Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Work Detail

Most of my court work involves civil litigation, so money defines every last detail. Today I'm working on a case where two doctors are battling an attorney over compensation. This is the deal. Percipient (fact) witnesses can be subpoenaed and receive $35/day for their testimony. There are no time limits. The attorney can keep them there all day. This is the California rate, by the way. Expert witnesses, however, can set their own hourly fees. Often, with doctors, this can hum along to the tune of $750/hour. So today I have two doctors who are being paid the percipient $35/day rate and refusing to answer any questions except for reading from their medical records. Anything that involves using any of their medical expertise is a no-go. They won't even interpret their abbreviations.

Now, I certainly wouldn't want to be paid $35/day to talk to an attorney, as much as I do like to talk. $750/hour, however, seems to me to be a little excessive. What do you think?


Rachel said...

I just realized what I want to do with my life.

Talia Reed said...

I think jurors get more than $35 a day, don't they? I can't think of anyone that I would pay $750 for an hour of their time....except maybe someone who was dead.

Charmi said...

Last time I had jury duty it was $25/day, but fascinating, although a little tedious, too.

Yesterday another case I had the attorneys were arguing about costs to the judge. An attorney didn't show for a dep because of some scheduling snafu and the expert doc that was supposed to be deposed charged $4,000 for 1/2 day of sitting around. He was going to charge that anyway for the depo, but now he has to be deposed again, another $4,000, if the thing only lasts half a day!

In case you want to know what I think about medical malpractice suits, they pay a lot of my bills, but they're insane!

Jennifer said...

maybe if they keep charging outrageous fees people will stop suing for nothing.

Talia Reed said...

My mom was called for duty this week, although she didn't get picked, but I think they told her she would get like $57 plus mileage. She was psyched about it. (Apparently is is more than she gets paid baby-sitting my Hadley).