How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32008
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Dwayne B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi, I am a pro se plaintiff in a legal malpractice case. I

This answer was rated:


I am a pro se plaintiff in a legal malpractice case.

I am pro se because my attorney just quit.

The case is far along. It's in Maryland (Rockville).

I also have a family law expert witness to whom I have paid a great deal of money, but he is saying that he, too, is quitting, because my attorney has withdrawn from the case.

At the end, they were more advocates for each other (trying to get more money) than advocates for me.

Question 1: Is the family law expert witness (who has already issued a preliminary opinion that is favorable to me) allowed to bail on me at this point, after I have paid him a lot of money?

Is this breach of contract?

Ethical violation?

Question 2: If the family law expert witness bails, can I still use his expert witness report at trial?

Question 3: If the family law expert witness in fact winds up bailing on me, am I allowed to designate a replacement? (There is a pre-trial conference on August 13, and the Track 4 trial is scheduled for December 6).

Question 4: If the family law expert refuses to be deposed by the opposing side (which has asked me to coordinate a date for deposition), will this hurt my case?

Question 5: As a pro se counsel, am I allowed to depose the opposing side?

Incidentally, I think I can remain pro se until the trial (discovery is almost completed), but have no intention of actually going to trial representing myself.

I will tip you fairly if you can answer my questions.


What do you mean by a "family law expert witness"? What are they exactly and what are they rendering an opinion on?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.



It's a legal malpractice case involving a divorce.


Our central claim is that the attorney failed to litigate the central issue in the divorce--the dissipation of $2.5 million in partly marital assets.


Our family law expert's report states that he believes the defendant (attorney in the case) breached the standard of care by not litigating this dissipation at trial (even though I had repeatedly requested that he do so).


Does that answer your question?





Not quite. Is the family law expert an attorney? Has he already been paid his fee?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The family law expert is indeed an attorney.

Officially, his contract was with my attorney.

However, I paid him, utlimately tens of thousands of dollars.

(He recently tried to get my attorney to convince me to ante up an additional $20,000 so that he could review more stuff.)

Does that help answer your question?

Please take your time and let me know if you have additional questions.

I appreciate your questions, which suggest that you're really trying to get your arms around this and give me quality answers.

I'll be fair to you.


1) The question of what the expert can do isn't going to be form because he is acting in the role of an expert as opposed to a lawyer, but it is kind of mixed. I personally think there is an ethical conflict if he has taken a bunch of money and you are willing to pay him for his time. I think he would lose in a complaint filed against him. I also think it is a breach of contract.

2) No, you won't be able to use his expert report because it is hearsay and not admissible.

3) You should be allowed to get a replacement for the expert, if you can convince the court it is not your fault.

4) If the family law expert refuses to be deposed then they will not let him testify.

5) I'm not sure what you are asking, but if you are asking if you can depose the other party then yes you can, you would also be allowed to depose witnesses, but not the attorneys for the other side.

Thank you for allowing me to assist you. I believe I have answered all of the questions you asked so I would request that you please click the ACCEPT button so I receive credit for my work and leave feedback if you have a chance. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. Please remember that we can only base our answers on the information you provide and sometimes a misunderstanding as to what you are looking for or already know occurs so feel free to ask additional questions. Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information. You should always contact a local attorney for legal advice.

Several customers have asked how they direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to provide information for you just put “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line and I will pick up the next time I am online.

Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32008
Experience: Began practicing law in 1992
Dwayne B. and 12 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan

Meet The Experts:

  • Tina



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • JPEsq's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • FiveStarLaw's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.

Related Legal Questions