August 31, 2007

Economist Expert Witness Testifies in Detroit Police Whistle-blower Lawsuit

Former Detroit police officers have filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the city. The officers claim they were forced from their jobs after investigating the mayor and his personal security team. An economist expert witness testified that the mayor's decision to remove Gary Brown as a deputy police chief cost the veteran officer over $2 million in lost wages and benefits. Kilpatrick and attorneys for the city argue that the officers retired voluntarily. The Detroit Free Press also reports:

The expert witness also testified that former mayoral bodyguard Harold Nelthrope could be out nearly $600,000. That figure includes salary Nelthrope would have received had he not retired as a police officer in 2003, as well as projected future earnings.
If the jury rules in favor of the city, the officers could receive little or no money as a result of their lawsuit.


August 30, 2007

Expert Witness Testifies vs Pentagon Stance on Abu Ghraib

Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, the only U.S. military officer to face a court martial in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, was reprimanded after his conviction on a single charge — failing to obey an order. Jordan was cleared of all charges including the abuse of prisoners and failing to do his duty as a senior officer. The Pentagon has stated that none of the other senior officers did anything wrong. But Stjepan Mestrovic, a Texas sociologist who has testified as an expert witness at previous Abu Ghraib trials, calls the Pentagon's strategy to blame the abuse on a few low-ranking soldiers as "magical thinking." Time.com also reports the behavioral science expert witness stating:

'It doesn't make any sense,' he says. 'There is no way that a handful of low-ranking soldiers could have invented techniques — all by themselves — that curiously enough were used at [the U.S. Naval detention facility at] Guantanamo and at other places in Iraq and Afghanistan.'...

Jordan, the only U.S. military officer to face a court martial in the controversy, was charged with ordering dogs to be used for interrogations; cruelty and maltreatment of prisoners who were allegedly subjected to forced nudity and intimidation by dogs; dereliction of a duty to properly train and supervise soldiers in interrogation rules; and disobeying an order not to discuss the case with other witnesses. Critics have long asked why the U.S. government has charged only low-ranking soldiers with serious crimes at Abu Ghraib, and why it did not pursue charges against civilian contractors, over whom it has jurisdiction.


August 29, 2007

Cell Phone Expert Witness Recovers SIM Card Evidence

A cell phone forensics expert witness brought in records of text messages, photographs and short videos taken from the phone of Raul Manuel Magallanez Jr., who is on trial in Lyon County District Court. Magallanez has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl, as well as about 60 counts of indecent liberties with minors. Expert witness Kevin Ripa is director of computer forensics for Advanced Surveillance Group Inc. in Mount Clemens, Mich., president of Computer Evidence Recovery Co., in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and regularly presents seminars internationally about cell phone and computer forensics. Ripa had recovered general records from the SIM card within the phone as well as a number of text messages, photographs and two videos. EmporiaGazette.com also reports:

One of the videos showed a long-haired blond girl apparently acting out instructions from an audible voice: “Give me a sexy look, like, ‘you’re going to do it look.’”


August 28, 2007

Expert Witness Disputes San Diego Diocese Bankruptcy Claims

Bankruptcy judge Louise Adler will rule in September whether the San Diego's Catholic Diocese can legitimately file for bankruptcy. Attorneys representing 150 people who claim they were victims say re-activating those trials is the only way to force the diocese into a settlement. Judge Adler called in financial expert witness Todd Neisen to audit the San Diego's Catholic Diocese. The expert witness was asked to consider if parishes are independent financially and can be considered separately from the diocese assets. KPBS.com also writes that Neisen said:

His analysis of the churches' books revealed a “financial stew” where you can separate the peas from the carrots and the potatoes, but the money is all essentially co-mingled. He compared the financial relationship of the diocese to the parishes as that of a neglectful parent who never audits the books.

Attorneys for the diocese argued no money was hidden, but even the judge disputed their claims that money was not transferred after the sex abuse lawsuits were filed.


