April 21, 2014

Industrial Psychology Expert Witness On Employment Testing

In TEST VALIDATION IN EMPLOYMENT SETTINGS, industrial psychology expert witness Robert Rose, PhD, and his partner at Rose Porterfield Group, Inc., Robyn W. Porterfield, PhD, write on employment testing. They have co-written articles including a column for the Dallas Business Journal titled "C-level coach.

If a selection procedure is challenged for adverse impact its validity becomes important. “Validity” is the extent to which test results are related to performance on the job. And, legal issues aside, it is best for the organization to have valid procedures. There are a few key points you need to consider if involved in litigation around testing issues and/or advising clients to avoid issues.

Everything you use to hire or promote is a test. Period. If all you do to hire is interview you have to show that the interview is valid – and that may be difficult.

Validity can be of several types: The three major categories are: 1) construct, the procedure measures an abstract trait such as intelligence or decision-making; 2) content, the procedure has test items or tasks that are needed to perform the job, e.g. using a basic math test for bank tellers; and, 3) criterion-based, e.g. statistical evidence shows people who score high on a test do better in the job than those who score low. None of these are as straightforward as they appear and require someone familiar with psychometrics – usually an Industrial Psychologist – to evaluate.

Validity in the real world is not perfect. It might be ideal to have some perfect measure of success in a controlled study with statistical analysis of hundreds of employees but in the real world that is difficult to do. Short of perfect, what can you do?

Your defense is bolstered by being courteous, consistent, objective, and having documentation. It is also best to avoid – if possible – any one go/no go hurdle. If you have a hiring procedure that is carried out the same way for everyone that consistency is a positive factor; if the results are evaluated in the same way for everyone, that objectivity is a positive factor. If you have some documentation of why and how you use the selection procedure you do that is a positive factor. And, of course, lacking any of those is a problem. E.g. if some people give the same answers as others but get a lower score it is difficult to argue that the procedure is valid. And if you require a college degree you should be able to prove that the degree is highly important, if not essential, to the performance of the job: because that one factor eliminates candidates regardless of other qualifications.

Finally, respect is important. People who feel they were treated disrespectfully are more likely to sue. And if people are treated respectfully, understand why they are being evaluated and why it is a necessary part of the hiring or promotion process they are less likely to be angry or upset.

Read more.

April 16, 2014

Pulmonary Medicine Expert Witness On Benefits Of Medical Expert Part 2

In Why a Medical Expert Witness Can Make or Break a Case, pulmonary medicine expert witness Dr. John Penek, MD, FCCP, FAASM, writes:

Whether the court case is civil or criminal in nature, both plaintiffs and defendants can benefit from the use of a medical expert witness. This is especially true in an era where forensic technology is growing by leaps and bounds.

Just what can a medical experts offer in the realm of traditional jurisprudence?

Role of a Medical Expert Witness.

Just like an orthopedic surgeon can attest to damages done to the spine or back during a personal injury lawsuit where a hurt plaintiff is suing for monetary compensation, an an expert may be able to prove that the injury claimed by a money seeking plaintiff is being over blow in an effort to obtain ill gained reparations.

Because a medical expert can make or break a case in this regard, their importance cannot be understated.

Present unbiased view of events.

Most court trials involve two views of events that can be difficult to sort through and prove. Because the outcome can in some cases be literally be a matter of life and death, it pays to be able to separate fact from fiction.

Science itself is fairly irrefutable and with a few notable exceptions is rarely inaccurate. This is why medical science can then be employed to prove or disprove claims on both sides of the fence.

Corroborate exonerating evidence.

Medical expert witness can help people who have been wrongly accused by providing information via testimony that breaks down a scenario based on medical evidence. When jurors are given these tools, they are able to weigh various factors to arrive to a conclusion. When irrefutable evidence is presented by such experts, the job of the juror becomes a whole lot easier.

Strengthen the case for the prosecution.

The same can be said for proving defendants guilt. Nine times out of ten, people who are criminally accountable for death or harm and injury to an individual will lie about the circumstances. A medical expert witness can dispute claims of innocence by producing information that calls their story into question.

As forensic technology continues to expand, the testimony and services of a medical expert witness will become a near standard in both civil and criminal court cases. This will lower chances of innocent people being falsely imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit and reduce the chances of the guilty walking away scot free.

For this reason, medical experts will forever change the landscape of the
criminal justice system.

