Arbitration/Litigation Consulting & Retainer Agreement
1. This agreement between____________________________( referred to as “Client”) and Financial Education Network Development (referred to as “FEND”) for services performed on behalf of Client by Mason A. Dinehart III, RFC, is made subject to the terms and conditions which follow.
2. Client hereby retains FEND for the purpose of expert witness testimony and/or expert consulting, preparing transaction and damage summaries and calculations and account analysis regarding a dispute between Client and _______________________.
3. Client does hereby agree to supply FEND with all pertinent documentation necessary to properly prepare any report (s), or to prepare for any scheduled arbitration/trial testimony. Client will be charged a fee of $375.00 per hour for any review time or documentation prepared under this agreement, and $375.00 per hour for expert witness consulting (including any hearing/trial attendance and/or testimony). Client is also responsible for any out of pocket costs incurred by FEND while performing services under this agreement. Such costs include, but are not limited to, travel (excluding non-stop flight time), food, lodging, taxi or parking charges. Attorney/Client will arrange and advance all hotel and travel costs in advance of the hearing, including all meals. Auto mileage is billed at $100 per hour. Prior to the commencement of any billable hours, FEND and Client agree to define the scope of the work to be performed. My work will be performed at the direction of the Attorney in the case.
4. Client does herewith pay FEND the amount of $3,000.00* as an initial retainer to be applied against work performed under this agreement (plus $500 for each additional named claimant/plaintiff, unrelated by family, up to 4 maximum). The balance of any fees due under this agreement are due and payable upon presentation or completion of the work i.e. no later than the beginning of the hearing/trial. No testimony will be given unless fees are current. The unused portion of this retainer will be refunded upon settlement of the matter, except for the expert witness designation fee as described in the Fee Schedule. Any amount unpaid at the conclusion of the hearing/trial will become a lien against any court or arbitration award granted. Scheduled hearing appearances must be set compatibly with FEND’s blackout calendar (updated daily and found at the bottom of the Fee Schedule) or the retainer is non-refundable. These new rates are effective 1-1-2016. Expert fees are not contingent upon the outcome of the matter at issue.
5. Attorney for the Client and Client acknowledge that expert, Mason A. Dinehart III, RFC does not guarantee or represent that expert’s opinion will result in a positive award for the Client. Attorney for Client and Client acknowledge that expert’s opinions are truthful, objective and void of speculation and the content thereof shall not be the subject of any claim against expert by attorney for the Client or the client. Estimates are made in good faith and are not binding. Expert witness or consulting fees are due even if the work product prepared by FEND is not used in the instant matter.
6. This agreement is being entered into in the State of California and shall be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California, irrespective of the place of domicile or residence of the Client. Client agrees that the jurisdiction and venue for any litigation concerning this agreement shall be in the California state courts situated in the County of Los Angeles. In the event of a controversy arising out of the interpretation, construction or breach of this agreement, the parties hereby agree that the prevailing party shall be entitles to recover the prevailing parties’ reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit. *$5,000.00 for litigation cases.
Financial Education Network Development Client (s)
74 Sage Circle, Sam Ramon, CA 94583
Checks are to be made payable to Mason A. Dinehart III, RFC
The undersigned attorney for client (s) acknowledges receipt of a copy of this agreement and agrees to honor the fee lien described herein.
Attorney for Client (s) Date
EXPERT WITNESS TESTIMONY
JURY INSTRUCTIONS AND COURT PROCEDURE
Expert Witness Testimony: During the trial you heard, testimony from expert witnesses. The law allows an expert to state opinions about matters in his or her field of expertise even if he or she has not witnessed any of the events involved in the trial.
You do not have to accept an expert’s opinion. As with any other witness, it is up to you to decide whether you believe the expert’s testimony and choose to use is as a basis for your decision. You may believe all, part, or none of an expert’s testimony. In deciding whether to believe an expert’s testimony, you should consider:
1. The expert’s training and experience;
2. The facts the expert relied on;
3. The reason for the expert’s opinion.
# 801 – Opinion testimony by expert witness: If a witness is testifying as an expert, his testimony in the form of an opinion is limited to such an opinion as is:
(a) Related to a subject that is sufficiently beyond common experience that the opinion of an expert would assist the trier of fact; and
(b) Based on matter (including his special knowledge, skill, experience, training, and education) perceived by or personally known to the witness or made known to him at or before the hearing, whether or not admissible, that is of a type that reasonably may be relied upon by an expert in forming an opinion upon the subject to which his testimony relates, unless an expert is precluded by law from using such matter as a basis for his opinion.
Experts may give evidence concerning the recognized and accepted operating standards and practices in their profession, trade or business on the issue of whether such standards were met or violated. Rosenberg v. Goldstein (1966) 247 Cal. App. 2d 25, 29, 55 Cal. Rptr. 306.
It is the trial court’s function to determine the qualifications of an expert, and the degree of his knowledge is a matter affecting the weight of his testimony, not its admissibility. People v. Stuller (1970) 10 Cal. App. 3d 582. 597, 89 Cal. Rptr. 158.