Contract for Expert Witness Services
The following document is an example of a contract for expert witness services, that is intended to be helpful to experts who are drafting contracts for their services.
This contract contains provisions that may not be suitable for all experts or cases. It is the responsibility of any person who uses this sample form to verify that the provisions are consistent with the laws of the jurisdictions in which services will be rendered.
Experts who prefer a less formal contract may consider instead a letter of engagement.
Experts have a great deal of flexibility in how they set fees.
- Fees are often billed in increments of an hour, such as a tenth of an hour, but some experts work on a straight hourly basis.
- Some experts will charge by the half-day or full day for time spent at deposition or when their presence is required at a trial.
- Many experts charge a per diem fee when required to perform services at a remote location.
- Some experts whose services are in very high demand may even bill 24-hours per day for long-distance travel.
- Some experts charge the same fee for all services rendered, while others charge a higher fee for time spent testifying at a deposition or at trial.
- Some experts bill for all expenses, no matter how small.
- Others may not find it cost-effective to bill for minor expenses, and instead roll those expenses into their hourly fee.
Although an expert may choose not to bill for an occasional photocopy, where large numbers of documents must be copied it is appropriate to pass the charges along to the client.
Similarly, an expert who chooses not to charge for an occasional letter should not hesitate to charge for shipping larger packages, express delivery or international shipments.
This agreement is entered into between Expert's Name, the consultant, and Linda Lawyer, the client-attorney.
What Should be Included in an Expert Witness Retainer Agreement
The purpose of this agreement is to procure the services of the consultant in relation to the case of
Case Name, Case Number, presently pending before the Type of Court for the County of County, State of State.
The consultant shall provide services for the client-attorney as an independent professional.
Payment to the consultant is not dependent upon the findings which The consultant renders, nor on the outcome of any legal action, mediation, arbitration, or the amount or terms of any settlement of the underlying legal cause, nor on any contractual arrangement between the client-attorney and any other person or party.
Engagement Fee: At the time of the execution of this agreement, the client-attorney shall tender to the consultant a non-refundable engagement fee in the amount of Amount of Fee dollars.
Billings for services performed or expenses incurred shall be charged against the engagement fee until such time as it is exhausted. The client-attorney shall not identify the consultant as either a testifying or non-testifying expert until such time as the engagement fee has been paid.
Fees: The fees for services provided by the consultant and the consultant's staff are as follows:
Consultant Fees: Except as outlined herein, the client-attorney shall compensate Edward Expert at the rate of $ Hourly Rate per hour for all tasks performed under this agreement, including but not limited to analysis, calculations, conclusions, preparation of reports, and necessary travel time.
Fees will be billed by the tenth of an hour, with a minimum charge for any discrete task of two tenths of an hour. For testimony at deposition or trial, the client-attorney shall compensate Edward Expert at the rate of $ Hourly Rate per hour, to be billed in hourly increments. This rate for testimony shall apply both while The consultant is waiting to give testimony, whether at an office or court, and for time taken for breaks or meals, as well as for time spent actually giving testimony.
Investigator Fees: At times, The consultant may require the assistance of his investigator, Samuel Sleuth.
The client-attorney shall compensate Edward Expert at the rate of $Hourly Rate per hour for services performed by Samuel Sleuth, with fees to be billed by the tenth of an hour.
Graphic Design and Exhibit Preparation: The client-attorney shall compensate The consultant for time spent preparing graphics or exhibits at the rate of $Hourly Rate per hour, regardless of who performs the associated services.
In the event that The consultant outsources the preparation of graphics or exhibits, the client-attorney shall reimburse The consultant for the actual cost of the services, plus a five percent (5%) handling fee; however, the fee for outsourced services shall not exceed the rate of $Hourly Rate per hour without the approval of the client-attorney.
The fees outlined in this paragraph do not include the cost of materials.
Expenses: Expenses incurred by Edward Expert shall be reimbursed by the client-attorney as follows:
Travel by Car: Mileage Fee cents per mile;
Travel by Air or Train: The actual cost of the round-trip ticket, plus a ten percent (10%) handling fee.
Expenses associated with photography, reproduction of documents and photographs, preparation of exhibits, storage of materials or evidence, and other reasonable expenditures shall be reimbursed at market rates.
Lodging: For any travel of more than eighty (80) miles from The consultant's office, The consultant shall be reimbursed for the cost of meals and lodging, plus a ten percent (10%) handling fee.
Car Rental: In the event of travel beyond the local area, The consultant shall be reimbursed for the cost of a mid-sized rental car and any associated expenses, plus a ten percent (10%) handling fee.
Unless otherwise instructed by the client-attorney, or unless refundable tickets are not available, The consultant will purchase refundable tickets for any necessary travel.
What is an expert witness?
Should the client-attorney request that The consultant purchase non-refundable tickets in order to travel at a lower cost, or if refundable tickets are not available, the client-attorney shall reimburse The consultant for the cost of any non-refundable ticket at the rate outlined herein whether or not the ticket is used.
The client-attorney may avoid the ten percent handling fee associated with certain travel expenses by arranging to directly purchase round-trip travel tickets on behalf of the expert, and by arranging for the direct payment of any car rental expense, lodging, and meal expenses by the client-attorney's office.
Qualifications: The client-attorney has had the opportunity to investigate and verify The consultant's credentials, and agrees that The consultant is qualified to perform the services described in this contract.
Terms of Engagement: The client-attorney is responsible for payments to The consultant as outlined in this contract, regardless of any arrangement the client-attorney has with any party or parties he represents.
The consultant will issue bills on a monthly basis, or whatever other interval he deems appropriate.
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Bills are due on receipt, and shall be considered delinquent if unpaid more than thirty days after their date of issuance. Interest shall accrue to any delinquent balance at the maximum rate permitted by law, not to exceed percentage percent per month.
In the event that a bill remains unpaid for sixty or more days after the date of issuance, The consultant shall have the unrestricted right to resign from performing additional services for the client-attorney on any and all cases that The consultant is working on for the client-attorney's firm.
Choice of Law and Jurisdiction: This agreement shall be interpreted under the laws of the State of State.
Any litigation under this agreement shall be resolved in the trial courts of County County, State of State.
I accept the terms of this agreement:
Lawyer's Typed Name, Attorney for Client.
Expert's Typed Name.