Practice Development for Medical Expert Witnesses
Beryl Vaughan, Consultant
Nationwide

Email go@forensicexpertpro.com or Call (415) 302-9589

16 years

Consulting and Action with Medical Expert Witnesses, Forensic Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Physician Specialists to build and enhance a Reputable and Successful Medical-Legal Practice.

20 years

Lawyer-whisperer, case-wrangling for top attorneys in boutique and white shoe law firms.

A reputation for integrity and objectivity is what you bring to the table.

Strategies underscore those values.

Making Your Practice Go

I help medical specialists with additional focus on forensic psychiatrists to develop and enhance their practice as an Expert Witness.

I work with only a few clients at a time so my work is laser focused on you and your practice.

This is a quality, not quantity practice.

Each medical specialty and each doctor has distinct and nuanced services to offer attorneys and juries.

Communicating your rich expertise is how we develop your practice.

This is the message we will deliver to attorneys.

Getting that in front of an attorney is likely not in your medical education.

We draw on proven strategies responsive to the behavior of the attorney who seeks you.

I draw on 16 years of experience in the field, and more than 2 decades working closely with attorneys.

What You Need to Know

Attorneys report there are more cases than qualified experts.
Demand outstrips supply in many medical specialties.
Doctors with medical and expert witness credentials, and experience are difficult to find. Doctors who are subject matter experts at ease in a medical-legal environment are also hard to find.

Practice Development vs. Marketing

Marketing is not a dirty word.

To develop your practice ethically, it’s essential to understand preconceptions and misconceptions.

“Practice Development” is an overarching strategy to weave marketing and best business practices to enhance and increase the doctor’s reputation and practice. It bridges the navigation between attorney and doctor. 
“Marketing”  is the active implementation of those strategies for visibility.

The attorney’s perspective underlies two guiding questions:
Where and how will an attorney find the doctor?
What tools ensure that happens?

 

Comments:

1. “Expert” is a term of art, used interchangeably on this site with “Expert Witness” or “Medicolegal” consultant.

2. An attorney must provide their client with the best possible representation. This includes retaining a solidly qualified Expert in the appropriate discipline–if they know how to find that expert.

The first year Ms. Vaughan set a marketing plan and my forensic income quadrupled.  My practice continued to grow and thrive as a result of Ms. Vaughan’s expertise.

In addition, Ms. Vaughan assisted me with my forensic-relevant website. I recently searched in a private browser words involving psychiatry/ PTSD/ TBI expert witness and local cities and state. It is impossible to not see me. My website is mostly on the first page or 2nd page.

Sanjay Adhia, M.D.

Board-Certified Forensic Psychiatrist and Brain Injury Medicine Expert Witness, Adhia & Associates

Ms. Vaughan tailored a marketing strategy to the needs of my clientele. Many potential clients were “pre-sold” on retaining me as a result of her techniques. My billable forensic hours increased more than 50%. She developed a highly successful website. Ms. Vaughan has unusually diverse skills and developed practice procedures which improved efficiency and results.

Stephen M. Raffle, M.D.

Board-Certified Forensic Psychiatrist, Stephen M. Raffle, M.D. & Associates

Beryl’s background in both law and the day-to-day of medical expert practice is a great asset.  It helps inform us on what marketing practices actually reach attorneys. She has helped grow my forensic practice each year. 

Pia Quimson-Guevarra, DO

Board-Certified Forensic Psychiatrist, Private Forensic Practice and Quimson Behavioral Health

Thank you so much for talking to the Fellows. They found it very helpful!

I hope that we can call on you for future groups of fellows!

[Practice Development didactics to Forensic Psychiatry Fellows, 2020, 2021,  2022, 2023 and 2024]

Renee Binder, M.D.

Professor and Director of Psychiatry and Law Program, UCSF Medical School. Past President of the American Psychiatric Association

I would highly recommend Beryl’s services for people starting their own forensic psychiatry practices who need someone to explain how to set up a new practice, how to run it, and how to network.

Beryl helped me with optimizing my online profile in ways that were easy to understand and implement despite my initial lack of knowledge at the time.

