How to find an expert witness on the Internet.
By Erik J. Heels
First published 11/25/1997; LegalResearcher.com; publisher: New York Law Publishing Company
If you want to find an expert on the Internet, there are many places you can go, including the Web’s most popular Web site, Yahoo, and the legal community’s equivalent of Yahoo, Findlaw.
Finding an expert is one thing. Finding out about an expert is another. If you are already neck-deep in a case with a deposition deadline looming for your adversary’s expert, you’ve got a harder task ahead of you. Most of the listings shown in Yahoo and Findlaw do not let you search a particular database by name. In other words, if you know the name of your expert witness, they are no help to you. Fortunately, there are several resources that you can use to find out more about a particular expert witness.
Are you looking for information about an expert for the plaintiff or for the defense? If you are looking for information about a plaintiff’s expert, surf over to the Web site of ATLA, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (http://www.atlanet.org/). ATLA does not maintain a searchable database of experts on its Web site, but it does have a page of links of interest to its members (http://www.atlanet.org/link.htm). Technical Advisory Service for Attorneys – TASANet – (http://www.tasanet.com/) advertises there, so it’s a safe bet that they cater to the trial bar.
On the defense side, try the Defense Research Institute (http://www.dri.org/). The Defense Research Institute (DRI) has a searchable database of 47,000 experts online. You can search it from the Web, but it is a fee-based service. Another great resource on the defense side is Ides (http://www.idex.com/), which contains 50,000 experts in its database as well as case details, transcripts, article searches. Also a fee-based system.
Do you know where your expert went to school? If so, check out the Web site for the expert’s college. Many alumni associations maintain online databases of alumni with short summaries of what they’re up to. For the colleges, it’s part member services and part keeping in touch with their alum to prod them for donations. For you, it could provide background information needed to make your case.
If you know where you expert lives, you may be able to search the local newspaper on the Web for recent stories by or about your expert. Many newspapers do not let their content get indexed by the public search engines such as Alta Vista and Infoseek.
Finally, don’t forget the search engines themselves. Using DejaNews (http://www.dejanews.com/) will turn up any postings to Usenet – old or recent – by or about you expert.