December 31, 2009

Accident Investigation Expert Witness On Slip and Fall

In Procedures for Evaluating Bathing Facility Slip and Fall Accidents, accident investigation expert witness Melvin M. Friedlander, P.E. writes:

Bathing facility slip and fall injuries are a significant part of the great number of slip and fall accidents that occur each year in the United States. As a consequence, they are an important factor in personal injury allegations in both litigation and insurance claims. One of the key problems faced both by attorneys and insurance adjustors, however, is sufficient proof that the facility at which the accident took place was inherently dangerous and not caused by any inappropriate action on the part of the injured. And the key suspect in the search of this proof is the slip resistance of the surface of the bathtub or shower.

December 30, 2009

Professional Engineering Expert Witnesses & ISO 9000 Part 5

Professional engineering expert witnesses may opine on ISO 9000. Here is a summary of ISO9000 from the ISO9000 Council.

Section 5: Measurement, Analysis and Improvement

The last section of the ISO 9001:2008 standard closes the loop by providing requirements for measurement and monitoring activities, so that the company can immediately identify when not on track. Measurement and monitoring activities also include internal audits and the monitoring of customer perception as to whether the company has fulfilled customer requirements. All of these activities must be defined, planned and implemented. Measuring and monitoring allows the company to manage by fact, not by guess.

► Tip: This is a very important section of the ISO 9001 standard. Depending on how it is implemented, it can add tremendous value or create bureaucracy and waste. We highly recommend placing emphasis on this crucial ISO 9001 section.

Source: iso9000council.org.

December 29, 2009

Architecture Expert Witness In Ohio $3.8 M Damages Case

Ohio Licking County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Marcelain ordered C-TEC to pay $3.8 million in damages for uncompensated work to a Newark company in favor of Claggett & Sons Inc. Marcelain also ordered both sides back into court to address punitive damages and attorney fees, costs that could push the cash-strapped Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County's bill much higher. Claggett attorneys also intend to seek interest for the company's damages accrued since 2006. "None of the defendant's architecture expert witnesses realized this was the method in which the building was constructed," Marcelain wrote.

"The architect took advantage of the lack of knowledge of C-TEC in construction methods," Marcelain wrote as he described problems such as ventilation pipes designed to go through a steel beam near the roof. The judge wrote that C-TEC's witnesses, especially its architects, were not credible and that Claggett demonstrated construction delays were not its fault. He also noted board members were not aware the project was 90 percent complete and school largely occupied when they voted to fire Claggett.

For more, see newarkadvocate.com.

December 28, 2009

Appraisal Expert Witness On Lack Of Estate Planning

In The Need for Appraisals, appraisal expert witness Joel Forman of JLF Appraisal Services writes:

Starting in January 2011, the first wave of baby boomers will start retiring. For the next eighteen years, children born between 1946 and 1964 will be joining their older siblings and cousins to enjoy the golden years. Many individuals accumulated substantial estates. Some have impressive values. With both federal and state governments having dire cash flow problems, the need to have one’s affairs in order is more important than ever. JLF Appraisal Services is constantly amazed how many people don’t have wills, trusts or a DNR. When the courts are faced with an estate where the property owner died intestate, judges have been known to make arbitrary decisions that often go against the spoken wishes of the deceased. In addition, often there are constant family fights over the estate. This is especially true among the siblings, each person claiming the first right of refusal for all property.

As accredited appraisers, JLF Appraisal Services sees many estates that are ill-prepared for an orderly resolution. Most heirs have no idea what the estate properties are worth. More often than not, emotions overrule intellect. We highly that recommend individuals who are retired, or near retirement, work with their lawyers and tax consultants to ensure their wishes are followed. This is especially true when the will/trust specifies equitable distribution among the heirs, certain property donated to charity, and to trust funds for the future education of grandchildren and great grandchildren. The best way to get started, to ensure your wishes are followed, is to contact your attorney and financial advisor.

December 27, 2009

Finance Expert Witnesses & GMAC Appeal

GMAC Inc. has appealed a federal jury's November verdict that it pay $4 million in damages to Donald M. Mente, whose Kutztown auto dealerships GMAC suddenly shut down in July 2007. In federal court filings, GMAC is asking U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez to order a new trial, arguing he improperly allowed Mente's finance expert witnesses to testify at trial and improperly prohibited GMAC's expert rebuttal witnesses.