Dr. John Penek has 30 years experience in the practice of pulmonary diseases, sleep disorders and critical care medicine.

April 13, 2014

Bus Accidents Expert Witnesses

Bus and truck accident expert witnesses may consult regarding transportation accidents, bus accidents, truck safety, and bus safety. This weekend, investigators said that the FedEx truck that slammed into a tour bus full of students in Orland, CA, could have been on fire right before the deadly crash. The truck crossed a median into oncoming traffic which resulted in the death of 10 people. Highway Safety Investigator Robert Accetta will serve as the The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge. The NTSB website includes Safety Studies.

NTSB Safety Studies are examinations on topics such as the effectiveness of, or need for, actions by a Government agency in reducing transportation losses, the technical aspects of a transportation system, analysis of accident data, or the history and progress of transportation safety improvements. The study results in the issuance of a narrative report on the facts, conclusions and any applicable recommendations.

One of these reports is Crashes Involving Single-Unit Trucks that Resulted in Injuries and Deaths. Safety Study NTSB/SS-13/01. Washington, DC.

Abstract: There are 8.22 million single-unit trucks registered in the United States, which travel more than 110.7 billion miles each year. Although single-unit trucks comprise three percent of registered motor vehicles and four percent of miles traveled, they are involved in nine percent of fatalities among passenger vehicle occupants in multivehicle crashes. Crashes involving single-unit trucks and passenger vehicles pose a hazard to passenger vehicle occupants due to the differences in weight, bumper height, and vehicle stiffness.

The NTSB undertook this study because of concerns about the safety record of single-unit trucks and an interest in identifying countermeasures to address the risks posed by these vehicles. One of the concerns is that single-unit trucks are excluded from some safety rules applicable to tractor-trailers. This study used a variety of data sources, including state records of police and hospital reports, federal databases, and case reviews of selected single-unit truck crashes. Risks were compared between single-unit trucks and tractor-trailers.

The study found that the adverse effects of single-unit truck crashes have been underestimated in the past because these trucks are frequently misclassified and thus undercounted in federal and state databases (approximately 20 percent in the case of fatalities). There are substantial societal impacts resulting from single-unit truck crashes, including deaths, non-fatal injuries, hospitalizations, and hospital costs.

Areas identified for safety improvements include the need to (1) enhance the ability of drivers of single-unit trucks to detect vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, (2) prevent passenger vehicles from underriding the rears and sides of single-unit trucks, (3) improve conspicuity of single-unit trucks, (4) improve federal and state databases on large truck crashes, (5) continue the functions of databases vital for accurate fatality data or that link hospital data with police reports, (6) examine the frequency and consequences of single-unit truck drivers operating with an invalid license, and (7) research the potential benefits of expanding the commercial driver’s licensure requirement to lower weight classes.

April 5, 2014

Child Sexual Assault Expert Witnesses

Child sexual assault expert witnesses may consult regarding sexual misconduct, sexual molestation, and child sexual abuse. Child Abuse Pediatrics & Forensic Medicine Experts explains that the accredited sub-specialty Child Abuse Pediatrics practice scope includes the expert analysis of various areas related to sexual abuse using an established evidence-based process with research, clinical findings and input from collateral sources such as law enforcement and protective authorities. The American Board of Pediatrics Certifications and Admission Requirements are described below.

Certificate of Special Qualifications
Candidates seeking a certificate of special qualifications must meet BOTH the General Eligibility Criteria for Certificate in the Pediatric Subspecialties and Eligibility Criteria for the Specific Subspecialty.

Certification by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP)

A candidate for subspecialty certification must have achieved initial certification in general pediatrics and continue to maintain general pediatrics certification in order to take a subspecialty examination. No exceptions to this policy will be granted. The requirements for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) can be found on the ABP website. All candidates are urged to ensure that the requirements for maintenance of certification will be met in sufficient time to allow acceptance to the subspecialty certifying examination. Under certain circumstances, individuals registered for the general pediatrics certifying examination may apply for a pediatric subspecialty certifying examination pending notification of the general pediatrics examination results. Before making application, contact the ABP for information.


An applicant must hold a valid, unrestricted allopathic and/or osteopathic medical license in at least one jurisdiction in the United States, its territories, or Canada, or unrestricted privileges to practice medicine in the United States Armed Forces. If licenses are held in more than one jurisdiction, all licenses held by a physician should meet this requirement. Temporary or training licenses are not acceptable.

