LEO: Expert Witness Contingent Fee, LE Op. 449

 

Expert Witness Contingent Fee.

 

April 13, 1982

 

It is not improper for a lawyer to enter into a contract with his client and a medical expert whereby the medical expert furnishes technical assistance on a contingent fee basis.

 

The Committee recognizes the reality noted in Schackow v. Medical-Legal Consulting Service, Inc., 416 Md. App. 179, 414 A.2d 1303 (1980) that a client who can only afford a lawyer under a contingent fee arrangement can hardly be expected to be able to pay a consultant on some other basis. Where the extent of the lawyer's involvement in the contract between expert and client is solely to acknowledge the client's assignment, for purposes of paying the expert's fee out of a portion of any settlement proceeds coming into the lawyer's hands, such participation by the lawyer is not improper. The proscription in DR:7-108(C) applies to expert witnesses, not to consultants. [See II: DR:5-103(B).]

 

Committee Opinion April 13, 1982

 

CROSS REFERENCES

 

See also LE Op. 1182

 

LEO: Expert Witness - Contingent Fee, LE Op. 449 (1982)