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Chapter 2 : How the Process Starts
Two actions are necessary to become an expert witness. The expert witness must clearly identify his subject area and then let the legal community know about his/her availability. The first should be determined by the expert’s education, training, and experience. The more specific this area is, the more valuable the expert witness will be. Another very effective method is to have a website describing oneself. The activity is initiated by the attorney or someone in his office and may be in the form of a letter, an e-mail, or a phone call to the potential expert witness. The expert witness can use a number of ways to inform the legal community of his/her availability. These include listing oneself in one or more databases and publications of expert witnesses that are available to attorneys, and listing oneself without cost in many of the popular general search engines such as Google and Yahoo. This chapter suggests methods of how an attorney can obtain scientific information about hospital-acquired Legionnaires’ disease for a patient diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.