We are proud to offer expert witness/forensic services to those who need them.
In this FAQ you’ll find a comprehensive description of Potomac’s expert witness and forensics services. If any questions arise that are not yet listed here, please give our office a call at 301-984-9791.
What is Potomac Psychiatry’s expert witness process?
When Potomac Psychiatry receives an expert witness request, we follow a simple process:
1) First, we always offer a complimentary 30-minute consultation between the requesting attorney and our doctor to discuss details of the case and determine what it will look like to work with us. This also provides an opportunity for the attorney to learn more about our doctors’ areas of expertise and ask any specific or clarifying questions they might have. Our office can generally schedule these consultations within a week of the initial request.
2) After the consultation, if the attorney and their client choose to move forward, our forensics coordinator will draw up a retainer agreement and send it to the attorney for approval. Once the retainer payment is received, our doctors can begin to review any associated records and schedule any necessary evaluations, assessments, etc.
3) We use CLIO, which is a common system used in law firms, and have the ability for portal-to-portal communication including sharing documents. This greatly streamlines the coordination between our team and the attorney’s for ease of service.
What are your expert witness rates and how does payment work?
While our rates can vary, and exact amounts are generally determined during the consultation, our expert witness department operates similarly to a law office in that we work from a retainer. If any of the retainer is not used at the close of services, we will send a refund check for the remaining amount to the payer.
Generally speaking, we have a set hourly rate based on the doctor you will be working with and the number of hours worked. The number of hours collected in the initial retainer will be agreed upon during the complimentary consultation between the attorney and our doctor.
Payment can be made by filling out our credit card remittance form, which our administrative staff emails over along with any invoices or retainers, or by sending a check in the mail. Please confirm with us before sending a check, as we are currently receiving all office mail at a remote address.
What information should I have ready when I reach out to your forensics coordinator?
When you reach out to our coordinator, please have the following information available and at the ready:
1) A brief overview of the case, including area of law
2) Jurisdiction of the case
3) Name of attorney(s) and paralegal(s) with phone and emails
4) Any important dates/deadlines we should be aware of
Is there anyone you will not work with in a forensic capacity?
Before taking on a new case, our clients will need to be working with an attorney and the attorney needs to have an assistant or paralegal. The only clients we will work with who do not need to be working with an attorney are those who are seeking Fitness for Duty evaluations. We will be coordinating through the law office rather than directly with the client whenever possible to allow our expert witness staff to remain uninvolved in the cases.
We do not take on expert witness cases for clients who wish to also pursue therapeutic treatment, or for existing patients. This is because an expert witness, by nature, is required to provide an unbiased report and cannot do so if he/she is working with the client in a therapeutic capacity. For patients looking for legal expertise from our doctors, we may offer their services as a FACT WITNESS only. A fact witness can only testify to the therapeutic notes and interactions but cannot make any determinations from an expert perspective.
We do not work with third party organizations whose purpose is to connect attorneys with expert witness programs. We will only take cases in which the attorney or law office connects with us directly.