Fee Arrangements

Retaining attorneys sometimes ask if I will make accommodations in my fees based on the specific circumstances of their case.
Taking a look at the case listing in my Curriculum Vitae, you’ll notice that as a sole practitioner expert witness I work for both plaintiff and defense cases.  As such it is incumbent upon me to avoid any bias one way or the other; and since I am frequently asked questions about my business when I am testifying, it’s important that the provisions of my agreement are the same regardless of whether the client is plaintiff or defense, what the cause of the action is, the “size” of the case, or what the size of the client law firm is, whether one man shop or mega firm.  This results in the highest possible credibility to the judge and jury.
As I’m sure you are aware, in the 3-legged project delivery stool of Quality-Schedule-Price, it is only possible to optimize two of these three parameters.  I focus primarily on Quality and Schedule.  So if you are looking for excellent, thorough, detailed analysis, reports, and testimony, delivered exactly on your timeline, I’m your guy.  The result of my efforts therefore, is high quality work that is low stress to my retaining attorney and that normally pays off to my clients in the magnitude of the settlements on the plaintiff side and the reduction or elimination of settlements on the defense side; however it likely does not result in the cheapest price.  If you are looking for the cheapest price, I’m not your guy.  In other words, it becomes an economic calculation for you and your client: in light of your intended settlement one way or the other, do you want high quality work, or do you want cheap price?  The answer to that question is totally in your court.

“Mr. Burtness:  Let me say at the outset that your draft report is the best expert witness report that I have ever seen in my more than 57 years of practicing commercial litigation and seeing hundreds of such reports.
Thank you.”
Grant Cook, Faubus Law Firm

So, to answer the question regarding fee accommodations specifically:  No, I do not offer any terms other than the same terms I offer to every client as shown in the retention agreement I will send you.
I hope that helps you to understand my value proposition and frees you to make the choice that’s best for you.
For my hourly rates and retainer arrangements, please email me at tom@burtnesseng.com.  If you’d like for me to prepare my standard retainer agreement for your specific case, just email me the complaint.
Phone number: 217-687-2000
Email address:
To download my Curriculum Vitae, please
(Click here)