(a) A party requiring testimony before any court, tribunal, or arbiter in any civil action or proceeding from any expert witness, other than a party or employee of a party, who is either, (1) an expert described in subdivision (b) of Section 2034.210 of the Code of Civil Procedure, (2) a treating physician and surgeon or other treating health care practitioner who is to be asked to express an opinion during the action or proceeding, or (3) an architect, professional engineer, or licensed land surveyor who was involved with the original project design or survey for which he or she is asked to express an opinion within his or her expertise and relevant to the action or proceeding, shall pay the reasonable and customary hourly or daily fee for the actual time consumed in the examination of that witness by any party attending the action or proceeding. The hourly or daily fee shall not exceed the fee charged the party who retained the expert except where the expert donated his or her services to a charitable or other nonprofit organization. A daily fee shall only be charged for a full day of attendance at a deposition or where the expert was required by the deposing party to be available for a full day and the expert necessarily had to forego all business he or she would have otherwise conducted that day but for the request that he or she be available all day for the scheduled deposition.
The party requiring the attendance shall either accompany the service of the subpoena or notice with a tender of the expert’s fee based on the anticipated length of time the expert is required to remain at such place pursuant to the notice or subpoena or tender that fee at the required time of appearance. The expert’s fee shall be delivered to the attorney for the party designating the expert. If the appearance of the expert takes longer than anticipated, the party serving the subpoena or notice shall pay the balance of the expert’s fee within five days of receipt of an itemized statement from the expert. The party designating the expert is responsible for any fee charged by the expert for preparing for the testimony and for traveling to the place of the civil action or proceeding, as well as for any travel expenses of the expert, unless otherwise determined by the court.
(b) The service of a proper subpoena or notice accompanied by the tender of the expert witness fee described in subdivision (a) is effective to require the party employing or retaining the expert to produce the expert for testimony. If the party serving the notice or subpoena fails to tender the expert’s fee under subdivision (a), the expert shall not be required to appear at that time unless the parties stipulate otherwise.
(c) If a party requiring the appearance by subpoena or notice of another party’s expert witness under this subdivision deems that the hourly or daily fee of that expert for providing testimony is unreasonable, that party may move for an order setting the compensation of that expert. This motion shall be accompanied by a declaration stating facts showing a reasonable and good faith attempt at an informal resolution of each issue presented by the motion. Notice of this motion shall also be given to the expert.
In any such attempt at an informal resolution, either the party or the expert shall provide the other with (A) proof of the ordinary and customary fee actually charged and received by that expert for similar services provided outside the subject litigation, (B) the total number of times the presently demanded fee has ever been charged and received by that expert, and (C) the frequency and regularity with which the presently demanded fee has been charged and received by that expert within the two-year period preceding the hearing on the motion. Provisions (B) and (C) shall apply to actions filed after January 1, 1994.
In addition to any other facts or evidence, the expert or the party designating the expert shall provide, and the court’s determination as to the reasonableness of the fee shall be based upon, (1) proof of the ordinary and customary fee actually charged and received by that expert for similar services provided outside the subject litigation, (2) the total number of times the presently demanded fee has ever been charged and received by that expert, and (3) the frequency and regularity with which the presently demanded and any other fee has been charged and received by that expert within the two-year period preceding the hearing on the motion. The court may also consider (4) the ordinary and customary fees charged by similar experts for similar services within the relevant community, and (5) any other factors the court deems necessary or appropriate to make its determination.
Upon a determination that the fee demanded by that expert is unreasonable, and based upon the evidence and factors considered, the court shall set the fee of the expert providing testimony.
(d) In the event the proceeding at which the expert witness has been notified his or her attendance is required is continued or canceled in advance of the time for which it is scheduled, such witness shall be notified of the continuance or cancellation by the party requiring his or her attendance by the quickest and most reliable means of giving notice under the circumstances. In the event such party fails to give notice as required by this subdivision, then the expert witness shall be entitled to receive the compensation specified in subdivision (a) of this section, notwithstanding his or her failure to give any testimony.
(e) An express contract entered into between a person and the party requesting or requiring the person to testify, relating to compensation, shall be enforceable and shall prevail over the provisions of this section.
(f) The deposition of an expert witness is governed by Chapter 18 (commencing with Section 2034.010) of Title 4 of Part 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 182, Sec. 45. Effective January 1, 2005. Operative July 1, 2005, by Sec. 64 of Ch. 182.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018