In response, however, Mente's attorneys said their witnesses were proper and GMAC missed several deadlines imposed by the judge to name its own expert witnesses. GMAC, once the auto-financing arm of General Motors Corp., now is a stand-alone bank offering many types of financing. On July 19, 2007, GMAC accused the dealerships - Mente Chevrolet in Richmond Township and Mente Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Maxatawny Township - of being in default to GMAC for the cars Mente bought from the automakers.

Rather than allow the dealerships to sell the cars at full price, GMAC immediately auctioned them off at reduced prices, causing the dealerships to go into foreclosure and 77 people to lose their jobs, according to trial testimony. The expert witnesses were used to summarize auto dealership financing practices and the value of the dealerships at that time.

Source: readingeagle.com.

December 26, 2009

Insurance Expert On A Black Hole In Health Insurance

Insurance expert William S. Custer, Ph.D. writes on a black hole in health insurance:

Many of my fellow boomers have lost jobs during the recession. But the chances of our landing a new position with good benefits appear as steep as winning a lottery. And we tend to have more health conditions than younger people. "They are the most vulnerable of the uninsured,'' says the health insurance expert at at Georgia State University. This group has more health needs, he adds, and "if laid off, they have a harder time finding a similar job."

"The individual insurance market has never been very good,'' says Cheryl Matheis, an AARP senior vice president. "It has become increasingly discriminatory'' as insurers cherry-pick only the healthiest individuals, Matheis adds. Reform will greatly help people 50 and older, she says, by eliminating these insurance company practices.

Source walletpop.com.

December 25, 2009

Professional Engineering Expert Witnesses & ISO 9000 Part 4

Professional engineering expert witnesses may opine on ISO 9000. Here is a summary of ISO9000 from the ISO9000 Council.

Section 4: Product Realization

The ISO 9001:2008 standard defines Product Realization as “that sequence of processes and sub processes required to achieve the product.” This is how your product is designed, produced, tested, handled, shipped, etc. This section also applies to service providers. Emphasis is placed on how the company understands, communicates and actually meets customer requirements. This section also contains various requirements for the design of products and for the planning of processes, projects and services.

► Tip: Most companies write work instructions and flowcharts to define and standardize their work processes. You will save yourself much time if you follow the ISO 9001 requirements for document control from the outset when writing these documents.

Source: iso9000council.org.

December 24, 2009

Construction Site Expert Witness On Expert Reports Part 6

In Citations and Your Credibility, construction site expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company writes:

There are many free citation builders available online; however, they do have limitations. They will often have available upgrades you can pay to obtain. Citation builders assure correct formatting of Harvard, APA and other citation formats. One such citation builder is SourceAid (Source Aid, (Unknown). Retrieved Sept. 18, 2009, from http://sourceaid.com Citation Builder Form). SourceAid has a free version and upgrades at an additional cost and are available on a term basis of two weeks, three months and one year.

Your client’s case is important and your credibility and integrity as an expert witness in your specialty are vital to your client and your career. Always cite your sources correctly and professionally, eliminating any doubt as to your credibility and integrity, and the accuracy of your expert report.


December 23, 2009

Fire Expert Witness & Fulton County Arson Trial

The trial of Fulton County, OH, alleged arsonist Charles Bryan Jr. will be continued until March 9, 2010, and a change of venue may be sought, attorney Jerome Phillips says. Discovery materials the defense team received from the county prosecutor's office in October require Phillips to obtain an expert witness dealing with arson. The defense may also have to find a forensic accounting expert for related accounting issues. Phillips had argued that the requirement made the trial's original starting date of Jan. 11, 2010, unrealistic, since expert witnesses have yet to be retained by the defense.

Bryan was indicted in August on 14 counts related to the April 2007 downtown Wauseon fire, including arson, aggravated arson and insurance fraud. If found guilty on all charges he could face a maximum sentence of more than 46 years in prison and fines totaling up to $115,000.

For more, see foxtoledo.com.

December 22, 2009

The Medical Expert Witness Role

The role of a medical expert witness needs to be strictly defined and carefully controlled during legal proceedings and physicians need to be aware of their role, states an analysis of the Goudge Inquiry into pediatric forensic pathology published http://www.cmaj.ca/embargo/cmaj090833.pdf in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) www.cmaj.ca.

The Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology by Justice Stephen Goudge looked into the flawed expert testimony of Ontario pathologist Dr. Charles Smith which has been linked to several miscarriages of justice, including the wrongful conviction of Sherry Sherret-Robinson that was overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal in December 2009.

Source: eurekalert.org

December 21, 2009

Education Expert Witness On Texas Statute

Attorneys for an anti-illegal immigration organization are challenging a Texas state law that allows illegal immigrant students to attend colleges and universities at in-state rates, saying it violates federal law. David A. Rogers, a lawyer for the Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas, an organization that opposes illegal immigration, said the lawsuit filed on Monday in Harris County District Court marks the first direct court challenge of the Texas law. Texas is one of 10 states in the nation that have laws offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria, including graduating from a local high school and pledging to legalize their immigration status as soon as possible.

Education expert witness Michael A. Olivas, a University of Houston law professor who specializes in higher education and immigration issues, said that the lawsuit filed Monday was based on a flawed reading of federal statutes and the Texas residency law. “The state can, and did act properly, and the statute is constitutional,” said Olivas, who also served as an expert witness when a similar law was later challenged in Kansas.

For more, see chron.com.

December 20, 2009

Professional Engineering Expert Witnesses & ISO 9000 Part 3

Professional engineering expert witnesses may opine on ISO 9000. Here is a summary of ISO9000 from the ISO9000 Council.

Section 3: Resource Management

This section of ISO 9001:2008 clarifies the requirement for a company to determine and provide, in a timely manner, resources (for example, equipment, facilities, etc) needed to implement and improve the processes of the ISO 9001 quality management system and to address customer satisfaction. This section also includes requirements for employee training, as well as for the physical facilities and the work environment.

► Tip: Integrate your company’s HR function well into your ISO 9001 quality system, and make them take on a leading role during the ISO 9001 implementation.

Source: iso9000council.org.

December 19, 2009

Construction Site Expert Witness On Expert Reports Part 5

In Citations and Your Credibility, construction site expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company writes:

Perhaps the most efficient format for referencing documents and evidence is the Bates Stamp. Bates numbering is commonly used as an organizational method to label and identify legal documents. During the discovery phase of litigation, a large number of documents might necessitate the use of unique identifiers for each page of each document for reference and retrieval. Bates numbering (named for the Bates automatic numbering machine) assigns an arbitrary unique identifier to each page. The "numbering" may be solely numeric or may contain a combination of letters and numbers (alphanumeric), for example, (Bates #XYZ000123).

December 18, 2009

Podiatry Expert Witnesses & Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including podiatry expert witnesses. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task experts at National Medical Consultants write:

Joint and several liability
A third strategy that states frequently employ to reform their medical liability system is to modify another legal doctrine, joint and several liability, which is common to cases in which more than one person caused the harm. The joint and several liability doctrine permits holding a single defendant responsible for the entire damage versus being held responsible for the percentage of the damages that can be reasonably attributed to them.A number of states have modified this doctrine by separating joint liability from several liability, thus establishing a mechanism of proportionately assigning harm among the defendants.

Only 13 states still use the combined form of the joint and several liability doctrine for medical malpractice cases. Many states that have modified the doctrine will enforce joint and several liability, however, when the health care provider is found to have acted "in concert with others" or with "intentional malice" or when the health care provider's acts attributed to more than 50% of the harm. Additionally, states such as California and Ohio apply joint and several liability to only the economic portion of the damages and not to the noneconomic portion.

December 17, 2009

Brain Injury Expert Witnesses

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including brain injury expert witnesses. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task experts at National Medical Consultants write:

Although they are popular in the medical malpractice reform arena, damage caps are not without their critics. Opponents of damage caps, including attorneys and patient rights and safety organizations, contend that damage caps penalize the most seriously Injured patients while reducing health care providers' accountability for negligent acts.

Modifying the collateral source rule. A second approach to medical liability reform that a number of states adopt is modifying the collateral source rule. Intact, the collateral source rule prohibits defendants from introducing information at trial or during negotiation for the purpose of off setting the damages awarded by asserting that the plaintiff may have received compensation from another source (e.g. worker's compensation, another Insurer).

