Practice Development for Medical Expert Witnesses
Beryl Vaughan, Consultant
Email email@example.com or Call (415) 302-9589
Growing Med-Legal Practices for More Than a Decade
Expert Witness Work Behind the Scenes
I learned my marketing craft in 2007, when I joined the practice of a veteran Forensic Psychiatrist and Expert Witness, as a practice and marketing manager.
I was mentored by one of the best. He did not, however, at first, have the volume of work he desired, or a marketing program grounded in this century.
I changed that, building a strategy that doubled the bottom line almost immediately.
I now get to experience these results for others.
Knowing how lawyers think
Long before I began consulting to medical expert witnesses, I worked in law for decades as a case manager in the trenches with some of the most successful attorneys in San Francisco, at top white shoe and boutique law firms.*
As the point person for lawyers’ high-profile clients in the arts, film, and finance, the work was compelling, and stakes high.* What I learned:
The right expert is a necessity.
Finding that person is and was a deeply frustrating task to attorneys.
Changing that equation is what makes my marketing “secret sauce” effective.
Why I Do This Work
Cases circle the negotiating table or go to Court, usually in that sequence.
Whatever the outcome, everyone benefits from a more thorough understanding of medically compelling matters: Jury, Judge, Counsel in Court and in settlement talks. That is why I am committed to introducing the best medical expert witnesses into the legal environment.
What I Tell My Clients Every Day
Marketing is the anticipation of a need, and presenting an easy solution. For attorneys, the problem is (a) learning what specialty knowledge is needed for the facts of a case and (b) figuring out who has that knowledge with medical-legal expertise.
Every Expert has something to offer. Most are impossible to find.
Every day, we change that.
–Beryl Vaughan, Med-Legal Marketing Consultant
Who Are My Clients?
Medical-Legal Forensic Expert Witnesses across the United States.
My clients include physicians in multiple specialties: Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatry, Forensic Psychology, Neuropsychology, LMFT, Emergency Medicine, Cardiology, Physiatry, Pain Medicine, Brain Injury Medicine, PM&R, Rehabilitation & Injury Recovery specialists, Medical Educators, thought leaders, Hospital Policymakers, and Clinic Medical Directors. They are based and testified in Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Oregon, Virginia, Alaska, Georgia, New Mexico, Louisiana, Washington, Idaho, Oklahoma, Montana, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, South Carolina, US Virgin Islands, Florida and more.
Initially, I worked with Board-Certified Forensic Psychiatrists and Forensic Psychologists because of the legal focus of their training. Such training has lessons for physicians in any practice.
Own with pride how you are perceived.
That’s why I collaborate, rather than take over.
I am committed to the practice of medical-legal specialization at the highest level of ethical and professional practice. It is the only way to build a practice in a medical and legal environment.
I only accept clients who take these values as seriously as I do.
Commitment to Medical and Legal Advancement
- American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Forensic Psychiatry research branch, AIER, Donor.
- San Francisco Bar Association, Member as a professional adjunct, non-lawyer.
Clients reported developing a stellar reputation, and growth in billable forensic hours and cases, maintained and increasing year after year. Their practice survives in the face of a fluctuating client base.
The first year Ms. Vaughan set a marketing plan, my forensic income quadrupled. My professional reputation has grown. My practice income this year is already 3x our first year working together. I expect my practice will continue to thrive as a result of Ms. Vaughan’s expertise. I recommend her highly.
Digital Presence: Kick-Starts a Practice
Real Life Techniques: Build Personal Relationships
Relationships = Cases = Success
Internet = Lifeblood
Master your online footprint. It is unique for a forensic Expert Witness and distinct from a solely-clinical practitioner.
90% of Attorneys tell my clients firsthand their call originated from the internet.
Develop and deliver your reputation on the “largest” screen in the world–a computer monitor or phone on your own terms.
I’ll help you navigate this world and combat a common fear of the unknown.
FYI, a website is necessary but is not the only feature of the internet “message” of the Expert. It’s bigger than that.
Expert Witnesses are specialists who often practice in a niche. Search engines are the #1 method used by attorneys to look for experts. Unique knowledge among an Expert Witness is hard to find. A Website helps attorneys.