Individuals practicing exclusively abroad, ie., who are not practicing in the United States or Canada, and who do not hold a United States or Canadian license, must provide proof of licensure in the country in which they practice. Applicants for initial certification who intend to practice abroad exclusively must submit a letter stating this fact. In addition, they must submit proof of licensure in the country in which they intend to practice.

Verification of Training

An applicant will be asked to list the program(s) where fellowship training occurred as well as the name(s) of the program director(s). The ABP will provide a Verification of Competence Form to the program director(s) for completion. (Note: For new subspecialties, alternatives to the usual training requirements, such as practice experience, will be acceptable as criteria for admission to the examination. Candidates should refer to the specific subspecialty eligibility criteria for details.) The role of the program director in the certification process is to verify completion of training, evaluate clinical competence including professionalism, and provide evidence of the trainee's scholarly activity/research.

Eligibility Criteria for the Specific Subspecialty for Child Abuse Pediatrics include:

Three years of full-time, broad-based fellowship training in child abuse pediatrics are required for fellows entering training on or after January 1, 2010.

A Verification of Competence Form must be completed by the program director(s) stating satisfactory completion of the required training as well as verification of clinical competence and scholarly activity.

The fellow must meet the criteria stated in the "Principles Regarding the Assessment of Scholarly Activity" as outlined in the General Eligibility Criteria; Verification of scholarly activity will not be required for individuals who began training before January 1, 2010.

The fellow must pass the subspecialty certifying examination.

March 28, 2014

Internet Security Expert Witness & The Industrial Internet Consortium

In The Internet of Things, for Better or Worse, internet security expert witness Steve Burgess writes on networked devices. Burgess Forensics has offered computer forensic and electronic discovery as well as expert witness testimony since 1985.

What kinds of devices make up the Internet of Things (“IoT”)? Anything Internet-connected, which can currently include everything from computer to coffeemaker, from range to refrigerator, from baby monitor to burglar alarm, from car to crockpot. And because they’re Internet-connected some people are afraid that these devices may be subject to malware that will cause them to become zombies.

And indeed, unauthorized use of internet-connected devices has already begun. Around the end of 2013, about 100,000 such devices were used to send about 750,000 spam messages. Seven messages per device is not much, but it is indicative of a real problem. And the low number per device may have been by design, so as to avoid detection. What to do?

Quentin Hardy of bits.blogs writes “And indeed, unauthorized use of internet-connected devices has already begun. Attention: Internet of Things. For better or worse, big boys are in the room.” As many as ten companies including AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM and Intel are forming a consortium to create engineering standards in some of the world’s largest industries, from automotive and manufacturing to healthcare and the military. GE.com describes the Industrial Internet Consortium: “The open, not-for-profit group will work together to break down technology silos, improve machine-to-machine communications and bring the physical and digital worlds closer together. The members will be developing common architectures and advanced test beds for real-world industrial applications…. Although there are already some 10 billion connected devices, they represent just 1 percent of what’s possible. That number will grow to 50 billion by 2020.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is helping organize the consortium. Five areas of concentration have been laid out:

• Co-engineering cyber and physical systems
• Identifying cyber-security issues and solutions
• Addressing concerns about interoperability
• Identifying ways to maintain robust wireless connections
• Setting standards for real-time data collection and analytics

On the international level, the Object Management Group was founded in 1989 as an international, open membership, not-for-profit technology standards consortium. OMG standards are driven by vendors, end-users, academic institutions and government agencies. OMG Task Forces develop enterprise integration standards for a wide range of technologies and an even wider range of industries. OMG’s modeling standards, including the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and Model Driven Architecture (MDA), enable powerful visual design, execution and maintenance of software and other processes. OMG also hosts organizations such as the user-driven information-sharing Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC) and the IT industry software quality standardization group, the Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ).

March 24, 2014

Writing and Defending Your Expert Report

In Writing and Defending Your Expert Report, Meredith Hamilton, Managing Editor of "Expert News — The Practice Building Newsletter for Expert Consultants" published by Expert Communications, writes:

Do you remember being terrified with the threat, “it will go on your permanent record” in grade school? Guess what? It’s real.

Expert reports – Not only are they one of your primary work products as an expert witness, but they are “out there” forever as part of some
court record. A superb one can decide a case, be discussed among
attorneys and become your greatest marketing tool. A poor report can be used to discredit and undermine you for years.

