Leading injury and malpractice firm Bostwick & Peterson has recovered more than $750 million in verdicts and settlements during their more than 45 years of practice. The firm’s attorneys James Bostwick, member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, Erik Peterson, 10-year Northern California “Super Lawyer,” and Blake Bostwick, member of the San Francisco Trial Lawyer Association, have received many accolades for both their talent in the courtroom and their commitment to clients. Although these powerhouse attorneys make winning look easy, securing substantial financial compensation for their clients can be an uphill battle. Often times, their malpractice cases involve high-profile defendant universities that few experts are willing to testify against.
Bostwick & Peterson has always stressed the importance of sourcing new experts so as not to overuse the same professionals. For years, the firm’s standard technique for finding their experts involved spending enormous amounts of time calling all over the country trying to convince qualified professionals to review their case. “We have literally spent hundreds of hours, sometimes months, finding a highly qualified expert willing to review the file with no guarantee they will conclude the case is meritorious,” admitted James Bostwick, Partner at Bostwick & Peterson.
Even references from their colleagues weren’t sufficient to meet the firm’s needs. “We also relied heavily on our colleagues’ successful searches. As a consequence, often our good experts who were willing to review became overused and less effective.” Fearing potentially negative reactions from the jury during trials, the firm avoided calling on an expert referral service for assistance. But after taking on a few cases that required particularly challenging searches, Bostwick & Peterson decided to give Expert Institute a try.
With Expert Institute’s custom expert searches and Case Clinics, the firm was able to retire their roster of overused experts and left the days of endless searching for experts behind. Expert Institute’s custom expert witness searches allowed the firm to retain actively-practicing professionals who could speak to the nuances of the case facts, rather than simply working with ‘hired guns’ from a roster. “What we liked about Expert Institute’s approach was the fact they acted as our agent and the expert was not part of a ‘stable,’” said Mr. Bostwick. “We had an opportunity to talk to [the experts] about the case and only would agree to use them if they fit our needs.”
The firm was also able to overcome trepidation about pursuing meritorious cases with Expert Institute’s Case Clinics, which allow attorneys to consult in-house physicians to review medical files, validate the merits of a case, or develop new case theories. “We appreciated the way [Expert Institute] learned the medical issues and searched just for experts that fit the needs of the case.”
Since signing up for the Partnership Program, Bostwick & Peterson has exclusively used Expert Institute to find witnesses for all their case needs. “The quality of our experts has improved, and we have much more time to devote to case preparation and trial.”
In a recent case against a top-tier university doctor, Bostwick & Peterson used Expert Institute’s custom searches to score a record settlement. “Several experts we knew either said there was no case or that they couldn’t become involved because of national medical politics.” Convinced there was a meritorious case at hand, the firm called on Expert Institute and consulted 25 custom-recruited experts, three of whom agreed to testify. After the depositions of all three experts, the case settled for a record amount in the state where it was pending.
We no longer do our own searches and only use Expert Institute to find witnesses for all our expert needs. The quality of our experts has improved, and we have much more time to devote to case preparation and trial.