She is very knowledgeable about how to advertise and acquire clients for my practice, which is appreciated as the methods for doing so are somewhat opaque when first starting out in the profession.

Beryl’s valuable skills include connecting her clients with other skilled professionals that can help them with their needs. She introduced me to a good editor for my reports who I extensively utilize to this day and also introduced me to an attorney with very specialized knowledge of my specific legal needs as a forensic psychiatrist. She even found a good photographer who helped me take professional photos for my website.

[Dr. Mendes has been a client for 2 years. We were first introduced when I presented to his Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at UC Davis in 2021 – Beryl Vaughan]

Kerry Mendes, MD

Board-Certified Forensic Psychiatrist and Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

frustrated lawyer

What Attorneys Say About Doctors

“It’s too hard to find the right expert witness.”

About 90% of attorneys tell me they often retain the first doctor who answers their call.

Frustration and pressure should not drive expert witness selection. Doctors who solve the dilemma means attorneys can make a wise and considered choice.

attorney and doctor expert witness overlap

Solutions

“Practice Development” begins with the attorney’s perspective.

  • Targetting the area of law that serves your goals.
  • Creating an online footprint. Being findable.  Read more.
  • Tap referral sources. We tread knowledgeably. Read more.
  • Personal outreach. Talking with attorneys in person, staying in your comfort zone. E.g., a Bar function, law firm presentation, email, on the phone, even in a snail mail card or note. Read more.
Frustrated Doctor with marketing

What Doctors Say

Marketing decisions are not intuitive.

There’s no roadmap for navigating ethical and productive waters.

Fielding attorney calls is tiring and time-consuming yet a silent phone is stressful.

Just like attorneys, doctors find the process to be an emotional drain.

 

Lawyer frustrated with Expert Witness bangs his head against the wall

What Attorneys Say About Doctors

“It’s too hard to find the right expert witness.”

About 90% of attorneys tell me they often retain the first doctor who answers their call.

Could frustration and pressure drive expert witness selection, not the attorney making a wise and considered choice?

It is my experience that when you change that experience, you will receive calls.

Frustrated Doctor with marketing

What Doctors Say

Marketing decisions are not intuitive.

There’s no roadmap for navigating ethical and productive waters.

Fielding attorney calls is tiring and time-consuming yet a silent phone is stressful.

Just like attorneys, doctors find the process to be an emotional drain.

 

attorney and doctor expert witness overlap

Solutions

“Practice Development” begins with the attorney’s perspective.

  • Targetting the area of law that serves your goals.
  • Creating an online footprint. Being findable.  Read more.
  • Tap referral sources, treading knowledgeably.  E.g. Read more.
  • Personal outreach. Bar functions, law firm presentations, email, phone, even in a snail mail card or note. Read more.

Announcements

Physician’s Guide to Doctoring

hosted by Dr. Bradley Block, MD

I was interviewed by Dr. Block about the right way to promote a medical expert witness practice.

  • “Advertising” vs. “practice development”
  • Building a reputation
  • The role of and best ethical features of a med-legal website
  • Dedicated clinical site vs. forensic site; Google SEO
  • Navigating the social media minefield, and more

Physician’s Guide to Doctoring is “a personal and professional development podcast for physicians. Dr. Bradley Block interviews experts who can teach us everything we should have been learning while we were memorizing Kreb’s Cycle.”  Physician’s Guide to Doctoring, YouTube Channel

woman owned business

Certified Woman-Owned Business

I am proud to Announce the WBENC has Certified my woman-owned business after a rigorous vetting process.

Announcements

Physician’s Guide to Doctoring” hosted by Dr. Bradley Block, MD

I was interviewed by Dr. Block about the right way to promote a medical expert witness practice.

  • “Advertising” vs. “practice development”
  • Building a reputation
  • The role of and best ethical features of a med-legal website
  • Dedicated clinical site vs. forensic site; Google SEO
  • Navigating the social media minefield, and more

Physician’s Guide to Doctoring is “a personal and professional development podcast for physicians. Dr. Bradley Block interviews experts who can teach us everything we should have been learning while we were memorizing Kreb’s Cycle.”  Physician’s Guide to Doctoring, YouTube Channel

woman owned business

Certified Woman-Owned Business

I am proud to Announce the WBENC has Certified my woman-owned business after a rigorous vetting process.

