|VIDEO| How to Avoid the Key Pitfall Attys Face When Working With Medical Experts

Posted by Courtroom View Network on Aug 25, 2023 3:00:05 PM

Dr. Burton Bentley discusses how one question can help measure a medical expert's engagement level.  Watch the full deep dive on Winning the Battle of the Experts below.

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Trials often turn on the proverbial “battle of the experts,” with medical experts frequently at the heart of those debates. However, problems can arise along the way — from missed deadlines to surprise testimony and out-of-control billing — that undermine the odds of winning those crucial battles. And all of those problems typically stem from one root issue, according to a leading authority on the intersection of medicine and the law.

“The common thread is nearly always communication,” Burton Bentley II, M.D., said during the video discussion Winning the Battle of the Medical Experts.

“It’s misunderstandings that crop up in cases. The legal team has their journey. They’re trying to push this case forward and win it in the end. The expert has their journey: they’re a busy physician, surgeon, who thinks medical/legal work is pretty interesting and is getting involved," Dr. Bentley said.

“But those journeys don’t necessarily align,” and can ultimately create a host of issues that can scuttle an otherwise strong case.

Dr. Bentley said an attorney can quickly measure a potential expert's level of engagement, as well as establish a strong foundation for positive communication, with one key question. 

“Once you’ve spoken to an expert and he’s pretty sure he’s going to go forward, you can very casually say, ‘Hey Doc, let me grab your cell [number], and I’ll give you mine, so if you’re stuck, or I’m stuck or anything, I can shoot you a text…’ and just pause and see what happens.” Dr. Bentley advised.

“The thought is: someone who is willing to do that is someone who is ready to be engaged."

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That quick tip is just one piece of advice among many that Dr. Bentley shares in a wide-ranging discussion on how attorneys can best select and work with their experts for trial success. In Winning the Battle of the Medical Experts, Dr. Bentley details aligning expectations, witness preparation, avoiding surprise billing, and more. 

His advice is drawn from more than a decade of experience as founder and CEO of Elite Medical Experts, one of the nation’s preeminent firms aligning top-tier medical experts with trial teams across the country. 

And it’s Dr. Bentley’s insistence on Elite’s unique approach that has built its stellar reputation in the industry. Elite is not a directory of medical experts or a referral service. Instead, Dr. Bentley and his team work with attorneys in-depth, analyzing a case’s specific needs and circumstances, before hand-selecting the most appropriate, top-tier experts from around the country to address those needs.

It’s an approach that goes far beyond an expert’s qualifications, and instead analyzes each dimension of a particular case with an eye toward selecting the ideal, authoritative spokesperson that can best work with attorneys and tell that case’s story. 

“Not only are we taking the time to understand the global elements of the case, but I’m looking at the strategic elements. I’m looking at the tactical elements. And then I’m looking almost in a central-casting role: who’s best to tell this story?” Dr. Bentley said. “Not in a spurious way — not [simply] getting an opinion out of someone, but [asking] 'Who is the best voice?' Because ultimately that’s what an expert is, the person who is telling your story on the stand and educating the trier-of-fact.”

And when it comes time to make recommendations, Elite's decisions are informed by in-depth interviews with potential experts and a detailed analysis of how well any prospect will align with Elite and the trial team on a given case. That's all with an eye toward avoiding those critical communication problems and everything that stems from them along the way.

"Through an interview process, that's where we can take the time to understand [an expert's] engagement, bandwidth, temperament, and truthfully, [ask] is this someone I enjoy, or my team enjoys speaking with," Dr. Bentley says. "Is that the person I want out there telling the story for our client?"

Those hand-selected experts are among the best in their respective fields, with Elite focusing on university experts — noted authorities who both teach and practice medicine every day. 

“What I love is that they are the standard of care because they’re teaching the next generation. It’s hard to argue that what they’re doing is not the standard,” Dr. Bentley said. “Board-certified, full-time practicing [experts], in the trenches every day in that exact domain, with impeccable credentials. 

“That gets you off to a pretty good start in a battle.”

The Elite approach has been relied upon by thousands of trial teams around the country and across more than 14,000 cases spanning the gamut of litigation. Now, for a limited time, Elite is offering $500 off your first expert placement, if you mention CVN.

To learn more about Elite and how it can be your partner in hand-aligning expert witnesses with your case, visit You can also email Dr. Bentley directly to discuss your case at

Simply mention CVN to receive a discount on your first placement. 

Watch Winning the Battle of the Medical Experts:

Related information

Watch Winning the Battle of the Medical Experts on CVN's YouTube channel.

Visit Elite Medical Experts to learn more and mention CVN for $500 off of your first expert placement.