10.1 Interprofessional disputes should be promptly submitted to an interprofessional dispute committee. Disputants should cooperate in the submission, investigation, and resolution of such disputes.
Regardless of the best efforts of both professions to avoid disagreements, disputes do arise. The Colorado/Denver Bar Association Interprofessional Committee is available to assist with the resolution of such disputes between experts and attorneys. Other local professional societies may have similar committees. If a dispute arises, the disputants are encouraged to submit the controversy to the appropriate dispute resolution committee for review.
In matters submitted to the CBA/DBA committee, the disputants are requested to submit written summaries of relevant facts along with pertinent documentation concerning the matter in controversy. Submission of the dispute should be done with fairness and candor, without rancor, and without unprofessional remarks or other conduct which would be further divisive to interprofessional relations.
A member or members of the committee are then assigned to investigate the dispute and make recommendations for its resolution. The disputants should remember that these investigators are unpaid volunteers, and every effort should be made to cooperate in their investigation.
A final recommendation by the investigator is then reviewed by the full committee. When the committee makes a final recommendation, the disputants will be advised in writing by the interprofessional committee involved. The recommendation of the interprofessional committee is not binding unless agreed to by the disputants. However, in most cases, the recommendations of the committee are followed.
Disputes may be submitted to the following CBA/DBA committee in writing, addressed to:
Colorado Bar Association/Denver Bar Association
1900 Grant Street, Suite 950
Denver, Colorado 80203-4309
1While not controlling or meant to suggest the parameters of acceptable fees charged by experts, the following cases are illustrative of how various judges in various jurisdictions at various times have addressed the issues surrounding reasonableness of expert witness fees:
Leadville Water Co. v. Parkville Water District, 436 P.2d 659 (Colo. 1968): Expert witness fees are subject to the trial court's discretion; unusual compensation paid by a party may not be recoverable. Amounts allowed in the case included travel, ordinary witness fees, food and lodging expenses, preparation time, and $100.00 per day for each day's attendance at trial.
Perkins v. Flatiron Structures Co., 849 P.2d 832 (Colo. App. 1992). Fees for experts' assistants are not recoverable; nor are fees for pre-trial preparation to render opinions not admitted into evidence; mileage costs are limited to statutory amounts.
American Water Dev. v. City of Alamosa, 874 P.2d 352 (Colo. App. 1994). The amount of expert witness fees is discretionary; the court may consider preparation time as well as time in court; travel, ordinary witness fees, food, and lodging may be considered.
Anthony v. Abbott Laboratory, 54 USLW 2024, D. RI 1985). $420.00 per hour fee was reduced to $250.00 for doctor associated with a medical school.
Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 US 437, 107 S.Ct. 2494, 96 L.Ed. 2d 385 (1987). Federal courts can tax expert witness fees above $30.00 per day, only if expert is court-appointed.
Baldwin v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 87 CV 26030, Denver District Court (J. Stephen Phillips, J.) $500.00 per hour fee is excessive. Fee for deposition of $125.00 per hour is set as a reasonable fee.