December 16, 2009

Anesthesiology Expert Witness Hired By Ohio Regarding Death Penalty

Dr. Mark Dershwitz, an anesthesiologist and pharmacologist at the University Of Massachusetts Medical Center, was hired by the state of Ohio as an expert witness in litigation against the state regarding the death penalty. The state asked the anesthesiology expert witness to prepare a declaration that could be filed in court explaining that the single injection would work and would be painless and fast.

The state opted for a change after a failed attempt to execute Romell Broom with a three-drug cocktail. Although the country is watching closely, for now no other states have changed their method of lethal injection. Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia are among those who say they will continue using the three-drug method.

For more, see spotlight.vitals.com.

December 16, 2009

Nursing Expert Witnesses & Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including nursing expert witnesses. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task experts at National Medical Consultants write:

For example, Alaska, California, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia laws prohibit a patient from receiving more than $250,000 for noneconomic damages. One rationale behind noneconomic damage caps is that because such damages are extremely difficult to quantify, a jury often will inflate the award to the injured patient. In turn, such awards are believed to increase the costs associated with medical malpractice insurance (eg, increased medical insurance premiums that then create increased health care costs).

Other states, including Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Virginia, have laws that apply in all injury-related cases, medical liability Included, that cap the monetary amount that an injured patient can receive for all damages, both economic (eg, lost wages) and noneconomic. Further, a number of states have adopted laws that restrict the amount of and the conditions under which monetary damages are awarded to punish the health care provider for a "wanton disregard of [patient] safety" (ie, punitive damages).

December 16, 2009

Financial Planning Expert Witnesses

Financial planning expert witnesses may opine on Antenuptial Agreements defined here by the Association of Divorce Financial Planners, Inc.:

ANTENUPTIAL AGREEMENT - a legal contract signed by two people prior to marriage which states limitations to spouse's rights to property, support, or inheritance if the marriage ends in divorce.

December 16, 2009

Podiatric Medicine Expert Witness On Top Foot Problems

Podiatric medicine expert witness Dr. Douglas E. Stabile writes on two of the top foot problems:

Heel spurs - growths of bone on the underside, forepart of the heel bone. Heel spurs occur when the plantar tendon pulls at its attachment to the heel bone. This area of the heel can later calcify to form a spur. With proper warm-up and the use of appropriate athletic shoes, strain to the ligament can be reduced.

Neuromas - enlarged benign growths of nerves, most commonly between the third and fourth toes. They are caused by tissue rubbing against and irritating the nerves. Pressure from ill-fitting shoes or abnormal bone structure can also lead to this condition. Treatments include orthoses (shoe inserts) and/or cortisone injections, but surgical removal of the growth is sometimes necessary.

December 15, 2009

Foot and Ankle Surgery Expert Witness On Foot & Ankle Problems

Foot and ankle surgery expert witness Dr. Douglas E. Stabile writes that foot and ankle problems usually fall into the following categories:

* Acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot.
* Arthritic foot problems, which typically involve one or more joint.
* Congenital foot problems, which occur at birth, are generally inherited.
* Infectious foot problems, which are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal disorders.
* Neoplastic disorders, usually called tumors, which are the result of abnormal growth of tissue and may be benign or malignant.
* Traumatic foot problems, which are associated with foot and ankle injuries.

December 15, 2009

Transportation Charges Expert Witness

On his website, transporation charges expert witness Lew Grill provides links to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, including payment of transportation charges:

Extension of credit to shippers by motor common carriers, water common carriers, and household goods freight forwarders

§377.205 Presentation of freight bills.

(a) “To be prepaid” shipments.

(a) (1) On “to be prepaid” shipments, the carrier shall present its freight bill for all transportation charges within the time period prescribed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, except—

(a)(1)(i) As noted in paragraph (d) of this section, or

(a)(1)(ii) As otherwise excepted in this part.

(a)(2) The time period for a carrier to present its freight bill for all transportation charges shall be 7 days, measured from the date the carrier received the shipment. This time period does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays.

(b) “Collect” shipments.