How Does This Work? Where Do We Start?

path to grow medical expert

Informal Call

Discuss your practice and goals, and my services. This is a 30 minute free consultation.

Ready to proceed?

Once you’ve retained me, we schedule a structured interview.

Structured Interview

Goal: tell me about your current practice and what drives you: in-depth.

Before we talk, I will look at your CV and research your footprint online as viewed by attorneys.

Which cases do you like? What is your experience so far? Was it fun, not fun?
Which cases might you like? I could open your eyes to cases on-point for your expertise.

I’ve done this a long time, I can help you stretch your imagination.

Gratifying features of your clinical practice. What’s frustrating? That helps put forensic practice in perspective.
Comfort level with writing reports or testimony, reviewing records, casual attorney consultations, providing non-disclosed expert consultation

Balance. Forensic work can complement clinical work while providing more flexibility. What’s important to you? Engaging cases? Time with your family? Income?
Setting an appropriate fee. What are you currently charging?
What are your long-term goals?

Strategy and options start with you as a person.

Recommendations and a game plan follow.

Even if you’ve been doing this awhile or are just starting out, acquiring cases has a marketing starting point. Complementary article Learn about a long-term game plan.

Constructing a Strategy

I synthesize all that I have learned from you and develop a plan of action.

Actionable steps
Budget and timeline
Place benchmarks to assess data and results

Get started

More to learn, on this site.

Beryl Vaughan, Marketing Consultant

Bio

Before I went out on my own as a consultant, I was mentored in Forensic Psychiatry by a highly regarded Forensic Psychiatrist and UCSF Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry.

I’m not a physician. Luckily, he was a good teacher.

I then mentored him in marketing and running a more profitable business.

We built a powerhouse practice that honored the guiding principles of ethical and legally sound forensic medicine.

Cases doubled in just a few years.  Exhilarating stuff.

I wanted to apply this experience to a variety of practices and doctors. Diverse needs and practices are engaging and that was the driver of my decision to go into business for myself.

Marketing the serious medicolegal practice is where I thrive. That enthusiasm and skill are how I help my clients succeed.

Where did I learn how attorneys think? I have worked with respected, high-profile attorneys and their high-profile clients in areas of law where you might be practicing.

Litigation, probate and estate planning, personal injury, and most areas of law where experts have a role.

Insight into your attorney-clients is the foundation of getting results for my medicolegal-clients.

Sidebar: Liberal Arts Are a Thing of Beauty. There’s no marketing without the tools of the trade: critical thinking and study of human behavior. Many decades ago I pursued 2 Degrees in the study of how people think, act, and why. Read more

CORE VALUES

Core Values: The Highest Ethical and Professional Standards

Ethical Marketing

I place the highest priority on ethical, legal, and best professional practices. That means truth and transparency from you to attorneys and between you and me.

Why?

Because you must be able to defend every facet of your practice and reputation, among peers and on the stand.

Educating What You Know is the Answer

That’s why I emphasize to my clients that their role is to educate attorneys and triers of fact. The heart of expert witness work is speaking to your strongest expertise and qualifications. This is what attorneys seek and juries need.  All marketing derives from that.

Marketing Isn’t a Dirty Word

To develop your practice ethically, it’s essential to understand preconceptions and misconceptions about “Advertising,” “Marketing,” and “Practice Development.” They are synonyms.

They all mean the same thing: attorneys can find you. Once they call about a case, you have the tools you need to determine if you are the right expert for the job.

 

[1] Forensic Psychiatry is the only medical Board-Certification requiring education with direct application to law.  Fewer than 4% of all Board-Certified Psychiatrists are Board-Certified in Forensic Psychiatry (about 2000 doctors)  and there are fewer than 390 ABPP Board-Certified Forensic Psychologists. There is no measurement about expert witnesses in other areas of medicine.
[2] CLE is the legal practice version of CME. CLE units are required to maintain a license to practice law.
[3] Brian K. Cooke, Emily R. Goddard, Tonia L. Werner, Erinn O. Cooke, Ezra E. H. Griffith, “The Risks and Responsible Roles for Psychiatrists Who Interact with the Media. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online Dec 2014, 42 (4) 459-468. 