For these reasons, we have for years endorsed *Writing and Defending Your Expert Report* as one of just a handful of books that we believe essential for an expert witness to have in their library. However, as anything dealing with the law is apt to do, the rules change. Published in 2002, drastic changes have taken place in the last twelve years, including the biggie in 2010 on discoverability of draft reports.

Well, the authors (and an additional attorney author) of that seminal text have come out with a better book. Current in all aspects, this text spells it out on how to write an expert witness report. The graphics and layout of the book make it easy to find what you’re looking for, and to discern the key points and takeaways.

Just a couple tidbits that were new to me: Did you know you could be precluded from testifying altogether if your report is too vague? Do you ever use the royal “we” in your reports? How about referring to yourself in the third person? Might want to think twice. And, just in case you missed something, they’ve included a starter Quality Control Checklist that you can customize to your practice.

Hands down, the best feature? Actual expert witness reports from a variety of disciplines, with graphs, pictures, the formatting of each report – over 246 pages of the text is sample reports. You want to see how the other guy does it? It’s here.

Authored by three experienced attorneys, *How to Write an Expert Witness
Report* is my new recommended must have for expert witnesses. Read more about the 560 page hardbound text and get your copy for 150 plus shipping and processing at http://tinyurl.com/ndc58al

Find additional articles and resources for experts at http://www.expertcommunications.com.

Meredith Hamilton
Expert Communications
Expert Witness Marketing & Training
9090 Skillman St, #182A-350, Dallas, TX 75243
214-774-9920 Fax 214-774-9851

March 21, 2014

Transportation Safety Expert Witnesses & GM Recall

A transportation safety expert witness testified in the case against General Motors brought by the parents of Brooke Melton. The expert reported that information recorded in the black box in the fatal accident showed the key had slipped from the “on” to the “accessory” position three seconds before the accident, shutting off her power steering and power brakes.

On April 1, 2014, General Motors' CEO Mary Barra will testify before a congressional subcommittee about the widening safety recall on GM pre-2008 ignition switches. Ignition switches moving from the "run" position to the "accessory" or "off" position during a crash may disable the air bag sensing system. The recall follows 12 deaths and 31 crashes in 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalts, 2003-07 Saturn Ions and several other pre-2008 models with the same ignition switch. As a precaution, NHTSA urges owners of recalled GM vehicles - 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-07 Saturn Ion, 2006-07 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-07 Pontiac Solstice, 2007 Saturn Sky - to follow GM recommendation to "use only the ignition key with nothing else on the key ring" and get repairs as soon as parts are available from GM.

Here is the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation TQ 14-001:

In its letter dated February 7, 2014, GM notified NHTSA that it has determined that a defect, which relates to motor vehicle safety, exists in 619,122 model year (MY) 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and MY 2007 Pontiac G5 vehicles. The safety defect concerns a condition in which the vehicle's ignition switch may unintentionally move from the "run" position to the "accessory" or "off" position resulting in a loss of power. This risk may be increased if the key ring is carrying added weight or the vehicle goes off road or experiences some other impact related event. In some cases, the timing of the ignition switch movement relative to the activation of the sensing algorithm of the crash event may result in the airbags not deploying.

In its letter dated February 24, 2014, GM amended the original recall letter to include a more detailed 573.6(c)(6) section outlining the chronology of principal events with the added Attachment B. On February 25, 2014, GM submitted another letter covering additional models/model year vehicles due to the same safety defect. The specific additional vehicles include the MY 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR and Pontiac Solstice, MY 2003-2007 Saturn Ion and MY 2007 Saturn Sky vehicles totaling another 748,024 vehicles. Together, these recall actions affect a total population of 1,367,146 vehicles. Based on General Motor's chronology of events, this TQ is opened to evaluate the timing of GM's defect decisionmaking and reporting of the safety defect to NHTSA.

Consumers may sign up to receive recall information by email at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/subscriptions/index.cfm:
Sign up to receive e-mail recall notifications for:
(Post 2002, NHTSA receives on average 20 tire recalls per year.)
Child Restraints
(Post 2002, NHTSA receives on average 8 child restraint recalls per year.)
All Vehicles -- You will receive an e-mail weekly with a summary of vehicle recalls for the previous 7 days.
(Post 2002, NHTSA receives on average 600 vehicle recalls per year.)