August 27, 2007

Expert Witness Testimony Helps Save Dan Petersen

An eight-member jury returned a verdict of not guilty for Dan L. Petersen, charged with the 1986 murder of Tiffany Hambleton, 14. Expert witness testimony was crucial to Petersen's defense. Two forensic expert witnesses testified that in such a brutal stabbing, blood would have been everywhere. A roommate saw him come home the next day with no blood on his clothes or shoes. Another person sat next to him in a vehicle and also observed no blood. DeseretNews.com also reports:

Defense attorney Randall Skeen said the area where the girl's body was placed was muddy that night, but there was no mud on Petersen's shoes or his truck. Skeen also said there would not have been enough time for Petersen to take Hambleton to the place where the murder supposedly took place, kill her, cover her body with weeds, wash or change clothes, clean the truck thoroughly, make it run out of gas and then walk home.

August 26, 2007

Expert Witness May Testify in R&B Singer's Child Pornography Trial

The trial for singer R. Kelly will begin September 17 more than five years after he was charged with multiple counts of child pornography. Kelly allegedly videotaped himself having sex with a girl prosecutors say could be as young as 13. The girl denies that she's the person on the tape and prosecutors want to call a child pornography expert witness to testify that denial is a common issue with victims of child pornography. Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan will also rule on whether an expert witness could testify that the veins in Kelly's hand are consistent with those in the hand of the man in the video. ChronicMagazine.com also writes:

After the prosecution tried for a reversal, Judge Vincent Gaughan upheld his ruling that the media and public could view the sex tape that allegedly depicts Kelly having sex with an underage girl and is at the heart of the charges.

August 25, 2007

Attorney & Expert Witness Use Stun Gun on Client

San Bernardino County, CA prosecutors may file criminal charges against an attorney and an expert witness who shocked their client with a Taser when trying to show how police injured their client with the stun gun. ABCNewsOnline also writes:

Police say they briefly used the Taser a few times on Peter Schlueter's client George Engman to subdue him when they arrested him last year. Schlueter, who claims the police used excessive force against his client, said Engman had injuries that could only come from about a dozen zaps, or about 30 to 50 seconds, with the Taser.

But, after the tape was shown, San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Dan Ross said that Schlueter and his consultant Roger Clark may have violated the state's human experimentation law, which requires patients to sign waivers for medical experiments, according to Schlueter and local news reports.

August 24, 2007

Be Forthcoming With Your Expert Witness

After you have thoroughly researched and hired an expert witness in your case, it is natural to want to get the best testimony possible from your expert. While it may be tempting to try and tell the expert what to say on the stand, the expert witness's job is to find out the technical truth. Having the education, training, and experience to be an expert in their field probably means they are more knowledgable in their field than you are.

Make sure to provide your expert witness all the information available in your case. This may include medical records, blueprints, forensic evidence, etc. It may happen that you initally don't like what they have to say regarding the facts in your case but having the expert opionion will help you work out the best legal approach possible. To that end, be forthcoming with the facts. Hiding evidence that you think is damaging to your case can backfire if that evidence comes out in the courtroom.

August 23, 2007

Comparison Shop When Hiring an Expert Witness

Make sure to comparison shop when hiring an expert witness. Interview several potential experts and be sure they can tell you how they will proceed with your case. Checking their background has become less of a burden since much of the information can be found online for free.

The experts own web site should be carefully reviewed prior to retaining them. Is there anything embarrassing or contradictory on the site? Does the expert pronounce that he or she “is the leader in the industry” or put forth similar bravado that could affect how the jury perceives the expert? Imagine how the jury would react if the pages of the expert’s web site were displayed as exhibits at trial – because they very well could be.

