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What Happens After an Expert is Placed & CLEs

January 6, 2021

Without a doubt, Round Table Group is the expert at finding and placing expert witnesses using its extensive database and network. But, what happens after an expert witness is placed? Does the team at Round Table Group remain involved in the outcome, or does it simply leave the rest of the process up to the client? 

As you may have guessed, the former is true: Round Table Group makes a point to stay with its clients every step of the way. As CEO and Co-Founder Russ Rosenzweig says, the company wants to ensure that every expert witness is not only meeting an attorney’s expectations, but exceeding them. 

In this episode of the Engaging Experts Podcast, Rise25 Co-Founder John Corcoran sits down with Russ Rosenzweig, the CEO and Co-Founder of Round Table Group, to discuss the company’s attentive post-placement process. Russ reveals how Round Table Group helps attorneys achieve success after an expert is placed—from personal check-ins to valuable CLE (Continuing Legal Education) programs. Stay tuned for more! 

Episode Transcript:

Note: Transcript has been lightly edited for clarity. 

Guests: 

Russ Rosenzweig, CEO and Co-Founder, Round Table Group  

John Corcoran, Co-Founder, Rise25   

Introduction: Welcome to Engaging Experts, the podcast that goes behind the scenes with influential attorneys. Our guests will describe their practice and expertise. Then we will go deep on various topics related to effectively using expert witnesses.  

Russ Rosenzweig: Hi everybody, this is Russ Rosenzweig. I’m the CEO and one of the Co-Founders of Round Table Group, where we have been helping attorneys to more efficiently, thoroughly and cost effectively locate and engage expert witnesses for the past 27 years. I’m also the co-host of this show in which we endeavor to interview the world’s leading attorneys about their expert witness practices, how they engage experts, and the techniques and tactics that they use. For this show, we’re going to turn the tables a bit and I’m going to be interviewed by our beloved and amazing John Corcoran, who is the world’s leading expert on podcasts, in my opinion. John, take it away.  

John Corcoran: Russ, it’s a pleasure to be back again and we’ve got a couple different topics we wanted to hit on here, so I’m glad that we’re back. But first, before we get into those topics, this episode is brought to you by Round Table Group, the Experts on Experts®. For 27 years, they have helped litigators locate, assess, and engage the best and most qualified expert witnesses. Round Table Group is a great complement to any litigator’s expert witness quest, and their search is always free of charge. The skilled team will review the complaint or patent and discuss all the nuances and details of the perfect expert. They’ll perform thorough and comprehensive research and even contact the candidates to check for conflicts and confirm their availability, saving attorneys hours and hours of time. That really can’t be overstated how valuable that is. So, if you need an expert witness now, you can visit roundtablegroup.com or contact them at engagingexperts@roundtablegroup.com.    

So, Russ, we’ve done a couple of different episodes where we’ve talked about recruitment of experts: How to find them; How to interview them; and How to check for conflicts. We’ve covered all that kind of stuff. I realized after one of our previous episodes that we didn’t talk about a really important point, and that is what happens after that expert has been placed? If I’m an attorney, I may have a trial that’s coming up. I’m in active litigation. One of my biggest fears is, you know, getting an expert placed, [and] then there [could be] a dispute with that expert over a bill. Or, worse, the expert is not a good fit and we need to get them replaced at the last minute. Give me some assurance that I’m not going to be left holding the bag if something like that happens.  

Russ Rosenzweig: That’s a great question, John. All too often, clients may think that once an expert is engaged through Round Table Group, it’s kind of the end of our role and just the very beginning of the attorney’s role. That’s not the case. We stay with our clients every step of the way, even in the post retention context. We’re very proud of this. First and foremost, once a client decides upon an expert to engage, you know there’s sometimes a process for that. An expert might have a contract. The client might have a contract template. The clients, the law firm, might have a preferred template. We really jump in there and just ensure that the engagement itself gets solidified very quickly and flawlessly. Then what happens is the expert gets to work and they roll up their sleeves and deliver their magic, and their gifts, as expert witnesses. It’s our job, even my job personally, John, to ensure that our clients are happy with the experts. This manifests itself in periodically [checking in] with our clients and asking, “How’s the expert doing?” Or asking, “Is she exceeding your expectations?” We can optionally help the client by ensuring deadlines are met and any sort of project management work that the client doesn’t have time for. This is optional if they need and want that. The other role we play, I play this role personally, is looking at the expert invoices. I monitor those. If I see any invoice that looks like the experts have been doing a lot of work on the project, I will pick up the phone and call the client myself. I’ll first thank them for their business, but also make sure that the expert is exceeding expectations and that the client was expecting an invoice in that amount. Occasionally, there’s issues, or concerns like, “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that.” And that’s, I think, some would say the greatest value that we bring as a company. We don’t leave a client high and dry. We really are skillful diplomats in this regard. We’re just good at understanding what the issue is and getting the expert on the line and figuring out the right compromise. This is kind of a skill that I’ve been developing over the years and we’re very proud of the post retention work that we do.   

John Corcoran: I want to ask about some of those calls, what those calls are like because you’re a busy guy, you have a lot of people working for you. [You] have a big company. What is it like when the litigator suddenly hears from you? Maybe they’re working with someone else and you pick up the phone and you call them. You probably have some people that are a little bit shocked to hear from you, in a good way.  

