an expert too late? Case law says ”yes”. See Alps South, LLC v. Shumaker, Loop.
Alps was a patent infringement case that traveled from Florida federal district courts to Florida state courts to the U.S. Supreme Court and ultimately back to the Middle District of Florida before it was resolved on a malpractice issue regarding expert witnesses. In short, the malpractice issue arose out of the failure of Alps' counsel to hire an expert witness in a timely manner. In fact, the damages expert witness was hired only six days before the deadline to file an expert witness report. The court said that the "tardy hiring afforded [the expert witness] no opportunity to conduct a market study before the close of discovery". Alps alleged that the failure to hire the expert witness earlier led to the exclusion of crucial testimony. The court found in favor of Alps against its former law firm.
The case continued back and forth under it was finally ruled that a legal malpractice claim must be filed in state court, regardless of whether the basis of the claim is an issue, such as patent infringement, that has exclusive jurisdiction in the federal court system. The court ultimately noted that "Florida maintains a strong interest in ensuring the competence of the attorneys who counsel Floridians, and the Florida courts advance that interest partly through the adjudication of state-law malpractice claims".
What if your expert witness doesn't survive a Daubert challenge? You need to find another expert witness as quickly as possible. You are in crisis mode, possibly even having to revise the theory of your case. Your LEXsourcing team can handle the research while you tend to other critical matters. You certainly don't have time to vet expert witnesses when many of those qualified for this case have already been contacted by opposing counsel and possibly conflicted out.
It's never too early. But it can definitely be too late.
The OTHER Benefits of LEXsourcing
If you are a member of our LEXsourcing program, we also provide benefits to your firm in addition to our proprietary system of researching expert witnesses.
FREE CLE (Yes, FREE!)
One of the most important benefits of the LEXsourcing program is the educational services we provide.
No one really wants to leave the office for CLE and no one really wants to pay for it, especially in the current pandemic environment.
We provide CLE-approved programs on all expert witness topics, as well as legal research techniques. We can provide supplemental education on new developments for the most seasoned litigators, or we can start with the basics for new associates during orientation when they join your firm. We'll even give you the opportunity to be a guest presenter and get CLE credits for teaching a course.
We can provide on-site programs or web-based courses tailored to the needs of YOUR firm, not a "canned" presentation. Our programs can be presented in the morning before "official" office hours begin, during lunch, or even after office hours. If your jurisdiction has adopted a requirement for CLE for technological competence credits, our legal research tips for finding and vetting expert witnesses will often qualify for credit.