Select up to 5 specific Make and Model Year combinations below to limit your notifications to those vehicles. Check the boxes below to receive all Motorcycle or School Bus recall notifications. You will receive an e-mail whenever there is a recall for your selection.

Motorcycles, helmets, and motorcycle equipment.
(Post 1998, NHTSA receives on average 45 motorcycle-related recalls per year.)

School Buses
(Post 1998, NHTSA receives on average 35 school bus recalls per year.)

March 19, 2014

Security Management Expert Witness & Role of Buildings Part 1

Security management expert witness Randy Atlas, Phd, AIA, CPP, contributed to the article The Role of Buildings in Mass Shootings, Strategies to decrease workplace homicides which appeared in Buildings Magazine. The expert is president of Atlas Safety & Security Design Inc. and notes that "It’s a big deal for an architectural magazine to focus on the problems of building security." The article is written by Jennie Morton, senior editor of BUILDINGS.

An armed intruder approaches your building – what kind of resistance will they encounter?

Effective access control, automated communication, and rehearsed emergency plans are your best defenses against workplace violence. These measures may not prevent an aggressor from entering your building, but they will create necessary delays in a situation where every second counts.

Treat your building as a security tool, not a potential tragedy scene. It's time to bring facilities management to the table in our national conversation about mass shootings.

Rewind the clock before 9/11 and only a handful of specialty facilities were concerned with counterterrorism measures. This is no longer the case and as the Boston Marathon bombing illustrates, any building can be exposed to violence on this level. The Columbine and Newtown shootings may have put school security in the limelight, but workplace homicides continue to occur in all building types regardless of form, function, or occupancy. "The reality is that this type of violence is foreseeable and building owners need to respond accordingly," says Randy Atlas, president of Atlas Security & Safety Design.

"Every industry is on notice."
In 2012, there were 463 workplace homicides, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics – 80% of which involved firearms. There have been a total of 6,850 fatal shootings in the workplace between 1997-2010, an average of 525 deaths a year. It's no wonder that a Securitas survey of Fortune 1000 companies shows that workplace violence remains the second highest concern after cyber security.

Owners know that the ripple effects of a mass shooting extend far beyond the confines of the physical property. Whether lives are lost or not, public scrutiny quickly points the finger of liability at property management. The financial repercussions can be acute.
"Workplace violence has an annual estimated price tag of $5 billion in direct and indirect costs for building owners, managers, and employees," notes Thomas Mitchell, managing director of Facilities & Asset Management Consulting Services at Booz Allen Hamilton, a global strategy and technology consulting firm. "These costs include personnel replacement, lost productivity, property damage, administrative resources, and potential litigation."

No crime or disaster is completely preventable, but buildings still make an effort to create a safe environment and plan ahead for emergency response. You already have a number of risk mitigation tools at your disposal – it's just a matter of using them.
"The only barrier to hardening a facility is the checkbook," notes Chris Grollnek, an active shooter prevention expert with Countermeasure Consulting Group. "Your budget dictates how far your security can go."

Review Security Fundamentals
You don't have to put a moat around your property or turn it into a fortress to increase security. Turn to the basic rules of CPTED – crime prevention through environmental design. This concept limits opportunities for crime through strategic design choices. Focus on visibility, access control, and territorial reinforcement.

"You don't want to rely too heavily on only one or two of these principles. That's putting all of your security eggs in one basket," cautions Grollnek. "Research shows that each element of CPTED design you add exponentially increases security and safety levels."

The problem is that not all facilities were built with CPTED in mind, and these strategies may be counterproductive to business practices. Atlas points to malls as an example of just how vulnerable buildings can be.

"By design, a mall invites the mass public onto the property. Almost anyone can walk in unchallenged as there are virtually no security checks," Atlas says. "These large, open spaces often have poor boundary definition and dozens of unrestricted entrances."

Commercial facilities may also experience similar challenges. Recruit the help of a consultant to scrutinize every aspect of your building's layered security. If upgrades aren't on the table, focus on egress integrity. Security breaches can be enabled by something as simple as a broken door.

"The best thing we can do is secure our facility internally and externally to slow down the progress of perpetrators so law enforcement can arrive and prevent the situation from escalating," Mitchell says.

March 16, 2014

Child Abuse Expert Witness On Failure To Thrive

In Child Abuse Pediatrician’s Role, Child Abuse Pediatrics & Forensic Medicine Experts explains failure to thrive.

