Expert Evaluations & Testimony FAQs


WELCOME TO THE EXPERT EVALUATIONS AND TESTIMONY SECTION. If you are a legal malpractice attorney, these frequently asked questions are designed to help you understand the benefits of seeking an expert to be part of your team.

When would expert evidence be required in a legal malpractice case?

Illinois follows the general rule “that expert evidence is required in a legal malpractice case to establish the attorney’s breach of his duty of care except in cases where the breach or lack thereof is so obvious that it may be determined by the court as a matter of law, or is within the ordinary knowledge and experience of laymen.” Barth, 190 Ill.App.3d at 522, 137 Ill. Dec. 463, 546 N.E. 2d 87.

What are some of the recommended factors to consider when searching for an expert?

Every litigator wants an experienced expert who has a desire and ability to understand the issues; a willingness to be available on an as needed basis and to work on the matter independently; an appreciation for how the opinion fits into the case and its significance to the outcome; and an ability to teach a judge or a jury in a way that is not arrogant.

What are some of the recommended qualities to consider when searching for an ethics attorney as an expert?

You would want to consider how much experience the ethics attorney has had with the ARDC; whether they have ever worked with the ARDC or represented clients before the ARDC. You would want to examine ethics articles penned by the ethics attorney; review ethics programs presented; and the number of professional responsibility courses taught. An ethics attorney with considerable trial experience will be able to understand your case theory and the goals you are trying to accomplish.

What are some of the reasons I might want to consider retaining LEC for expert evaluations and testimony?

Ms. Wood, principal of LEC, served 7 years as a Hearing Board Chair with the ARDC; and nearly 5 years as Litigation Counsel. She has been representing lawyers before the ARDC for the past 3 years. She has taught professional responsibility at two area law schools; and she provides ethics programming to local and suburban bar associations. She writes a monthly column in The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. She will provide a candid assessment and analysis of your case; and a comprehensive report upon request.

If you would like a consultation to help you assess the ethics rules that may impact your case; or you are seeking expert testimony from an ethics attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable about the Rules of Professional Conduct, please call (312) 753-6951 to schedule an appointment