1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Expert witness dilemna

Discussion in 'Expert Witnesses & Investigators' started by Quasar, May 12, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Quasar

    Quasar Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Apparently I have not posted my original question in the proper location, thus I will attempt to do this again.
    I have served as an expert witness on behalf of my company regarding a product liability suit. I was terminated "without cause"/reduction in force approximately six weeks ago, and presume that I have been dismissed from the case by my previous employer(defendant). I have not confirmed the dismissal as of yet, but it is safe to say that it would not be presumptious on my part, based upon what has transpired from the public court docket records.
    I have an employment contract that binds me from divulging proprietary data relative to the company for a period of one year. However, there are issues with this case that are not of a proprietary nature that are inherently weak for the defense. These issues were pointed out during my deposition, but were "off the record".
    Can I legally contact the plaintiff's attorney regarding this matter without subjecting myself to some form of incrimination or contract violation if it pertains to a matter of public policy concerns? Furthermore, how can I successfully execute this action without appearing retaliatory, and subjecting myself, or possibly the plaintiff's attorney from disqualification?
    From a purely "humanistic" standpoint, it would be easy for one to assume that such actions are pursued for retribution, but in fact, I cannot in good conscience allow such deliberations to continue knowing that the company has acted negligently.
     
  2. Quasar

    Quasar Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is a time sensitive issue, any legal feedback would be greatly appreciated!
     
  3. calalily

    calalily New Member

    Messages:
    930
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You cannot legally contact the plaintiff's attorney nor the plaintiff.
     
  4. Quasar

    Quasar Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Since you are not an attorney, then I must ask you to qualify your declarative statement. What is your source?
     
  5. calalily

    calalily New Member

    Messages:
    930
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The company would probably say all testimony and knowledge you have of the case and company is "proprietary." Although "off the record" it was inserted into the procedings through your deposition and would be covered under any instructions given to you not to discuss the matters outside of court (a standard admonition), as well as protected work product and client/attorney privilage.
    http://www.lectlaw.com/files/lit16.htm
    ...THIRD, the attorney-client privilege also covers communications between
    agents of a client and the client's attorney, again, as long as the
    communication was intended to be confidential. "f the purpose of the
    communication is to facilitate the rendering of legal services by the
    attorney, the privilege may also cover communications between the client
    and his attorneys representative, between the client's representative
    and the attorney, and between the attorney and his representative."
    Golden Trade v. Lee Ansarel Co., 143 F.R.D. 514, 518 (S.D.N.Y. 1992).
    Courts define the term "agent" broadly to encompass a range of
    individuals, from expert consultants to relatives to insurance agents,
    whose presence is necessary to the purpose of the meeting and to the
    rendering of advice.
    See, e.g:, Kevlick v. Goldstein, 724 F.2d 844, 849
    (lst Cir. 1984) (client's father); U.S. v. Biros, 459 F.2d 639, 643 (1st
    Cir.) (cllent's father), cert. denied sub nom., Raimondi v. U.S., 409
    U.S. 847 (1972); Benedict v. Amaducci, No. 92 Civ 5239 (KMW), 1995 U.S.
    Dist. LEXIS 573, 3-4 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 18, 1995) (consultant); Foseco
    Int'l. v. Fireline Inc., 546 F.Supp. 22, 25 (N.D.Ohio 1982) (patent
    agent); Miller v. Haulmark, 104 F.R.D. 442, 445 i (E.D.Pa. 1984)
    (insurance agent); Harkobusic v. General American, 31 F.R.D. 264, 265
    (W.D.Pa. 1962) (brother-in-law).
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2007
  6. Quasar

    Quasar Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have been advised today by another legal source that to legitimize and protect my exposure, I need only contact the plaintiff's attorney and request that they depose me. In light of these conflicting opinions, I believe that I will simply withdraw from the case.
     
  7. seniorjudge

    seniorjudge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    4,309
    Likes Received:
    79
    Trophy Points:
    0

    That sounds like a very good idea.

    Stay away from this case and all those involved in it.

    Just a hint from a judge who's had to listen to a LOT of expert witnesses: try using standard English.

    This high falutin stuff is hard on the ears and the understanding, e.g., "...Furthermore, how can I successfully execute this action without appearing retaliatory, and subjecting myself, or possibly the plaintiff's attorney from disqualification?..."
     
  8. Quasar

    Quasar Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Touche' Seniorjudge!

    I believe my verbage is correct, my punctuation may be off. It has been many years since I wrote my last thesis, and even then I was penalized for improper use of a comma.

    However, the jest of your remark is understood.
     

Share This Page

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.