Finding Work as an Expert Witness

I receive numerous requests from nurses that are experienced in their field and wish to find work as testifying experts. This posting is for those nurses.

While there are publications that will list you for a fee, there are free resources to aid in this endeavor.

One of the easiest ways to make contacts is to join a Yahoo group that is active in the medical/legal arena.  LNCExchange is a moderated group in which nurses, physicians, attorneys and other healthcare specialists post questions to the group.  It is a rich resource for experts because we members will put out a call for a particular specialty, which may or may not be geographic-specific. You can then respond directly to that posting.

Qualifications for an expert vary from state to state and the need changes from case to case.  In fact, I found the following on California’s State Board of Nursing website:

[Recruiting Expert Witnesses

The BRN Enforcement Program is currently only recruiting qualified registered nurses to review case materials, prepare written opinions, and possibly testify at administrative hearings as an Expert Witness for cases involving Botox/Laser/Dermabraision and HIV/AIDS.

Expert Witnesses are paid $75 per hour for case review and preparation of the expert opinion report and $75 per hour plus expenses if called to testify at an administrative hearing.

If you wish to provide this service to your community and be considered by the BRN as an Expert Witness, please verify that you meet the following requirements:

  • A current and active California RN license
  • Ten or more years of experience and expertise in one of the areas or specialties listed above AND current employment in that setting
  • No prior or current charges or discipline against any health care related license in California or in any other place of licensure
  • No criminal convictions, including any that were expunged or dismissed]

Interesting, no?

At a more general level, when I search for an expert,  I need someone who has been active in their field for 3 of the past 5 years. There are variations on this. If someone has a case in which an event happened during a different timeframe, the attorney may want an expert who was active during that timeframe, particularly if different technology or standards of care were in place at the time.

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