As disconcerting as it may be, unscrupulous activity does exist in the legal industry. As a leader in the Expert Witness and Consultant field, Experts.com believes in not only promoting our members’ services, but in protecting them as well. As such, we encourage our Experts and Consultants to Watermark their Curriculum Vitae.
Marking the CV with such statements as “UNOFFICIAL,” “NOT YET RETAINED,” “DO NOT SUBMIT,” or “UNAUTHORIZED,” prevents unconscionable practitioners from downloading a CV and submitting it as their “Retained” expert witness, or implying such, without the knowledge and consent of the expert. The watermark makes it clear to other parties what the status of the relationship is between the attorney and the expert.
The benefit of watermarking a CV is twofold. One, it allows an Expert to promote his services and qualifications and still feel secure that they will not be presented without his express consent and, two, it allows the Expert an opportunity to offer the most current version of his CV. Since the attorney must contact the Expert for an “Un-Watermarked” version, the Expert can then update the CV and bring to the attorney’s attention any new work experience or litigation successes.
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In the Expert Witness and Consultant industry, the Curriculum Vitae is an essential marketing tool that not only highlights the achievements of an Expert or a Consultant, but can do so in the best possible light. Far more comprehensive than a resume, it usually includes terms of employment, academic credentials, publications, and other significant achievements.
There is an ongoing debate as to whether CVs should be posted for public viewing or whether they should be available only on request. There are two schools of thought on the issue:
- Promote, Promote, Promote: The idea is that the more visible and accessible your qualifications are, the more likely you are to be retained. If an attorney is looking for an Expert Witness and comes across his CV, he may make immediate contact or download it and put it in his files for future use. The point is that the Expert’s experience is being marketed to those in need of his services. However, where there is a benefit, there is usually a detriment. In this case, the downside to easy accessibility can be fraudulent use without consent. *
- Keep It Close To The Vest: Like a straight flush, some Experts and Consultants prefer not to “show their cards” until they have had a chance to speak to their prospective client. The idea that more experience can be conveyed in a conversation than from the one-sided viewing of a CV does have merit. However, it is also possible that, in the interest of time, those searching for expertise prefer to know beforehand that the Expert possesses the necessary qualifications before making contact.
The decision of whether or not to publish a Curriculum Vitae is, of course, a personal one. Across 1,300 Expert Witness categories, you will find that most of our members prefer to publish their CVs . If you have pondered this issue yourself and have any thoughts to share, please take a moment to comment below.
*Please see Experts.com’s next blog post on Watermarking CVs.