August 22, 2007

Check Expert Witnesses Daubert Record Before Hiring Them

When hiring an expert witness, make sure to allow time to research their background. Waiting until the last minute to hire an expert could be trouble. An important factor is an accurate assessment of an expert’s qualifications history in court. There is compelling statistical evidence to suggest that experts who have been allowed to testify after previous attempts to exclude them (i.e. who have passed “Daubert muster”) are more likely to withstand similar challenges in the future. Just as importantly, knowing the opponent’s expert’s qualification history can be valuable in challenging that expert, or in developing a strategy to attack the expert’s methodology and credibility. The “Daubert Tracker” (available at www.mdexonline.com) is a good place to start. Its primary focus is on the researching of the “evidentiary gatekeeping” history of experts.

August 21, 2007

Health Courts Could Address Medical Malpractice Mess

Special health courts could be the answer to our medical malpractice mess writes Mark Crane, a former USA TODAY editorial writer. Ordinary citizens aren’t usually asked to decide complex legal disputes about tax law, bankruptcy, maritime cases, etc. for good reason. Crane writes:

While the principle of trial by jury is sacrosanct in America, basic fairness and common sense demand that such highly technical issues require expertise from witnesses and judges experienced in dealing with them.

Jurors hear testimony from dueling expert witnesses—hired guns who favor one party’s interpretation of events. The most personable witness may sway a jury no matter how fanciful his theories are. Jurors receive little guidance from judges as to how to evaluate that testimony or how much to compensate deserving plaintiffs.

The medical liability system is a mess, a highly inefficient and arbitrary arena where too much compensation is awarded to some injured patients and little or none to others. Deserving patients wait years to get compensated.

Crane says health courts may be the answer. "In New Zealand, Sweden, and Denmark, claims resolution takes six to nine months. The average time in the United States is five years."

August 20, 2007

Forensics Expert Witness to Testify in Selma "Bloody Sunday" Trial

Expert witness and former New York chief medical examiner Michael Baden has been hired by District Attorney Michael Jackson in the case against former Selma, AL trooper James B. Fowler. Fowler is charged with the 1965 murder of civil rights protester Jimmie Lee Jackson which began the "Bloody Sunday" Selma-to-Montgomery march. The forensics expert witness will use Jackson's autopsy records in his testimony. The Clarion-Ledger also writes that they have recently obtained information on new potential witnesses in the case.

At least 18 people witnessed the 1965 shooting of civil rights protester Jimmie Lee Jackson by an Alabama state trooper recently indicted on a murder charge in the case, newly obtained FBI documents show. Reports recently obtained by The Clarion-Ledger through a Freedom of Information Act request give details, including the identities of potential witnesses not even known to District Attorney Michael Jackson of Selma, who is prosecuting the case against former Trooper James B. Fowler.

August 19, 2007

Accident Reconstruction Expert Witnesses Describe "Crash Team"

The Marion, IN Police Department's accident reconstruction team is made up of five officers who receive special training for the "crash team." Officer Chris Butche says "It's such a challenge to try to take something of little importance to an accident and to try to take that and turn it into something beneficial to the accident." Members of the team use complex mathematical formulas to determine variables like speed and distance and must be ready to respond at any time, sometimes working quickly to find evidence before it is lost due to snow or rain. The Chronicle-Tribune.com also reports accident reconstruction expert witness and team member Amber Richards stating:
"You always work your accident backwards," said Richards, explaining that police always begin by investigating the moment of impact then branch out to find how the cars moved after the collision, if headlights were on or if passengers were wearing seat belts, among other factors. Accident reconstruction officers can press criminal charges against drivers who cause accidents through negligence. They often serve as expert witnesses in civil and criminal trials and their research can lead to traffic signal changes at dangerous intersections.

