Here are some simple things to look for and questions to ask your Legal Notice expert:
- Has your expert actually worked in the field of media, public relations or communications?
- How long have they practiced in that field?
- Does your expert actually have direct experience and expertise, or are they reporting what others have given them?
- Have they provided expert testimony through an affidavit or in court?
- Has a court previously discounted their experience or opinion?
- Have they published articles, or have they spoken on media and related legal notice?
- What case experience do they personally have—not a company case resume.
- Are they writing a report in a way that can be replicated by a peer?
- Are they citing the research used and are they clearly describing how they have arrived at their conclusions?
If the expert answers ‘‘no’’ to any of these questions, the explanation and reasons for the negative response should be carefully examined (and practitioners should expect potential objectors to scrutinize this after submission as well, which could be disastrous). Also, keep in mind that a reputable media expert will not speculate on, report on, or measure the results of certain elements such as a press release before it is issued. No credible public relations person would do this, as it is not possible to predict in advance how many articles will result from a press release. The news of the day could trump any given publicity effort.
After the notice program has been implemented, the legal notice expert must be able to fully explain to the court the methodology used to determine the target audience. The expert affiant should be the person who actually devised and implemented the media program, not the administrator. The media expert must provide the reasons for choosing certain means of communication, and the basis for the overall effectiveness of the program using reach and frequency percentages.