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An unusual example of experts that are not lawyers (13 engineers) in the litigation group of a law department

Caterpillar has 18 lawyers in its litigation department. The department’s head lawyer, deputy general counsel Lance High, also has on his team 13 engineers “dedicated to helping with cases that challenge the design and manufacture of Caterpillar’s products.” The passage comes from Corp. Counsel, March 2011 at 68, and surely describes a most unusual and large addition of specialized staff. I suppose those engineers testify as experts or advise retained experts. They might pitch in during patent litigation and they could teach lawyers about the massive equipment Caterpillar manufactures Perhaps they assist with discovery and trial graphics. Whatever their roles, the baker’s dozen of engineers deploy huge talent as they team with Caterpillar’s lawyers.

Throughout this blog there are references to specialists in law departments who are not paralegals or administrators, including e-discovery experts and project analysts (See my post of Sept. 10, 2005: the range of non-lawyer specialist roles; March 13, 2006: non-lawyer specialists; April 30, 2006 #5: procurement manager at Microsoft; June 4, 2007: Cisco’s knowledge management directors; May 27, 2008: risk of loss of non-lawyer specialists in law departments; and Feb. 9, 2010: Clorox’s project managers.).

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One response to “An unusual example of experts that are not lawyers (13 engineers) in the litigation group of a law department”

  1. Bill Detamore says:

    Contrast Mr. High’s opinion with other inhouse counsel who have very little value for nonlawyer professionals.
    In discussing a proposal for services to extract and analyze data from a patent-tracking system, an AGC of litigation at F500 company asked me why I expected to charge such high hourly rates ($125 – $175 / hr) for staff who did not even have JDs. I told him the truth. Because his $400/hr litigators could not do it.