Have you encountered an arrogant nursing expert witness? I did.
You need a highly credentialed expert witness for a case. You supply experts. You form impressions about experts when you talk with them. Don’t refer experts who don’t get past your screening. One recent phone call left an impression on me.
Our client asked us to provide a nursing expert witness who is a nurse practitioner. We connected with a woman who is president of her specialty nurse practitioner association. She was willing to review the case.
How the arrogant nursing expert witness reacted
Let’s call her Donna Tierney (not her real name). Donna has a PhD, a DNP (doctorate of nursing practice), and FNP-BC (board certified family nurse practitioner). Donna signed her email as Dr. Tierney. Her email is Dr.tierney@***.com. Unwittingly, we started a chain of events by missing the cue and responding to her email as “Dear Donna”.
This arrogant nursing expert witness was hugely affronted by this mistake. She emailed us and demanded that we call her at a specific time (without asking if that would work). Dr. Tierney told one of our legal nurse consultants she was “very put off by being called by her first name despite of correcting us multiple times.” (Interesting how one email turned into “multiple times”.) She was, she informed us, “the most educated nurse practitioner in her topic in the world”. (This would make her the most educated nurse practitioner on the planet.)
How we responded to the arrogant nursing expert witness
At one point in this tirade, our legal nurse consultant let Dr. Tierney know that we are used to working with nurses with doctorates. One of our delightful nursing experts has three of them and is working on a fourth. That stopped Dr. Tierney momentarily, but she continued on in her blast. Dr. Tierney informed us she is not a nurse; she is a nurse practitioner.
Dr. Tierney requires a retainer and won’t “touch a piece of paper without money.” The rate she charges is more than the one we’d bill our client. Even so, it was clear Dr. Tierney and Med League were not going to be a match.
- “Leave your ego at the door.”
- “Don’t believe your press.”
- “Get over yourself.”
Any of these expressions apply to this expert. It is rare we encounter an arrogant nursing expert witness. The vast majority of the people we contact are pleasant, and either readily accept the opportunity to review a case or politely decline. When you encounter a person like Dr. Tierney, say “NEXT”.
Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC was president of Med League Support Services when this happened. She managed the company for 25 years before selling it in 2015. She now works with nurses who wnat to make more money, get more cases and avoid expensive mistakes. Get details at www.LNCAcademyinc.com.