(b) (1) On “collect” shipments, the carrier shall present its freight bill for all transportation charges within the time period prescribed in paragraph (b)(2) and of this section, except—

(b)(1)(i) As noted in paragraph (d) of this section, or

(b)(1)(ii) As otherwise excepted in this part.

(b)(2) The time period for a carrier to present its freight bill for all transportation charges shall be 7 days, measured from the date the shipment was delivered at its destination. This time period does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays.

(c) Bills or accompanying written notices shall state penalties for late payment, credit time limits and service charge and/or collection expense charge and discount terms. When credit is extended, freight bills or a separate written notice accompanying a freight bill or a group of freight bills presented at one time shall state that “failure timely to pay freight charges may be subject to tariff penalties” (or a statement of similar import). The bills or other notice shall also state the time by which payment must be made and any applicable service charge and/or collection expense charge and discount terms.

(d) When the carrier lacks sufficient information to compute tariff charges.

(d) (1) When information sufficient to enable the carrier to compute the tariff charges is not then available to the carrier at its billing point, the carrier shall present its freight bill for payment within 7 days following the day upon which sufficient information becomes available at the billing point. This time period does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays.

(d)(2) A carrier shall not extend further credit to any shipper which fails to furnish sufficient information to allow the carrier to render a freight bill within a reasonable time after the shipment is tendered to the origin carrier.

(d)(3) As used in this paragraph, the term “shipper” includes, but is not limited to, freight forwarders, and shippers’ associations and shippers’ agents.

[50 FR 2290, Jan 16, 1985, as amended at 54 FR 30748, July 24, 1989; 62 FR 15424, Apr. 1, 1997]

December 15, 2009

Interstate Motor Carrier Operations Expert Witness

On his website, interstate motor carrier operations expert witness Lew Grill provides links to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Single State Registration System:

§367.3 Selection of registration State.

(a) Each motor carrier required to register and pay filing fees must select a single participating State as its registration State. The carrier must select the State in which it maintains its principal place of business, if such State is a participating State. A carrier that maintains its principal place of business outside of a participating State must select the State in which it will operate the largest number of motor vehicles during the next registration year. In the event a carrier will operate the same largest number of vehicles in more than one State, it must select one of those States.

(b) A carrier may not change its registration State unless it changes its principal place of business or its registration State ceases participating in the program, in which case the carrier must select a registration State for the next registration year under the standards of paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) A carrier must give notice of its selection to the State commission of its selected registration State, and, the State commission of its prior registration State, within 30 days after it has made its selection. If a carrier changes its principal place of business during the annual registration period specified in §367.4(b)(2), the carrier may continue to use its prior registration State, if any, for the next registration year.

(d) A carrier must give notice of its selection to its insurer or insurers as soon as practicable after it has made its selection.

[58 FR 28933, May 18, 1993. Redesignated at 61 FR 54707, Oct. 21, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 15420, Apr. 1, 1997]
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrguidedetails.aspx?rule_toc=737§ion_toc=737

December 15, 2009

Trucking Industry Expert Witness

On his website, trucking industry expert witness Lew Grill provides links to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, including Compatibility of State Laws and Regulations Affecting Interstate Motor Carrier Operations:


General applicability and definitions

§355.1 Purpose.

(a) To promote adoption and enforcement of State laws and regulations pertaining to commercial motor vehicle safety that are compatible with appropriate parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

(b) To provide guidelines for a continuous regulatory review of State laws and regulations.

(c) To establish deadlines for States to achieve compatibility with appropriate parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations with respect to interstate commerce.

http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrguidedetails.aspx?rule_toc=732§ion_toc=732

December 15, 2009

Trucking Expert Witness

On his website, trucking expert witness Lew Grill provides links to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, including Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs:

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) rule, 49 CFR Part 40, describes required procedures for conducting workplace drug and alcohol testing for the Federally regulated transportation industry.

http://www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/NEW_DOCS/part40.html?proc

December 15, 2009

Finance Expert Witnesses

Finance expert witnesses may opine on the Fee Simple Estate, defined here by the Association of Divorce Financial Planners, Inc.:

FEE SIMPLE ESTATE - absolute ownership unencumbered by an other interest or estate; subject only to the limitations of eminent domain, escheat, police power, and taxation.

