Digging Up Dirt on Experts
Information from the presentation by
Expert Witness Directories
Online expert witness directories allow a researcher to find specialists with specific expertise. Most are free to the end user. Experts pay a fee to list their information. Many bar associations now include online expert witness directories.
Rominger Legal (www.romingerlegal.com/expert/allcategories.html)
JurisPro Expert Witness Directory (www.jurispro.com/expertList.asp)
The Internet Directory of Expert Witnesses (www.ExpertWitness.com)
Internet Legal Resource Guide: Expert Testimony & Consultant Resources (www.ilrg.com/experts_ref.html)
The National Directory of Expert Witnesses (www.national- experts.com)
SEAK Expert Witness Directory (http://www.seakexperts.com)
Also see Jim Robinson, Finding and Researching Expert Witnesses on the Web, LLRX.com, October 1, 2002 (http://www.llrx.com/features/findingexperts.htm).
General Internet Research Tools
LawCrawler (http://lawcrawler.findlaw.com) Searches legal information
Dogpile (http://www.dogpile.com) searches Google, Yahoo!, AskJeeves, and Overture. Meta-search engines scan other major search engines and then list the top results based on statistical findings.
Search Engine Comparison Chart (http://www.llrx.com/features/searchenginechart.htm)
Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com) Human-powered directories depend on an editorial review of listings
The Invisible Web
Search engine experts estimate that the most popular search engines fail to index (locate) 70-75 percent of Internet pages. Inquisitive researchers need to look at other sites to find information besides search engines.
See Marcus P. Zillman, Deep Web Research 2005, LLRX.com, January 17, 2005 (http://www.llrx.com/features/deepweb2005.htm).
Scientific Associations & Societies
Associations Unlimited Database (http://www.gale.cengage.com/DirectoryLibrary/GML33507EA %20GDL.pdf), commonly called the Encyclopedia of Associations, contains detailed descriptions of 135,000 membership organizations in all fields. This database is available online through many university library sites and can also be accessed through many public libraries with a valid library card number. It is also available on Westlaw.
DMOZ (http://www.dmoz.org/Science/Organizations/Associations/), DMOZ is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It was historically known as the Open Directory Project (ODP).
Wikipedia has a catagory dedicated to scientific societies. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Scientific_societies)
University sites will often include articles, presentations, dissertations, and theses written by professors and students. This information may be removed from the visible site but is still accessible by searching the site itself. An inquisitive researcher can also find a specific faculty member's curriculum vitae that would not be found on a search engine.
The advanced search function on Google (www.google.com/advanced_search) can restrict a search to the contents of specific university sites.
A centralized list of colleges and universities with links to their home pages has been established on the University of Florida site. (www.clas.ufl.edu/au).
University of Texas at Austin also maintains a list of colleges and university that can by sorted alphabetically or by state. (http://www.utexas.edu/world/univ/alpha/).
Educational credentials can be verified for a fee at National Student Clearinghouse (http://www.studentclearinghouse.org).
The System for Award Management (SAM) (https://www.sam.gov) is combining federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance into one new system. This consolidation is being done in phases. The first phase of SAM includes the functionality from the following systems:
Doctors & Healthcare Facilities
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations site (http://www.qualitycheck.org/consumer/searchQCR.aspx) contains a directory of HMOs, hospitals, medical laboratories, behavioral healthcare facilities (chemical dependency centers and developmental disability facilities), assisted living facilities, and office-based surgeons.
MedlinePlus (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/directories.html) provides links to directories to help you find libraries, health professionals, services and facilities.
Pending & Litigated Lawsuits
To determine if an expert is a party in a lawsuit, try the following sites: PACER Case Locator (https://www.pacer.gov/pcl.html) federal courts, updated daily, fee based and Justia’s Federal District Court Filings & Dockets (http://dockets.justia.com) federal cases, free search.
Experts often do not realize that their prior testimony may be available for review by the opposing party in a future case. This can be useful for impeachment purposes and to track trends, such as an expert's tendency to testify for a certain law firm.
Atkinson Baker Court Reporters (www.depo.com) has over 100,000 deposition transcripts archived. The service will not search for past testimony from specific experts, but it will provide archived transcripts if the case is known by the researcher.
The Defense Research Institute (www.dri.org), a membership association concerned with the defense of civil actions, provides archived depositions for its members.
American Association for Justice (https://www.justice.org/) provides more than 22,000 archived depositions.
An information-sharing network of defense firms, corporations, and government entities called Expert Research On Demand (www.idex.com) allows defense attorneys to access deposition transcripts. The Idex site contains a database of over 800,000 records of expert involvement and full text copies of an expert's testimony. Fee based.