August 18, 2007

Judge in Spector Trial Angry Re: Surprise Expert Witness

An angry judge berated Phil Spector's defense team this week for what he called "tactical, knowing" misconduct involving a new theory on Lana Clarkson's death. Well known forensic pathologist expert witness Dr. Michael Baden revealed an explanation for blood on Spector's clothing to jurors on the witness stand without notifing the prosecution in advance. CourtTVnews.com reports:

"I want to make it very clear there is a deliberate and knowing violation of discovery," Fidler told the lawyers. Fidler interrupted Baden's much-anticipated testimony soon after he laid out the new theory and held a special hearing outside the presence of jurors. The judge precluded the defense from questioning the expert witness further about the theory, which holds that Lana Clarkson survived a gunshot wound for several minutes.

August 17, 2007

Terrorism Expert Witness to Testify Anonymously

A federal judge in Dallas agreed this week that an Israeli intelligence officer can testify anonymously as an expert witness in the trial of five men accused of funneling money to the radical Islamic group Hamas. U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish closed the courtroom to all but attorneys and families of the defendants so he could conduct a hearing on whether to permit an officer with Israel's security agency to serve as a terrorism expert witness for the government. LATimes.com also writes:

The trial, now in its fourth week, centers on allegations that the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, founded in Los Angeles, funneled millions of dollars to overseas charities controlled by Hamas. The foundation, once the largest Muslim charity in the country, was closed by the U.S. Treasury Department in December 2001.

August 16, 2007

Utilities Expert Witnesses to Opine Re: $1.3B Powerlink

Utilities expert witnesses will be testifying next month in the regulatory hearings into San Diego Gas & Electric's proposal to build the controversial $1.3 billion Sunrise Powerlink. SDG&E proposing that Sunrise would begin in Imperial County, cross Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and then run across North San Diego County communities. SDG&E said it welcomes restarting the hearings which will include expert witnesses testifying under oath and subject to cross-examination. SignOnSanDiego.com writes:

Administrative Law Judge Steven Weissman of the California Public Utilities Commission yesterday set Sept. 4 as the date to restart the hearings and laid out a new schedule for future sessions. Although the first round of hearings was in San Diego, the hearings will resume in San Francisco, site of the PUC headquarters. The new schedule calls for sessions Sept. 4-7, Sept. 26-28 and Oct. 3-4, with the last two days optional.

August 15, 2007

Psych Expert Witnesses To Testify in Pipe Bomb Trial

Attorneys for 45-year-old Lonnie Troy Glinski will try to prove that he was criminally insane when he planted four pipe bombs in the Willamette Valley, OR, last summer. Glinski faces 17 counts of felony charges, 13 counts of attempted aggravated murder and four counts of unlawful possession of a destructive device. Dr. Richard Hulteng was appointed by the court as a psychiatrist to give Glinski a mental evaluation in February and medical expert witnesses are set to appear for both the defense and prosecution. Court subpoenas inlcude mental health expert witnesses Dr. Roger Jacobson of Corvallis and Dr. James Koski of Corvallis. Law enforcement officials are set to appear as expert witnesses for the prosecution. StatesmanJournal.com also reports:

Lonnie Troy Glinski has been in custody since his arrest Oct. 17. The pipe bombs were discovered in four locations in the Salem area on Aug. 10, 2006...Glinski's attorney Stephen A. Lipton said the defense does not intend to dispute the facts of the case, but makes the argument that Glinski was insane at the time of the crime.


August 14, 2007

Automotive Fire Safety Expert Is Witness vs. Ford Motor Co

22-year-old Payton Lewis and his girlfriend Samantha Ely died in a fiery single-vehicle accident on Dec. 9, 2006 and Ford Motor Company is charged with their deaths. Lawyers hired by Payton’s mother Delicia Lewis filed a wrongful death suit against Ford Motor Company Thursday claiming that a faulty switch in Payton’s car caused his untimely death.
Plaintiff's counsel have enlisted the help of an automotive fire safety expert, but more expert witness testimony is anticipated. JacksonvilleDailyProgress.com reports Lewis's attorneys stating:

There is a lot of science and engineering that goes into all of this... A biomechanical engineer may be needed to determine whether Payton was killed on impact or not. There was absolutely no intrusion into the driver’s side of the passenger compartment during the crash, so we think the impact itself was very survivable.

