Neurosurgeons might be able to charge more than other experts for their deposition testimony but $7,000 for two hours is “near to being extortionate,” a New Jersey federal magistrate judge says.

As a consequence of her Dec. 30 ruling, the defendants in Crawford v. American Legion Ambulance Association, 08-cv-2338, will not have to pay more than $600 per hour when they depose the plaintiff’s medical expert, leaving the plaintiff to pick up the difference unless the expert agrees to lower his rate.