Failure to Thrive is a condition whereby children either do not receive or are unable to properly utilize adequate nutrition for sufficient growth. There are two categories of causality for Failure to Thrive: organic and non-organic. Organic Failure to Thrive is the type caused by medical conditions. Non-organic Failure to Thrive is caused by either insufficient provision of food, or complex psychosocial factors that impair a child’s ability to accept food provided. Psychosocial Failure to Thrive has complex dynamics and may be classified as child abuse or neglect.

What are Medical Causes of Failure to Thrive?

Various medical causes of Failure to Thrive exist and must be excluded by medical experts in this area. Some examples of medical conditions that cause Failure to Thrive include problems include gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD), liver disease, chronic diarrhea, prematurity, cleft lip/palate, or conditions related to endocrine, respiratory, infectious, immunologic, or metabolic disease. The diagnosis of Failure to Thrive should be thoroughly evaluated by medical experts, sometimes by specialists in these various conditions.

What are Non-Medical Causes of Failure to Thrive?

Failure to Thrive, in some cases, may not be caused by a medical condition. First, caretakers may either inappropriately restrict the amount of nutrition provided to a child, or intentionally withhold food. Second, caretakers may not provide adequate nutrition due to lack of interest in the child, leading to concerns for neglect or child abuse. Third, caretakers may not have the financial resources to provide adequate nutrition. Fourth, caretakers may intend and try to provide adequate nutrition, yet an impairment may exist due to psychosocial dynamics (bonding).

Is Failure to Thrive Child Abuse?

The diagnosis of Failure to Thrive involved exclusion of medical causes, a careful evaluation of the pattern of growth using a growth chart (plot for height, weight and head circumference over time) and evaluation of family dynamics. Failure to Thrive may indeed be classified as child abuse or neglect and most certainly warrants a report to protective and/or legal authorities when appropriate.

Read more: Child Abuse Pediatrics & Forensic Medicine Experts

March 12, 2014

Forensic Accounting Expert Witness On Corporate Securities Lawsuits Part 7

In EFFECTIVE VALUATION & LITIGATION SUPPORT IN CORPORATE SECURITIES LAWSUITS, forensic accounting expert witness Richard M. Squar, CPA, CVA, ABV, CFF, MBA-Taxation, writes:


The valuation expert assists legal counsel in the preparation of briefs, either by review of a draft brief prepared and/or focused discussion of issues with legal counsel prior to preparation of a brief. Also, critique of opposing counsel’s briefs are helpful interpretations and insights into the case.

Providing document and data lists for discovery is useful to the case. The expert can assist legal counsel to develop clear, incisive, and relevant interrogatory questions maximizing the quality of information received.

Similar to expert witness testimony, the depositions both attended and given by the valuation expert can be invaluable in assisting legal counsel to ask effective questions of opposing experts and present the valuation expert’s opinion in a concise and clear manner.

An office with good research resources and capable assistance is necessary for the valuation expert to be effective. It is not merely a “computerized on-line, easy to get all relevant data” world. There is an art to researching important data and asking the right questions that an effective valuation expert and his or her staff will be excellent at doing.

Appropriate damage calculations and reviewing the computations by the opposing experts are valuable services to the client. The client needs to present its computation of damages (if more favorable than the opposition’s figures) to give the court more convincing evidence of damages advantageous to the client.

So there you have it. One of the best decisions directors can make regarding corporate securities litigation is to assemble a talented professional team. Make sure the valuation expert you choose is effective in both valuation and litigation support, having the traits reviewed above.

Oh, by the way, you need to check out your potential personal liability and insurance coverage.

Richard M. Squar has over 23 years experience in public accounting providing expert advice in the areas of business valuations and litigation support; corporate, partnership and individual tax planning and representation before taxing authorities; and profit enhancement.

March 9, 2014

Construction Site Expert Witness On OSHA Standards

In OSHA Standards Changing: The standard that gave workers the right to know, now gives them the right to understand construction site expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company, writes:

As an Expert in OSHA safety standards, regulations and compliance, it is vital I keep up with the most current trends and changes that are proposed and implemented. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) main principle to date has been that employees have the “right to know” about the hazardous chemicals they work with. It is my understanding that OSHA is now implementing a newly revised Hazard Communication Standard to be consistent with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Therefore, effective December 1, 2013 OSHA is requiring that employees have the “right to understand,” and the employer must provide proof of this “understanding” to those employees.

