LNCtips.com: Expert Fee Schedules
Expert legal nurse consultants (LNCs) need to provide a fee schedule to the attorneys who hire them. The fee schedule is a short document listing the charge for expert activities. Typically, a fee schedule addresses charges for:
Retainer. A retainer is a fee paid upfront prior to any work being performed for the client. Some expert legal nurse consultants never charge a retainer, some charge a retainer only for new clients and some require a retainer for each case. The retainer is typically the amount charged for a certain number of hours that will be billed toward review of the case.
Medical records review and reports. This is usually a charge for the amount of time spent analyzing records and drafting reports (if any). Billing increments of 15 minutes (most commonly) or 6 minutes (uncommonly used by experts but used commonly in law firms) are used for partial hours.
Conferences with attorneys/law firm staff and conference preparation. Conferences are often billed at the same rate as for medical records review.
Deposition testimony. Often there is a minimum number of hours, such as four, charged for deposition testimony and a statement that X number of days must be provided in advance of cancellation of the deposition.
Trial testimony. Again there may be a minimum number of hours, such as 8, and a statement regarding payment of travel expenses.
Expert legal nurse consultants are paid by the law firm that hires them EXCEPT for deposition testimony in some states. In those states, the attorney from the opposing side pays the LNC. For that reason, some experts may try to specify in their fee schedule that a check for the deposition must be provided prior to or at the time of the deposition.
The fee schedule should be based upon nursing and legal nurse consulting experience as well as what the market will bear. If the LNCs' legal nurse consulting course did not provide some guidelines, an internet search can be conducted to determine the fee schedules of other legal nurse consultants. Another option is to join AALNC and its local chapter to identify if other legal nurse consultants would be willing to share this information. Because of concerns about the appearance of price fixing or the potential of a competitor undercutting their fees, some LNCs will not share this information.
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