Life of a software expert witness: I carefully arranged my calendar this fall so as to be available at four scheduled trials.
- Trial 1: moved to April 2020
- Trial 2: settled two weeks prior
- Trial 3: canceled by the judge, who promised to inform the parties, perhaps early in 2020, regarding a new date
- Trial 4: case stayed due to withdrawal of counsel on one side (not the folks who hired me)
Instead of the excitement of talking to 12 interested people (upgrade from the usual 0), traveling to a different part of the country, and working intensively with smart people, it is a week or two of the home-based routine with absolutely nothing on the calendar (having refused all invitations from friends and family for various activities during the trial block).
My latest idea: actually schedule an interesting mostly refundable trip starting the very same day as the trial. If the trial is canceled, take the vacation trip. If, by some miracle, the trial occurs on the scheduled day, absorb whatever refund/change fees are imposed by the airline and hotels. The likelihood of the trial going forward on the scheduled week and actually having to pay any fees, based on my experience, is at most one quarter. If the fees for canceling the trip are $500, therefore, the statistical cost of implementing this strategy is only about $125 per trial.
Readers: Where else can this strategy be employed? Who else has to block 1-3-week periods of time that probably won’t be needed after all?