Up to now employers training their employees regarding the knowledge of the materials they work with has been enough. Companies provided their employees with hazardous chemical training and then tested them on their knowledge of this training, which method satisfied the federal requirements. Starting December 2013, one-time testing of the employees’ understanding will not be enough. The employer will be responsible for showing proof that their hazardous chemical training is clearly achieving this compliance.

There is a huge difference between recognizing and understanding. The traditional training approach of presenting information and then testing for knowledge can now only be classified as short term, not continuous. Training must now be intensified to enable all employees to achieve true continuous “understanding.”

There are training programs that have addressed this new compliance challenge for employers. Training firms have formulated strategies to focus on employee “understanding” and are choosing interactive e-learning programs to support them. With the technology available today the Internet may just be the answer for employer compliance of this new standard. Employers who choose one of the several e-learning programs available must be sure they contain the key feature of a sophisticated analytics engine. This feature will provide employers with the necessary documented data needed for compliance reporting. The data must contain more than just training hours; it must also show evident, transparent results that demonstrate employee true understanding. It should provide the employer with the ability to identify any employees who do not understand, so intervention on an employee-by-employee basis can be performed.

With the looming federal regulation, I would encourage all employers to look into the best methods of compliance available and implement a comprehensive training plan. Complying with the new “right to understand” standard will simultaneously provide employees the reinforced knowledge they need to protect themselves and the employer’s business.
Reference: OSHA.gov, https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html

William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company for more than 35 years, specializes in excavation & construction site preparation – earthwork and grading, water mains, sewer installation, trench shoring, underground utilities, heavy equipment rentals and OSHA safety compliance. He provides litigation prevention consulting, mediation, arbitration, and expert witness testimony, regarding heavy equipment safety, construction safety and OSHA compliance; construction accidents; construction contract disputes; delay claims; and nonpayment issues. www.siteworkexpert.com

Mr. Gulya is the author of the book, “The Straight Truth: The Life of an Expert Witness,” http://the-straight-truth.com

March 6, 2014

Expert Witness Marketing Authority Rosalie Hamilton On The Value Of Your Clients

In The Practice-Building Newsletter for Expert Consultants, February/March 2014, expert witness marketing consultant Rosalie Hamilton writes on leveraging the value of your clients. Ms. Hamilton is the leading authority on expert witness marketing and founder of Expert Communications.

Marketing Brief
Leverage the Value of Your Clients

The value of an established client cannot be understated. He/she already knows you do good work, and how to work with you effectively. Little promotion, or convincing, is needed. In addition to providing repeat business, a satisfied client can furnish referrals to other attorneys, sometimes in great numbers.

The cost of leveraging that client relationship, compared to the cost of acquiring a new client, is negligible. Yet many people fail to nurture and use previous clients to expand their practice. Why?

One reason might be complacency. "I helped Attorney Jones win a big case, so he will certainly remember me and call me again when my expertise is needed." Maybe, maybe not. Hopefully, he will, but everybody gets busy and needs reminding.

An expert might feel it would be pushy to contact former clients. That viewpoint might be because the expert thinks (and perhaps communicates) in terms of selling, rather than networking, a strategy respected by all professionals.

I think the primary reason experts are missing potential repeat and referral business from clients is a combination of not comprehending the benefit of staying in touch and not knowing how to do so.

A surprising number of experts, when I ask whether they have a database or at least a list of former clients, reply that they do not. So that's my first suggestion - develop a usable list, preferably in a contact database like Access, or at least a written list.

Then develop a system for staying in touch, preferably up to about four times a year, but at least twice. My book and articles, as well as materials and seminars from other marketers, are full of ideas for contacting and staying in touch with former clients. Send a short letter enclosing an article of interest to the attorney, whether written by you or someone else; a letter, email or professionally printed post card announcing an event in your professional life; or a short note enclosing a clipping you found about the attorney, acknowledging or congratulating her. You can also invite the attorney to lunch.

Another tip: In the "client" database I recommend that you create, include the inquiring attorneys with whom an engagement did not materialize for one reason or another. They are more likely prospects than are "cold" prospects who have never spoken with you. And don't forget opposing counsel - they have seen you work and might want you on their side next time!

-- by Rosalie Hamilton, the Expert's Expert on marketing. She consults and coaches and provides full-service marketing for experts, including web site development. She is the author of *The Expert Witness Marketing Book* http://www.expertcommunications.com