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Column 9, November 1995
Finding Experts On The Internet
By Robert J. Ambrogi
Finding the expert you need can be a tricky task. Whether you represent an accident victim or a disgruntled home buyer, a defrauded investor or a fired employee, the expert you rely on can make or break your case.
It can also be an expensive task. Expert-referral services often charge up front, and many experts require a fee even for an initial consultation.
The Internet offers a means of finding the expert you need that is easy and inexpensive. A number of sites now include paid listings of experts available to testify and consult. Many of those experts are themselves establishing sites on the Internet.
What follows is a guide to finding experts via the Internet. The first section lists sites that offer general listings of experts or links to experts. In some cases, the experts have paid the site a fee to be listed in their directory.
Listings and Links
- Hieros Gamos Listing of Experts. Hieros Gamos describes itself as "A Comprehensive Site To The Legal Profession." It offers a fairly extensive list of experts, organized by subject. Entries provide names, addresses and phone numbers, but not much more. http://www.hg.org/expert-serv.html
- Juris.com. This site describes itself as the "Internet's home for the legal, insurance, forensic and related professions," but actually contains only a small collection of articles and information on the Juris.com BBS (see below). http://juris.com
- Juris.com BBS. Includes a handful of expert listings. You will be required to register, which is free. telnet://juris.com
- LawInfo. This site offers a good number of expert listings, organized by state and category, as well as a separate list of national expert services. Many of the listings have links to other pages containing more detailed information. http://www.lawinfo.com
- LERN. Its self-described mission: "To network attorneys and expert witnesses in an online environment and use online technology to reduce the cost of finding the best expert for a case." The Web site primarily offers information about the subscription-only LERN BBS. There are a few links to expert witness home pages. http://www.ultranet.com/~lern (Message says address will be changing to: http://witness.net.)
- L.I.S.T. (Legal Industry Source Tablet). This directory targets California lawyers. Its expert directory contains a long list of subject areas, but virtually no entries. http://www.mother.com/~aerolite/lswhp.html
- National Consultant Referrals Inc. No-charge computer searching for expert witnesses. http://www.cts.com/~kline/index.htm
- Noble Directory of Experts and Spokespersons. An interactive, searchable directory containing thousands of paid listings of experts, consultants and spokespersons. http://www.catalog.com/experts/index.html
- The Seamless Website Experts Page. Good collection of experts organized by expertise and jurisdiction. Listings in the directory are free. http://seamless.com/experts/index.html
- Technical Assistance Bureau Inc. A company providing referrals to expert witnesses in a variety of fields. The Web site offers information on using TAB's service, but no listings of experts. http://www.intr.net/tab
- UCF's Guide to Experts. University of Central Florida faculty, listed by subject. Designed as a reference for journalists but useful for lawyers. http://www.oir.ucf.edu/public_affairs/experts/ExpertGuideIndex.html
- WashLaw's list of expert witnesses and legal consultants. Part of WashLaw Web, a comprehensive source of law-related information on the Internet. http://lawlib.wuacc.edu/washlaw/expert/expert.html
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Computer Science and Technology
Economics and Accounting
Engineering and Design
Medicine - General
Medicine - Psychiatry
Medicine - Urology
Medicine - Nurse Consulting
Robert J. Ambrogi, a lawyer in Rockport, Mass., is editor of "legal.online," a monthly newsletter about the Internet published by Legal Communications Ltd., Philadelphia. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (978) 546-7898.
Sidebar: Listserv Helps In Locating Experts
An Internet mailing list designed for expert witnesses is increasingly being used by lawyers to find the expert they need.
The list, "Expert-L," is operated by the Legal Research Network, a Massachusetts company that sponsors a dial-in bulletin-board service, called LERN, that is dedicated to helping attorneys find expert witnesses.
Although the list is intended for experts to communicate with each other, lawyers frequently use it as well. Here is a sampling of recent posts:
- "I am defending a case where a window washer who was standing inside a building claims to have fallen out the window. I am looking for an expert to evaluate whether physically the accident could have occurred in the manner in which the plaintiff describes, given his location, the physical construction of the window, etc."
- "Are there any surfing experts on the list, especially in S. Calif. Potential case involving laceration by fin of surf board."
- "Searching for experts in automobile shoulder harness/belt locking mechanisms and failure to lock in an accident and biomechanics of driver body movement in an automobile accident and automobile cockpit design and steering wheel and steering column design."
- "Need an expert in diesel engines, esp of the size used in transportation or construction equipment (not large shipboard, or power generation applications)."
- "I am seeking a consultant to assist in an evaluation of insurance coverage for medical expenses available to a minor who was a vehicle passenger and sustained serious injuries in an accident."
To subscribe to expert-l, send an e-mail message to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave the subject blank and in the message write: "subscribe." You will receive e-mail confirming your subscription and containing instructions on posting messages to the list. There is no charge to subscribe to this list.
For more information about the LERN BBS, send e-mail to: email@example.com with the word "info" as the subject header, or use your modem to dial (508) 829-9564. Access to LERN is by subscription ($99 a year) or pay as you go (40 cents a minute).