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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 85790
Experience:  Licensed Attorney. Over 20 years experience in personal injury and law enforcement.
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Witness subpoena fees letter needs review. Hello, I am a general

Resolved Question:

Witness subpoena fees letter needs review. Hello, I am a general dentist in IL who has received a witness subpoena to appear in court for a trial where a patient is suing another dentist. I have drafted a letter of engagement to the plaintiff to compensate me for the time I will be spending to appear in court. Need someone to review this letter and provide feedback. Let me know if you are willing to chat and I can paste the draft letter in the chat window. Thanks.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Please let us know specifically the information you are seeking in addition to pasting the letter in your reply.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I need some feedback on this letter I drafted. Also, should I make the assumption that a non-response from the Plaintiff signifies consent of the charges or should it be that he must agree in writing. I am afraid that he might not respond, yet I have to respond to the subpoena or I will be in contempt of court. Here is my draft letter:


 


 


 


 


Dear [insert patient name]


 


This letter confirms that you have summoned me to serve as an expert witness in connection with the following matter:


[insert case name], Case No. [insert case number], pending before the 18th Judicial Circuit Court for the County of Dupage, IL.


 


This letter confirms our agreement that I will provide such services to you as an independent professional. Payment to me for the services I provide is not dependent upon my findings, nor on the outcome of any legal action, mediation, arbitration, or the amount or terms of any settlement of the underlying legal cause, nor on any contractual arrangement between you and any other person or party.


 


You agree to compensate me for services rendered as follows:



Fees for my services: Except as outlined herein, I shall be paid by you at the rate of $300.00 per hour, with a minimum non-refundable charge of $1200, for all tasks performed under this agreement, including but not limited to analysis, calculations, conclusions, preparation of reports, and necessary travel time. Fees will be billed by the tenth of an hour, with a minimum charge for any discrete task of two tenths of an hour. For testimony at deposition or trial, I shall be paid at the rate of $400.00 per hour, to be billed in hourly increments. This rate for testimony shall apply both while I am waiting to give testimony, whether at an office or court, and for time taken for breaks or meals, as well as for time spent actually giving testimony.


 


Additionally, you agree to reimburse me for expenses as follows:



  • Travel by Car: 20 cents per mile;

  • Expenses associated with making copies of records will be billed at $.97 per page (pages 1-25) and $.65 per page (pages 26-50)


 


You are responsible for all payments as outlined in this contract, regardless of any arrangement you may have with any other party or parties. The payment will be due in its entirety within 24 hours of the trial date.


 


This agreement shall be interpreted under the laws of the State of Illinois. Any litigation under this agreement shall be resolved in the trial courts of Dupage County, State of Illinois.


 


You may cancel this agreement with a 24 hours advanced notice of the court date of xxx Failure to contact us prior to xxx, will signify your consent to these charges.


 


Sincerely,


 


 


 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your response.

The letter is fine. Nothing really needs to be changed and you have a right to demand payment prior to testifying. You need to insert a line at the end stating, "Your failure to respond in writing objecting to this agreement will be deemed your tacit agreement to the terms herein. Furthermore, under IL statute 735 ILCS 2-1101, if you dispute these fees and fail to seek a hearing on the fees prior to the date of the subpoena, the expert has the right to file a motion to intervene in the suit to have the court issue an order for expert fees:

2-1101 states:
In the event that a party has subpoenaed an expert witness including, but not limited to physicians or medical providers, and the expert witness appears in court, and a conflict arises between the party subpoenaing the expert witness and the expert witness over the fees charged by the expert witness, the trial court shall be advised of the conflict. The trial court shall conduct a hearing subsequent to the testimony of the expert witness and shall determine the reasonable fee to be paid to the expert witness.

Thus, if they do not pay and you still have to honor the subpoena you can show up with a motion to intervene and to ask the court to hold a hearing regarding your expert witness fees or you can sue separately to seek to obtain payment based on the letter.



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Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 85790
Experience: Licensed Attorney. Over 20 years experience in personal injury and law enforcement.
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