I am dedicated to the advancement of professional research, and refinement of standards and guidelines in Forensic Psychiatry. I am a proud contributor to the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law’s AIER (Institute for Education and Research). 

More Ideas That Work…

Collaboration doubles your resources.

Connect with Attorneys in Real Life

I will teach you how to make personal contact to build real-life relationships with attorneys.

A meeting, a call, personal snail mail and emails (not mailings), seminars, and attending mutually interesting events.

Connection is marketing.  I guide you through concrete methods to introduce yourself to attorneys and build a referral base.

The most powerful relationships in life are human-to-human.

CV outdated

Online and Offline CV

A CV for medical-legal work is quite different from a CV in an academic or clinical setting, or simply to get a job.

I have reorganized many CVs for medical-legal practice purposes. A med-legal dedicated CV is a tool we can’t ignore.

Nuts and Bolts of Writing a Med-Legal CV: read more about the right way to layout a CV so attorneys are less frustrated and find what is most important first.  Read more about the Med-Legal CV. 

The “About” Page. The CV you add to a website usually appears on an “About” page and is abbreviated in a bio that might be on the Home page.

What’s found there mirrors your CV because it establishes credentials and is admissible on the stand. On a website, concepts and categories (“Education,” “Experience,” etc.) can be organized through the use of color and layout so it is visually engaging. One of the perks of a website, by the way. Read more about the “digital CV” as it appears on your website.

CV outdated

Online and Offline CV

A CV for medical-legal work is quite different from a CV in an academic or clinical setting, or simply to get a job.

I have reorganized many CVs for medical-legal practice purposes. A med-legal dedicated CV is a tool we can’t ignore.

Nuts and Bolts of Writing a Med-Legal CV: read more about the right way to layout a CV so attorneys are less frustrated and find what is most important first.  Read more about the Med-Legal CV. 

The “About” Page. The CV you add to a website usually appears on an “About” page and is abbreviated in a bio that might be on the Home page.

What’s found there mirrors your CV because it establishes credentials and is admissible on the stand. On a website, concepts and categories (“Education,” “Experience,” etc.) can be organized through the use of color and layout so it is visually engaging. One of the perks of a website, by the way.

cost forensic medical-legal practice psychiatry psychology charges fees

Business Consulting Services: Best-Practices for a Better Bottom Line

There is a right way and a wrong way to approach retention, billing, timekeeping, document management, even administrative communication. I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of doctors to create the foundation for business operations.

How you run your business respects your reputation, as it does an attorney’s budget and the demands of teir own clients. Good business practices also make your life easier. I work with attorneys you may need and other consultants in adjacent fields to help my clients when they need services outside my qualifications.

cost forensic medical-legal practice psychiatry psychology charges fees

Business Consulting Services: Best-Practices for a Better Bottom Line

There is a right way and a wrong way to approach retention, billing, timekeeping, document management, even administrative communication. I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of doctors to create the foundation for business operations.

How you run your business respects your reputation, as it does an attorney’s budget and the demands of teir own clients. Good business practices also make your life easier. I work with attorneys you may need and other consultants in adjacent fields to help my clients when they need services outside my qualifications.

cost forensic medical-legal practice psychiatry psychology charges fees

Budget

What’s this going to cost?

Once we’ve had the structured interview can help with an estimate based on a specific plan.

I won’t make a recommendation that I don’t think will benefit you.

I am knowledgeable about the costs associated with my recommendations, to help you determine a wise application of your budget.

Ultimately, cost is directed at the best return on your investment.

Tip: the most expensive options are not always the most effective. Free resources can be powerful sources of cases.

cost forensic medical-legal practice psychiatry psychology charges fees

Budget

What’s this going to cost?

Once we’ve had the structured interview can help with an estimate based on a specific plan.

I won’t make a recommendation that I don’t think will benefit you.

I am knowledgeable about the costs associated with my recommendations, to help you determine a wise application of your budget.

Ultimately, cost is directed at the best return on your investment.

Tip: the most expensive options are not always the most effective. Free resources can be powerful sources of cases.