An expert witness provider is suing a Louisiana law firm for allegedly failing to pay for the expert services provided. US Forensic LLC filed its lawsuit last month after the firm of Anzelmo, Milliner & Burke LLC did not pay the full amount for expert witness services provided.
Expert Witness Provider Sues Law Firm
US Forensic filed its suit alleging that it entered into an agreement with Anzelmo, Milliner & Burke to provide expert witnesses for the firm’s use in trial. The agreement stipulated that the firm would pay plaintiffs US Forensic $11,173.50 for expert services provided to the defendants. The plaintiffs asserted in the lawsuit that the law firm breached the contract by only paying a partial amount totaling $4,813.50 – less than half of the agreed upon amount – before claiming that the firm no longer needed US Forensics’ services since the case had settled.
In response to accusations that it had breached the expert witness contract, Anzlemo, Milliner & Burke argued that the expert witness provided by US Forensics did not satisfy the performance the firm had expected when the contract was formed. Pointing to inconsistencies in the expert’s deposition, testimony, and background, the firm stopped payment on a check to US Forensics citing failure to perform to the standards of the agreement.
Plaintiffs US Forensics are seeking damages in the amount of $4,813.50 for alleged breach of contract and unjust enrichment. The case will proceed over the coming weeks after the two sides go through the pre-trial process.
Expert Witness Fee Dispute Highlights New Market
As use of expert witnesses has become commonplace in both civil and criminal trials, a market for connecting law firms to experts has emerged. Firms are able to reach out to expert witness service providers for access to experts in a wide variety of fields that can accommodate legal needs regardless of the specific issues central to a dispute. Whether the expert provider contracts directly with the law firm or simply acts as a directory, the market for expert witness service providers has grown substantially and is one that savvy lawyers and firms are familiar with.
The US Forensics lawsuit also highlights the importance of being familiar with expert witness contracts prior to entering a relationship. Lawyers and firms must be careful shoppers for expert witness services, and write detailed contracts that sufficiently outline expectations for expert testimony and conditions that could result in partial or incomplete payment. Legal professionals should always be careful when choosing an expert witness, but need to be particularly wary of potential disputes that could result in litigation when contracting with a professional expert testimony provider.