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Communicating With Your Expert in Today's World of Technology

By: Conor Meyers, Principal with Axis Construction Consulting

I delve into this subject from two different viewpoints. As a lawyer and as a consultant/expert, so to speak, since I now handle operations, financials and business decision making for a forensic consulting company. In the good old days, prior to emails and texts, it was rather simple. We would simply pick-up a phone and call our experts. It's often hard to remember exactly what is said on a phone call that may have occurred weeks or month's prior. I can sometimes barely remember phone conversations I had yesterday.

However, today's world is very different. Today we have e-mails, texts, Skype, apps on cell phones, etc. We are so accustomed to simply shooting off an email or text to respond to a question or ask a question. All of those texts and emails are discoverable and should be saved and produced; they may not be relevant or admissible, but they are discoverable. Now, let me make it clear, I am not advocating hiding the ball or destroying anything. As a lawyer I want to see and be able to review as much as possible. I am simply making the point to consider what is being created in written form.

Some attorneys want everything in writing as they are not concerned about discovery of written emails and texts. They want to make sure the assignment is clear and understood. Others prefer very little in writing. An expert may have never worked with or have had limited experience with a particular attorney and handle the assignment as they would with other attorneys.

So the first thing, at the outset of a new assignment, for both the attorney and the expert, is to clarify how to communicate. As an expert you do not want to engage in an activity if the hiring attorney prefers an alternate method. And lawyers, moving forward, advise your expert of your preferred method of communication.


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