Is Expert Witness Testimony Worth the Cost?

A lawsuit in New York gives an interesting glimpse into the amount spent on expert witness testimony in highly contested litigation. New York’s state government will spend nearly $1 million on expert witnesses alone in Maisto v. New York, a lawsuit brought by school districts over educational funding. This total is almost a third greater than the funds the state expects to expend on attorneys’ fees in the case, demonstrating the importance that the testimony of these witnesses can hold. Experts in Maisto v. New York were testifying about educational resources, but a variety of experts are often required in litigation ranging from small contract disputes to wrongful death claims. Personal injury cases and medical malpractice in particular regularly require medical experts like nurses and physicians to explain complex conditions and procedures in terms a jury can understand. A survey of over 5,000 expert witnesses revealed that medical experts tend…
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What is the Estimated Cost of Litigation?

It is no secret that civil litigation can be very expensive. Administrative costs, expert witness fees and other expenses add up as cases progress. Attorneys try to anticipate the costs of resolving cases, but estimating expenses can be very difficult. Expenses vary greatly from case to case and there is usually a possibility of settlement at any stage in the process. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) has developed a model that seeks to make cost estimation easier and more accurate. The NCSC focused on the amount of time spent by attorneys on different litigation tasks. Their Civil Litigation Cost Model (CLCM) looks at how tasks, and the time required for completion, change at different stages of litigation. The CLCM also examines cases by separating them into six case types. Are Litigation Costs Estimates Reliable? The CLCM provides a general idea of what a case might cost, but it…
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