David Nelson Hand Surgery Greenbrae Marin hand specialist surgery of the hand orthopedics San Francisco



First posted August 19, 2009 Last updated March 23, 2022


Expert Witness Fee and Payment Policy


Hourly rate for consultation or chart review: $850/hour. Trial testimony: flat rate is $8500 per day. Travel time payment is by arrangement. There is a two hour minimum retainer for chart review, deposition, or to retain Dr. Nelson for expert testimony, unless arranged otherwise at the time of retaining Dr. Nelson. This amount will be kept on file for your account until the case is closed and will be refunded to you. We ask that services be paid as they are provided. Dr. Nelson does most hand surgery, but is most often called in cases of distal radius fracture (he has done 90 papers, presentations, courses, etc on distal radius fractures), reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and hand or finger fractures.

Scheduling Appointments Please reserve the amount of time that you feel you need for the appointment or consultation. Dr. Nelson reserves the right to schedule any time not reserved. It is recommended to confirm the appointment by fax, to document both time and the fact of arranging the appointment. I am aware that it is never known if a case will have a courtroom until shortly before the trial is to start, but I need to honor my commitments to my patients. It costs me significant goodwill if I have to cancel surgery or patient appointments that have previously made. Patients have appointments because they have important health issues they need addressed, and often feel personally insulted if I have to postpone their appointment. I may decline to cancel a surgery, since patients and their families plan their lives around surgery, often months ahead. Please plan ahead. If I am required to cancel my commitment to my patients, the charge per hour goes to $1700/hour and $17,000 per day to compensate me for loss of goodwill. Postponing surgery may not be possible and the costs need to be individually arranged.

Payment and Cancellation Terms Fees are based on the time involved and leadtime of the cancellation. Cancellation must be confirmed by a fax, to document both the time and the fact of cancellation.

Payment of the retainer must be received in full within 5 days of making the appointment (not the date of the appointment itself). This is negotiable at the time of scheduling. If a waiver is not specifically agreed to in writing, payment is due within 5 days of making the appointment. If payment is not received within 5 days, we reserve the right to cancel the scheduled time.

Cancellation - more than 2 weeks in advance - full refund.
Cancellation - 1-2 weeks in advance - Two-thirds of the fee will be refunded.
Cancellation - less than one week’s notice - No refund.

The exception to this is scheduling any time on a Friday, our normal operating day. It is very difficult to schedule operative cases with less than 3 weeks advance notice. Please try not to schedule consultations on Wednesdays or Fridays. If you need to, please note that there will be no refund if cancelled within 3 weeks of the date scheduled.

Any additional expenses, including transportation, meals, lodging, etc, will be billed at cost and receipts provided.

I prefer to receive records in paper form, as I make notes on the records as I review them. If you prefer to send digital copies of the records and prefer to have me print them, I will charge 50 cents per page, as I will need to do the printing myself; my secretary cannot print records.

Xray and MRI’s can be sent on disk. I will access the images, process them with Photoshop, and create edited jpg’s that I can send to you so that we can discuss them. We cannot easily send or discuss images when they are still only on disk.

Rush Charges I normally do my legal work during a normal workday, and patient care takes priority. I recognize that at times legal reviews will have deadlines that require my working nights or weekends, or deferring some non-essential patient care. Please plan ahead. The lead time required for my reviews and reports depends on the amount of records to be reviewed and extent of the report required. Three weeks lead time is usually sufficient unless the records are extensive. At my discretion, if meeting your deadlines requires my working nights, weekends, or deferring non-essential patient care, the hourly rate is $1700. You will be advised of rush charges before the work is performed.

Accounts are past due if not paid within 30 days. Accounts that are past due by 60 days are subject to a 10% increase, together with interest at the rate of 7% per annum retroactive to the date of the bill. The client is responsible for any and all expenses involved in the collection process.