Middle Class Right to Expert witness in the District of Columbia
I could barely afford to pay my lawyers fees and now my lawyer says I need an expert. Recently I read an article by Norm Pattis where he explained how the middle class get squeezed when hiring a lawyer. The rich can afford their lawyer, and the indigent are provided with a lawyer free of charge. And by the way don’t believe the hype, some of the best criminal lawyers in the country are public defenders and appointed lawyers especially in the District of Columbia. However, if you are in the middle class you may not be eligible for appointment to one of these great lawyers because you make to much money. The middle class tend to get screwed, right? Well not necessary. There is a little provision in the District of Columbia Code, that allows persons who can afford a lawyer but cannot afford an expert or investigator to help their cases.
Right to Expert Assistance
In the District of Columbia, pursuant to DC Code 11-2605 the law allows counsel even if retained (private lawyer) to request the court for financial assistance in hiring expert witness if the person has exhausted their funds. The Court may even allow the appointment of an investigator if the person is without funds to do so. Now your lawyer will have to request ex parte motion to request the Judge to approve and appoint the expert. The court will have to make an independent determination whether the services are necessary for your defense. In other words its not automatic. Finally, the hired expert may have to take a reduced fee; however, some experts will work with you as long as they getting paid.