Plaintiff attorneys have created TRIALSmith (https://www.trialsmith.com/TS/), which contains 175,000 deposition transcripts. Partner associations include 48 state trial organizations (all states and the District of Columbia, except Illinois, North Dakota, and South Dakota). Briefs, pleadings, verdicts, settlements, and other information are also available on the site. Generally, a fee-based subscription is required.
Though curricula vitae can be located on the Internet, frequently experts will omit some published works. There are, however, a variety of sources where an inquisitive researcher can go to find sources where the expert has been published or quoted.
Gale's Academic OneFile (http://www.gale.cengage.com/PeriodicalSolutions/academicOnefile.ht m is the best source for the full text of peer reviewed journals in all scientific disciplines. Work with your library to obtain access.
Westlaw (www.westlaw.com), LexisNexis (www.lexis.com), and HeinOnline
MagPortal.com (www.magportal.com) Searches approximately 150 online magazines and newsletters. Not all articles from each of the listed periodicals are necessarily indexed. Only those articles that are freely available online are included.
PubMed (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi) A service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the site includes over 15 million citations for biomedical articles dating back to the 1950s. Citations include links to sites that include full-text articles and come from MEDLINE as well as assorted life science journals.
Social Science Research Network (http://www.ssrn.com) disseminates academic research and encourages early distribution of research results prior to article official publication in journals.
IngentaConnect (www.ingentaconnect.com) Contains a collection of academic and professional publications with over 18 million articles, chapters, and reports. Site searches more than 29,000 publications.
ISI Highly Cited (http://www.isihighlycited.com) provides biographical profiles of the research professionals who are among the most cited individuals from 1989 forward across 21 subject areas.
To find a comprehensive list of books authored by an expert a researcher should visit WorldCat (http://www.worldcat.org, the online catalog of the Library of Congress (http://catalog.loc.gov), or Amazon.com (www.amazon.com).
Newspapers frequently seek comments from specialists about topical issues, comments which can later be used by a resourceful opposing party. A newspaper that has published a quote by an expert often has used the expert in the past. A diligent researcher can refer to the newspaper and utilize its search function to find earlier published quotes or other relevant information about an expert.
ProQuest Newsstand (http://www.proquest.com/products- services/newsstand.html>) is a subscription service that archives articles from over 1600 news sources, including 1170 different newspapers. Work with your library to obtain access.
Google News (http://news.google.com) has a searchable database of 4,500 news sources.
Newslink (http://newslink.org) The site has links to major newspapers, radio and television stations, and selected magazines. It also links to a limited number of international newspapers.
ThePaperboy.com (www.thepaperboy.com) Based in Australia, the site links to both domestic and international newspapers, including small regional papers. A searchable index allows a user to find newspapers within a specific geographic region.
Listserv Lists, Bulletin Boards, Blogs & More
Many experts share information and theories on Internet bulletin boards and mailing lists (frequently called listservs). These sources may not be found utilizing standard search engines yet they could contain information that the opposing party in a case can locate. Communications between experts and attorneys are available for free viewing on such boards.
Legal organizations and sites such as the American Association for Justice (www.justice.org) (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) and FindLaw (http://lp.findlaw.com) offer listserv lists for lawyers.
Google Groups (https://groups.google.com) provides discussion groups on a vast majority of topics.
FORENS-L is an electronic discussion group initially designed for forensic scientists that has members in the legal, academic, and scientific communities. Subscribing is free and can be done by sending a mail message to email@example.com. The subject line is left blank and the text of the message should read: subscribe forens-l [your name].
Yippy (http://blogs.yippy.com) is a metasearch tool that scans other blog search engines and delivers the results in an organized hierarchy.
Experts might post their curricula vitae, resumes or profiles on networking websites such as Linkedin (http://www.linkedin.com). Other networking resources for posting business profiles include Ryze (http://www.ryze.com) and the popular personal profiling website Facebook (http://www.facebook.com).
The National Association of State Jury Verdict Publishers (< href="http://www.juryverdicts.com" target="blank">http://www.juryverdicts.com) publishes state-specific civil jury verdict case summaries in weekly and monthly newsletters. The summaries highlight the case name/number, venue, judge, trial attorneys, expert witnesses, and include a paragraph outlining the factual and legal allegations. The site includes a free directory of more than 25,000 experts who have testified in civil jury trials across the United States in the last five years, found at http://www.juryverdicts.com/experts/index.html.
In addition to subscriber services such as Westlaw and Lexis, the following resources compile a variety of information available from public records (generally, for a fee) or provide links to public records: