ForensicExpertPro Practice Development for Expert WitnessesBeryl Vaughan, Consultant | Nationwide

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The Author and Bona Fides
Attorney whisperer Beryl Vaughan applies her skill to expanding an expert witness practice in forensic mental health fields. Her background is the perfect marriage of decades of experience in the legal field and forensic practice marketing.

12 years

Consulting with Forensic Experts to build and enhance a Reputable and Profitable Business. Special experience in Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology.


20 years

Lawyer-wrangling, case-wrangling.


30 years

Business development and Practice Management. Best practices. Return on Investment. Profitability. Efficiency and Hassle-reduction.


Cross-Over Analysis.

A Cross-Over Analysis includes research and interviews.

Our research focuses on what attorneys are finding out about you right now. Or is it nothing? At the most basic level, an old phone number alone can derail you.  But we look deeper into the public arena, because attorneys will.

Verbal and video interviews.  Talking with you verbally and, in some cases, in a video call is hand in hand with research and the most key element of building a strategy for you.

Developing your practice begins with being informed–both of us. 

Attorney’s Can Find You, Maximized.

Synthesis and momentum for visibility is real and calculated.  We find where you are and aren’t and craft a plan to uptick the “are.” It’s not a secret sauce, it’s a specialized sauce.
The fact is, what you bring to the trier of fact is as strong as your skill, experience, credentials and unique areas of practice.  No lawsuit is absent a psychological factor. Teach them and they will come. Attorneys need experts to address issues absent in their own expertise. Clinically significant psychiatric and psychological features may exist (or not).  When damages are claimed, an attorney needs the right expert. Is it you? 
Attorneys use paid and free services and platforms to find experts in your field, with your own brand of skill and experience about any relevant issue being adjudicated.  Is it a competency case, undue influence, criminal responsibility…are the concerns Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Personality Disorders? The list goes as far as your expertise reaches.

Spend Your Money Wisely. Our Experience Maximizing Return on Investment.


No, advertising or marketing are not a sign of greed.*  The idea that you are “above” advertising is an attitude that will cost you. Do you believe your professional acumen speaks for itself?

(a) Nothing you know “speaks for itself” when no one can hear what you have to say. In a word: Advertising is speaking up. We have the highest respect for best practices and ethical standards–and know them so you do not overstep.

(b) Advertising is another word for getting the word out–and sometimes paying for it. Google Adwords, for example, are those names that pop up at the top of a Google Search.  Do a search yourself. Much of the time the result will be a colleague.

(c) What if it comes up in testimony? What if I look greedy?  There are answers to this question that can shut it down–a little coaching to ensure confidence, not defensiveness goes a long way (more about coaching below.)

More about Expert Directories and Referral Services $0 – $$$$  
Expert referral services or directories are widely used by attorneys because they can  search by specialty and spot-on expertise.  Not all are helpful for you. Some referral resources do produce cases for your colleagues. Why not you?
Presentations and Multi-Media.  $0-[Your Hourly Rate Here]
Public speaking and multi-media presentations are powerful when topic and audience serve the marketing goal.  Your time is valuable. Spending it on your practice–paying yourself to do the essential marketing homework can pay you back at a handsome return.
We identify with your target clients and pursue presentation opportunities to improve your visibility, communicate your expertise, and use it to audition for forensic work.
Social Media, Used Judiciously. Social Media is not to be taken lightly, but it can be a case-producing resource.  
Social media is a minefield. On the one hand, it enlarges your online footprint or visibility. On the other, the wrong choice of social media can backfire–especially when you’re on the stand.  We help you understand the options and navigate for best effect.  If indicated, we craft our recommended Social Media accounts for our clients’ professional practice.

The world is full of places and methods attorneys use to find someone like you.  Let’s put our experience and imagination to your practice.

Business, Not as Usual:

Forensic work is not like other businesses. Ethical guidelines and the law impact day to day business decisions. This is an area of our own expertise. Forensic work is all well and good but business practices speak to goodwill with attorneys, repeat business, the impression you give, and, of course, income.

Billing.  Billing your work to render an objective opinion means there can be no negotiations, bargaining, wheeling or dealing.

Legal Staff.  You’re working with lawyers, staff with legal background may be value-added and worth extra cost. I would recommend against hiring a bookkeeper and a receptionist and calling it a day. Once a practice moves into a public office, this is the combination I see most often and it is woefully inadequate. Attorneys whose first contact is knowledgeable about what to ask if only to take a message learn immediately that your practice takes its medico-legal focus seriously.

Advertising is Not a Dirty Word, though it seems so to some forensic psychiatrists and other mental health experts. It isn’t.  Here’s why. You are making a living and it is essential attorneys can find the expert witness best suited to the elements of a case. This is justifiable in front of a jury, judge or at the moment in deposition that opposing counsel tries to grill you on this point.  I sometimes recommend a script to handle such questions with aplomb and confidence until it becomes more natural.  Newbies to the field are most likely to get stage fright. Yet another reason to hire a consultant to help you navigate such questions. (caveat: shameless self-promotion.)

Hiring a Marketing Consultant and Who Knows you Did.  A forensic psychiatrist I know did not want any reference to a marketing professional on his webpage, even as a stated webmaster. He did not want it known that he had hired a marketing expert. I call this the fear of “filthy lucre”* or the impression of greed and, thus, bias.  I see no reason not to follow this concern. Is it necessary? Not at all. Do what is comfortable for you. However, you handle it, get the marketing you need for a thriving practice.


What you know — about what’s important to an attorney.

Content=communication.  We start with learning in depth your professional strengths and goals.  We help you define the topics for most impactful material you can produce.


Any or all: Articles, case studies, social media posts (judiciously), video, interviews, audio, webinars– all can explain to attorneys about what you know, the quality of your presentation, and skill in your field.

What you know — about what’s important to an attorney.

What is Content? Any or all: Articles, case studies, social media posts (judiciously), video, interviews, audio, webinars– all can explain to attorneys about what you know, the quality of your presentation, and skill in your field.
The best content starts with learning, in depth, your professional strengths and goals, we define a focus for the impactful material you can produce. We get this from our Cross-Over Analysis.

Coaching, Training, Communication Skills-Building

Your communication style directly impacts professional success. We help you improve. Our coaching services and developed plans of action are designed to increase your own unique professional impression and delivery of services.

An Attorney-Centric Website
(Hint, Many of Your Colleagues Don’t have a Website at All)

Most forensic psychiatrists and psychologists don’t have website. 
  1. Be the expert that can be found.
  • If your website speaks to attorneys specifically, the path between expert and retention is shortened.
  • Your website must be tailored to display the forensic expertise you bring to the judicial table for maximum impacton your practice.  
  • Defining your own practice-unique website content is the #2 skill we bring to our client’s marketing strategy.  (Yes, #1 will be revealed.)
  • A website is 100% your own; you control communication of your expertise, and it’s working for you 24 hours a day. There’s no better resourceMore

Real Life

Personal outreach builds real-life relationships with attorneys. A meeting, a call, personal emails (not mailings), seminars, attending mutually interesting events.  There’s a reason Personal Outreach is last on this list. Everything above lays the groundwork. The goal is for attorneys to find the path to you both smooth and distinct from other experts. Our goal is to make that first introduction leap towards retention easily and quickly.

There’s no substitute for face-to-face human contact.

*”Filthy Lucre.”  “Money, especially when gained in a dishonest or dishonorable way.”

Oxford English Dictionary

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