August 13, 2007

Medical Malpractice Seminar of 2007

National Medical Consultants, P.C., is sponsoring the Medical Malpractice Seminar of 2007 which benefits the Children’s Sunrise Fund. The seminar will be offered in 3 installments each with different speakers and 7.5 hours of CLE hours. The dates and locations are as follows:
September, 10, 2007 – at the Marriot in Trumbull, Connecticut
7.5 CLE Credits

September, 20, 2007 – at the Marriot in Uniondale, Long Island, N.Y.
7.5 CLE (1.5 ethics) Credits

September, 26, 2007 – at the Marriott East Side, New York City
7.0 CLE (0.5 ethics) Credits

For details and registration for the seminars and to order the master DVD/CD that includes hours from a previous seminar totalling 26 CLE (2.0 ethics) credits, go to nationalmedicalconsultants.com.

Further contact information is as follows:
Telephone: 718-423-9167 Facsimile: 718-423-9169
E-mail: medicalconsultants@nyc.rr.com
Website: nationalmedicalconsultants.com

August 12, 2007

Forensic Expert Testifies in Manslaughter Case vs. Babysitter

Babysitter Katie Sue Savoy, 26, is charged with manslaughter in the death of 11-month-old Lane Leger. Expert witnesses testified that the child's injuries were inflicted by an adult. Forensic pathologist expert witness Dr. Paul McGarry testified that Leger's death could not have been the result of falling or bumping his head. The timeline has become a key element in the trial because the defense contends that the child was injured before arriving in Savoy's care. Prosecutors established a specific time frame for the severe head injuries that led to Leger's death and expert witness McGarry said he believes Leger may have been injured only an hour before being transported to the hospital. The DailyAdvertiser.com also writes:

The impact happened at great force," McGarry testified. "The degree of injury is so heavy to break all three bones that I would expect a child with this type of injury to become symptomatic almost immediately.
Savoy was arrested two months later by investigators and if convicted, could face a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.


August 11, 2007

8/9/07 Expert Witness Disqualified Under Daubert Re: Vietnamese Culture

In US v. Ta, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58130, Hoa Quoc Ta hoped to use expert witness Mr. Nguyen Ba Chung as an expert on Vietnamese culture. Ta is charged with kidnapping, carjacking, and "possessing a firearm in furtherance of crimes of violence in violation." But while Chung holds positions as Research Associate at the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences and Project Director of the Rockefeller Program at the University of Massachusetts, the court rejected the expert's testimony saying that the:

Defendant fails to demonstrate that Chung is qualified to testify competently regarding the subjects he intends to address, that his testimony is reliable under Daubert and its progeny, and that his testimony would aid the trier of fact.

Chung was expected to testify regarding the difference between Vietnamese and American views on family, religion, community, politics and government organizations, crime, and gangs.

August 10, 2007

Mining Safety Expert Witness Speaks Out Re: Trapped Miners

Murray Energy Corp., the company that co-owns the Utah coal mine where six workers are trapped, has incurred millions of dollars in fines over the last 18 months. While the safety record at Utah's Crandall Canyon mine is good, Murray has 19 mines in five states that have not fared so well. Mining safety expert witness Bruce Dial, owner of Dial Mine Safety, said the $1.46 million in fines so far in 2007 indicate that the company is not taking the necessary steps to remedy problems. According to Forbes.com:

The fine suggested to Dial, who worked for MSHA for 24 years and now testifies in cases as an expert witness, that there was a large quantity of combustible material and a chance of a spark setting off an explosion.