Google, DuckDuckGo and Bing are the largest search engines in the world. How do you fare? Look yourself up on each to know what attorneys find.
1st and 2nd page results for are reported by my clients sooner than others in the field. This can include a website link to your CV or a Contact source. This is called SEO; SEO for an Expert Witness in medicine is applied unlike a generic ‘e-commerce plug and play’ method. Done appropriately, attorneys find you. (Check out the Glossary)
We know that being on page 4 is great if you’re the very first bona fide expert in your field to be listed.
Professionally Appropriate Website Design
Attorneys can’t find you if they…can’t find you. And you absolutely MUST control what they learn about you, or risk a challenge on the stand.
I didn’t get into this business to build websites. Until I found sites with grievous “errors”: out of compliance with the medical-legal world–and laws that govern it.
My clients aren’t going to make those mistakes.
1. Your website is 100% under your control.
2. Your website is often the first point of contact between an attorney and “you” (your CV, your bio, your knowledge-base.)
3. Material on the site is defensible on the stand.
4. Content meets the highest professional ethical standards.
3. Unique expertise is highlighted, never hidden.
4. Informative articles, portraits, and imagery underline what is asserted.
Attorneys have given me and my clients firsthand feedback about how well a site communicates about the expert, and ease of use. References available; don’t take my word for it. Just ask firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting to Know You
Once I know you, I can introduce you to attorneys in a digital environment. I develop “experience profiles,” – bios – to introduce my clients on those proven marketing platforms where attorneys find experts.
New work, the old-fashioned way
Your existing clients can be your best resource.
Something as simple as a handwritten note, for example, is old-fashioned and carries an intimacy that digital marketing alone never will.
Similarly, a presentation to a Bar Association is more effective than a Contact Us form on a website.
Proven outreach can reinvigorate your dormant relationships with attorneys.
The strongest connection is in the real world and personal.
Practice Methods that Attorneys Appreciate
Repeat business, goodwill, and attorney loyalty is promoted by a case management system, and best business practices in med-legal.
Everything has to hold up to medical-legal opinions with relevance during, for eample, Discovery and cross-examination.
Be mindful of your bottom line. without sacrificing integrity.
I work with you to develop business practices, handling callers, timekeeping, even billing protocol to improve your client relationships and work smarter.
The Most Effective Environments
Do you know the most effective and client-rich environments?
I guide my clients in the thoughtful use of the internet, navigating Expert Witness Directories, free online services, paid online services, the very conservative use of Social Media, and non-internet methods to communicate with attorneys.
My clients tell me about the financial benefits they enjoy supported by online exposure beyond a website (or social media morass.)
Expert Witness promotion is more conservative and specific than ecommerce. It guides all recommendations.
Teaching You to Teach Attorneys What They Want to Know
Writing and speaking are excellent forms of public education. In person or online, Attorneys enjoy learning what you have to say, once I identify the intersection of law with your expertise. I pinpoint
- In-person outreach you can make to your local legal community.
- Curating writing topics that resonate with attorneys.
- Focused and strategic content for a legal reader online, and the places where that content will get attention.
For example, one client is an expert in non-traditional families; I identified a niche for attorneys to understand atypical loss of consortium. Another is Board-Certified in 3 medical specialties. We showcased his expertise with fascinating case studies where overlapping medical expertise was necessary.
Over 20 years at respected law firms: Sideman & Bancroft; Arnold & Porter / San Francisco Powerhouse Howard, Rice; Dudnick, Detwiler, Rivin & Stikker, LLP; Greene, Radovsky/Fox Rothschild; Shartsis Friese, and more. Case Manager and Paralegal. Special experience in probate litigation, personal injury, estates, trusts, and tax, civil litigation, real estate, contracts.
Member, Bar Association of San Francisco, Non-Lawyer member.
Digital visual master: Photography and digital graphic design with Photoshop, video and audio software, Adobe Illustrator. Anti-head-shot Art Director. Multi-media specialist.
Research guru: Data-mining. Training. Educator. Bona fides can be found in my CV.
BA, Magna Cum Laude, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences.
BA, Magna Cum Laude, in Women’s Studies.
California State Secondary Education Teaching Credential. San Francisco State University.
I use these skills every single day on behalf of my clients.