Expert Article Library
Cross-Examination Questions - and Answers - About Your Advertising
By Rosalie Hamilton, Expert Communications
More articles by Rosalie Hamilton:
Do I Need a Contract?
Eliminate Expensive and Ineffective Marketing
Expert Witness Marketing - What, Who, and Why
How to Write an Introductory Letter
The Expert CV Checklist
Top 10 Tips for Marketing Your Expert Witness Practice
Your Competitive Advantage
Some experts are understandably wary of advertising. I see some forensic advertising that I consider objectionable, advertising that a skilled attorney could use to impeach an expert witness. On the other hand, the mere fact that one advertises is not objectionable. Advertising, in and of itself, is not the basis of being viewed as a "hired gun." That results, instead, from the prostituting of oneself by manipulating the facts and opinions to provide a desired conclusion.
If you are concerned about how you will look when answering questions about marketing your expert services, remember that the attorney grilling you is probably listed in local, state, and national bar association publications; Martindale-Hubbell(c) attorney directory; local, state, and national legal magazines and newspapers; the Yellow Pages; and his child's athletic booster directory. As was the judge when he practiced law as an attorney!
Do *not* take the questioning personally. Your responses to the questions, rather than the questions themselves, will determine the attitude of jurors and even judges toward you. Practice maintaining your poise and responses to emotion-loaded questions.
Successful experts say they let questions about their advertising "bother them all the way to the bank." They have found that questions regarding advertising comprise only one of many issues on the cross-examination list and are not a problem when answered simply and truthfully.
A while back I received the following inquiry regarding this issue:
"When lawyers start to beat up on me about the advertising, I'd like to have a few graceful and effective responses to defuse the issue. I realize that the expert's manner and tone in responding to questions of this type are critical and I have no problem in that sphere. I'm at a bit of a loss in terms of artfully phrasing the responses. Form is fine--could use some help with content. Could you advise?" I am sharing my reply with you, our readers, because I think it addresses concerns common to many of you in expert consultant practices:
Here are a few examples of questions you might encounter and suggestions of possible answers (Note: This is not a consecutive line of questioning):
Note: Questions about the *content* of advertising is a different subject and will be covered in a future article. Also, remember that advertising is only one of many parts of marketing.
Rosalie Hamilton is President of Expert Communications, a firm that provides marketing solutions for client base expansion to professionals serving the legal industry. A frequent speaker at litigation-related professional conferences, her articles on the subject of legal marketing appear in numerous online and print publications. She is the author of The Expert Witness Marketing Book, and is a regular columnist for Expert News, a free monthly newsletter for expert consultants, published by Expert Communications, www.expertcommunications.com.
Copyright 2007. Expert Communications. All rights reserved. Reprinted with Permission.