August 9, 2007

Expert Witnesses Testify at Asylum & Immigration Tribunal

The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) in London heard testimonies from expert witnesses and former Zimbabwean intelligence officers and police officers regarding HS, an asylum seeker who cannot be named. The lawyers say Britain is not giving amnesty to failed asylum seekers. Deportations to Zimbabwe are currently frozen pending the outcome of the case, but a ruling against HS could trigger a fresh wave of deportations. NewZimbabwe.com reports:

The outcome of the case, which was declared as the new country guidance case for Zimbabwe, could affect thousands of asylum seekers whose applications have been turned down and are now awaiting deportation.

August 8, 2007

Expert Witness Supports Insanity Plea For Accused Who Murdered Grandparents

Stark County, OH, Judge Richard Reinbold ruled that Brian C. Aduddell, accused of murdering his grandparents, was not guilty by reason of insanity. “It’s for life,” said Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero. “There will be periodic reviews, but he could spend the rest of his life there.” Ferrero said his office has a great deal of respect for Dr. Kathleen Stafford, the director/clinical (forensic) psychologist of the Psycho-Diagnostic Clinic in Akron, who evaluated Aduddell. Stafford has been an expert witness for 30 years in about 150 cases.

Aduddell was facing two counts of murder – one count each for Charles Evans, 81, and his wife, Evelyn, 80, of 2129 Mayflower Road N.W. – that carried a possible sentence of 15 years to life. IndeOnline.com also writes that forensic psychology expert witness Stafford:

..used several different methods to evaluate Aduddell including in-depth one-on-one sessions totaling about for hours in May and June, psychological testing, interviews with family and friends, and observations made by deputies at the Stark County Jail, and officers who dealt with him immediately after the crime in Willard, Findlay and Massillon.



August 7, 2007

Computer Security Expert Witness Supports OK Students vs. RIAA

A computer security and forensics expert witness supports the group of Oklahoma University students in their fight against the RIAA. The RIAA had obtained an order compelling the university to turn over the students names and addresses. The expert witness's declaration supports the students' motion to vacate the ex parte order and says the RIAA based its motion on information that is "factually erroneous" and "misleading." According to Recording Industry vs The People.com:

Among other things he pointed out that 'An individual cannot be uniquely identified by an IP address,' and that 'Many computers can be connected to the Internet with identical IP addresses as long as they remain behind control points.' The students are represented by the same Oklahoma lawyer who recently obtained a award for $68,000-plus in attorneys fees against the RIAA in Capitol v. Foster.

August 6, 2007

Expert Witness Says Ballistics Work Done in 1989 Was Deeply Flawed

Troy Anthony Davis was sentenced to death for the murder of Savannah police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail but many of the eyewitnesses who identified Davis as the shooter have recalled their testimony. Officer MacPhail was fatally shot in a Burger King parking lot in August of 1989. Davis' defense lawyers are trying to save him from execution and have hired leading firearms expert witnesses. These expert witnesses have determined that the analysis done soon after the killing was deeply flawed. Ballistics expert witness Kelly Fite concluded that the fornesic analysis done in 1989 was "shoddy and questionable at best and patently wrong at worst." The questions the defense has raised have bought Davis time. Ajc.com writes:

Last month, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles temporarily halted his execution, just 24 hours before it was to be carried out...And on Friday, the Georgia Supreme Court granted Davis a rare opportunity to make his case for a new trial.

August 5, 2007

Expert Witness to Review Tapes at FBI Laboratory

Polk County, Iowa, prosecutors have asked that the murder case against Justin Pollard be dropped in order to give an expert witness from the FBI time to review crucial videotape evidence. Pollard, 24, is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly running down Annamarie Rittman, 46, in the parking lot of a Lowe’s store in December of 2005. Assistant county attorneys asked that the case be dismissed without prejudice, meaning charges against Pollard can be refiled after a fornesic expert witness reviews the tapes which could take three months. DesMoinesRegister.com also writes:

Authorities remained mum on any possible motive in the crime... Polk County Attorney John Sarcone declined to discuss the motion, citing the pending litigation. Prosecutors say personnel at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia can review...the video and the judge’s order, but that it could take up to three months. Charges against Pollard are likely to be refiled at that time.