Russ Rosenzweig: Yeah, some are surprised. Especially the first phone call they get from me, because they don’t often have a vendor calling to thank them for their business and to make sure they were expecting an invoice in that amount. It’s usually the opposite, perhaps the vendor calls to say, “Where’s my money?” We’re proud of the relationships we’ve built with these attorneys. Many of them are seasoned partners at the world’s most elite firms. It just helps us build that relationship and rapport. We’ve already been working together for months. We’ve already read the complaint and strategized about the complexities and nuances of who’s the right kind of expert. We’ve already been in the war room, so to speak, interviewing candidates and learning and presenting more candidates. So Round Table Group is quite invested in the matter, by the time an expert gets engaged. We continue to develop that rapport and follow the progress of the case and be valuable when there is, God forbid, an invoice dispute. Having been engaged together for all these weeks and months, [that] makes the process much easier and our clients appreciate it.  

John Corcoran: I have a couple of things I want to ask you about before we wrap up this topic. Anything else that we want to talk about on this important point? Because it’s important for attorneys to know that they have ongoing support. Anything else you wanted to add to that topic?  

Russ Rosenzweig: The only thing I might add, that maybe is a little bit unusual in a vendor context, is every lawyer that we work with is just as much an expert as any of the professors or expert witnesses that we’re finding for them. These lawyers are world-class experts and they themselves often specialize in areas of the law. Whenever possible, we really try to help them with business development by introducing them to business owners and others who might need their services as attorneys. I happen to be very deeply immersed in the community of fast-growing private company business owners in our country. I’m in the Young Presidents Organization and the Entrepreneurs Organization and Collective 54. Just, constantly every day, John, people come to me and say, “Hey, does Round Table Group know a lawyer who specializes in this topic or that topic?” Anything we could do to bring customers to our beloved clients, is something that we’re also very proud of.  

John Corcoran: Shout out to Sean McGinnis who is involved in Collective 54, which is a wonderful organization. I wanted to mention that he’s a great guy. OK, I know you mentioned along the lines of unusual, this is a little bit unusual considering that your bread and butter is helping law firms to place experts. But you go in and “open the kimono” so to speak and do trainings and education, teach law firms about your methodologies and how you go about it. It’s also out of a bit of a spirit of just, belief in getting the best experts out there is going to help justice to be done. Let’s talk a little bit about that. About some of the education and training work that you do and how you came about doing that.  

Russ Rosenzweig: Well, that’s a fun topic for me John. We’re very proud of our work in this area, and I’m just recalling over the past 20 years, I’ve delivered CLE programs for the American Bar Association directly. I’ve done it for dozens of leading law firms in the U.S., but I’ve also delivered CLE programs in Hong Kong, and in Singapore, and in London. Even just talking about this topic brings back great memories. I think it’s a very special part of the work we do hereIt’s an honor to be even able to play this role as a teacher or instructor — to go into the conference rooms, or Zoom conference rooms, of our best and favorite clients, and to really share with them exactly how we do it. We go into quite thorough detail. You know, I earned my MBA at the University of Chicago, and we were taught about data and thoroughness and rigor. That’s the spirit of our CLE programs. They are a good hour, and we go deep into all the nuances of what it takes to find and engage experts.  

John Corcoran: Let me ask you this, because we did other episodes where we talked about the process of researching experts and tracking them down. If you go and listen to those other episodes, you’ll know it’s not easy to find these experts in these obscure topics. My question for you is, how do you even encapsulate that into an education training program? In other words, how do you teach someone else to do what you’ve learned to do over 20 plus years? How is that even possible?  

Russ Rosenzweig: It’s very time consuming to do what we do, but it is teachable, and I’ve always found it to be almost an enjoyable sport to really show a group of attorneys all the steps that we take when searching for an expert. Normally, at the end of it, they just call us and ask for our help with finding experts, but it’s still fun and very educationally enjoyable to share that. For example, one thing we share in these CLE programs is the power of a Google search. 99% of the attorneys we present these programs to, when they’re looking for experts in Google, they type in keywords in the search bar. There’s a reason why Google is a trillion-dollar company, and that reason is because there’s so much more you can do with Google research than typing in keywords in that search bar. People don’t realize this, but there’s formulas and techniques and shortcuts. There are ways to limit your search to only CVs and resumes, and like nearly every single CV and resume in the world are on Google these days. All these little techniques and tricks that we’ve learned including how to use Google Scholar to find authors and to reach out to them and how to use the static directories effectively. Things to look for within Westlaw and LexisNexis. Engaging with trade associations. Even using LinkedIn to do advanced searches when you don’t need an academic expert, but more like an industry expert. We “open up the kimono,” so to speak, and really share all those details with our clients in the CLE context.  

John Corcoran: For those who want to, [if] they have the time, they have the energy, and they can do the research themselves, they can do it.  If not, you’re there if they need the help.  

Russ Rosenzweig: Yeah, and we encourage them to do it. To do some of it. We like to be collaborative. We like to do it together and always welcome our attorney clients to do some of the search work themselves, if they have time. It becomes a very collaborative endeavor, but that’s just the beginning. As we already discussed in the past podcast, once you find 20 candidates, then you have to call them all up.  

John Corcoran: Excellent, Russ. This has been great. Where can people go to learn more about you and connect with you? Reach out, send you a message, any of those things?  

Russ Rosenzweig: Well, people can go to roundtablegroup.com, but I’ll tell you something John. Any of our beloved listeners that actually got through the entire podcast and are all the way at the end and stuck with us, they can contact me personally. My email is russ@roundtablegroup.com 

John Corcoran: That’s the privilege they get for listening to the very end. They get the coveted email address. Russ, thanks so much.  

Russ Rosenzweig: Great job John, thanks again. 

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Go behind the scenes with influential attorneys as we go deep on various topics related to effectively using expert witnesses.