August 4, 2007

Judge Orders Expert Witness Review of San Diego Diocese Financial Records

San Diego bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler appointed R. Todd Neilson, a nationally recognized expert witness in bankruptcy cases, to examine hundreds of accounts associated with the Catholic Diocese of San Diego and its parishes.The diocese stated in bankruptcy court that it does not own or control tens of millions of dollars worth of parish assets. The issue of parish-ownership is at the center of the legal struggle between the Roman Catholic diocese and lawyers representing 150 victims of child sexual abuse by priests. SignOnSanDiego.com also writes that the 175-page report, filed by court-appointed financial expert witness Neilson...

found no overarching and consistent accounting system. “As a result (church officials) are often woefully unaware of the specific financial operations of the individual parishes,” it said. This is the first time in five Catholic bankruptcy cases across the country that a judge ordered such a financial review....The bankruptcy petition, which came after four years of unsuccessful settlement negotiations, put on hold the lawsuits filed by men and women who allege they were sexually abused as minors by priests and other church personnel in cases that date back decades.

August 3, 2007

Forensic Pathology Expert Witness Provides Evidence in Murder Trial of 17-year-old

Forensic pathology expert witnesses testified Thursday in the murder trial of 17-year-old Antonio Liceaga of Robinson Township, MI. Liceaga is charged with murder and second-degree felony firearms in the shooting death of 14-year-old Felipe Van. Expert witnesses included officers who examined the scene and the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on Van's body. The defense hopes to prove the death was an accident that occured during "play-fighting gone wrong." GrandhavenTribune.com also reports:

A young teen who was the only eyewitness to the shooting death of 14-year-old Felipe Van appeared nervous and showed signs of inconsistency during his testimony...Dalvin Kann, Van's 13-year-old cousin, said he was sitting in the living room recliner as Antonio "Tony" Liceaga, 17, went around the chair and shot Van in the head.

August 2, 2007

Helicopter Expert Witnesses Testify in Black Hawk Crash

The last expert witnesses are giving evidence at the investigation into the fatal Black Hawk helicopter crash off Fiji in November 2006. Helicopter expert witnesses have focused on the problem of rotor droop, a loss of power to the rotor blade. Officers have stated it happens when the aircraft is mishandled while others propose that it is a characteristic of the Black Hawk that had not been formerly reported. Abc.net.au also writes:

Captain Mark Bingley was performing a demanding assault-style landing when rotor droop developed and Black Hawk 221 hit the deck of the HMAS Kanimbla on November 29. Capt Bingley and SAS trooper Joshua Porter were killed in the ensuing crash. Experts have confirmed pilots are under pressure to perform risky manouevres when carrying SAS troops and there are significant gaps in training for the aircraft.

August 1, 2007

Antitrust Expert Witnesses Take Sides in $565M Case

Whole Foods Market Inc. and Wild Oats Market Inc. are disputing the Federal Trade Commission's plan to stop their merger. Both sides hope to discredit the other's expert witnesses regarding the $565M merger. Two antitrust expert witnesses testified as to whether the merger would illegally dominate the premium natural- and organic-foods market. Marketwatch.com also writes:

Judge Paul L. Friedman must decide whether to accept the government's argument that the two companies primarily compete in a narrow market that is distinctly separate from the broader U.S. grocery marketplace. He primarily listened to the questioning, offering few comments that might suggest how he could rule. But the judge did indicate he is searching for the appropriate definition of the marketplace in which Whole Foods and Wild Oats compete. During questioning from FTC attorneys, David Scheffman, an antitrust consultant who testified for the grocery companies, told the court those premium natural-foods stores don't just compete with each other, as argued by the FTC, but are part of the broader supermarket industry.