Source: http://www.divorceandfinance.org

December 15, 2009

Financial Analysis Expert Witnesses

Financial analysis expert witnesses may opine on Apportion, defined here by the Association of Divorce Financial Planners, Inc.:

APPORTION - to divide and assign according to a definite rule. The division is not necessarily equal but is fair according to the respective interests of the parties involved.

December 15, 2009

Professional Engineering Expert Witnesses & ISO 9000 Part 2

Professional engineering expert witnesses may opine on ISO 9000. Here is a summary of ISO9000 from the ISO9000 Council.

Section 2: Management Responsibility

ISO 9001:2008 places great emphasis on top management’s commitment to quality. This section requires a quality policy and quality objectives, and it reinforces the involvement of top management with customer requirements. This ISO 9001 section also requires top management to establish responsibilities and authorities within the company, including the establishment of an ISO 9001 management representative.

► Tip: Use a good standard format for all job descriptions – this will save much time when creating new job descriptions, when advertising positions, when performing employee evaluations, etc.

Source: iso9000council.org.

December 15, 2009

Neonatology Expert Witnesses & Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including neonatology expert witnesses. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task experts at National Medical Consultants write:

CURRENT MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWS

This article explores some of the reform strategies that state governments have adopted, including the elements of the medical malpractice system the state legislatures intended to change. It also provides a brief discussion regarding the states in which medical malpractice reform initiatives are anticipated to continue during the 2006 state legislative session. Overall, this article explores the extreme complexity and political polarization that state legislators face in attempting to successfully achieve medical malpractice liability reform.

Damage caps. One of the common approaches to medical malpractice reform adopted by states is to implement damage caps. Damage caps limit the amount of money a patient can receive as compensation for injury(ies) suffered as a result of an alleged negligent medical act. Approximately 32 states have laws that cap specific types of compensatory damage awards in medical malpractice cases. (3) Many of these laws restrict the amount of money that a patient can receive for noneconomic damages or what is often referred to as "pain and suffering."

December 14, 2009

Construction Site Expert Witness On Expert Reports Part 4

In Citations and Your Credibility, construction site expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company writes:

The primary purpose of a citation is intellectual honesty -- to attribute to other authors the ideas they have previously expressed, rather than give the appearance to the reader it is the author’s original ideas. The forms of citations generally subscribe to one of the generally accepted citations systems, such as the Harvard or APA (American Psychological Association). Both of these citation systems have their respective advantages and disadvantages relative to the tradeoffs of being informative but not too disruptive. In my opinion, the APA is generally acceptable for expert reports, but either would be completely acceptable.

December 14, 2009

Vascular Surgery Expert Witnesses & Medical Malpractice

National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including vascular surgery expert witnesses. In Medical malpractice liability reform—no easy task experts at National Medical Consultants write:

Few people would disagree that the current state-specific medical liability systems throughout the United States are slated for significant changes to address what many have termed the "medical malpractice crisis." Although there seems to be consensus regarding the breadth of the so-called crisis and the need for successful reform, there is little agreement regarding which methods of change will result in the most effective strategy for medical malpractice reform. The fact that more than 400 legislative bills on this topic were filed in 48 states in 2005 is indicative of the diverse, and oftentimes contentious, solutions to reform.

The numerous solutions suggested by state legislators illustrate that medical malpractice reform is a multidimensional issue that cannot be resolved with one distinct strategy. Legislators must take a number of factors into consideration when proposing medical malpractice reform strategies, making the task both complex and controversial. Among the many elements that factor into the reform strategies are economics (eg, rising health care costs, increased medical malpractice insurance premiums, jury awards in malpractice lawsuits); patient rights (eg, access to quality health care, compensation for negligent medical acts); regulatory aspects (eg, of physicians, the insurance industry, attorneys); and the affect of the proposed law on existing laws both at the state and federal levels.

December 13, 2009

Medical Expert Witness Testifies In Case Of 5-Week-Old Victim

A twelve year old boy accused of killing his 5-week-old cousin, Millan Young, is on trial in Cobb County, Ga. "I believe it's a homicide," said Dr. Brian Frist, Cobb County's chief medical examiner. "It is consistent with the child being held, shaken and eventually the head being struck against some hard object." The medical expert witness said no medical condition could have caused all of the injuries he saw, and that if the baby had been this severely injured before being placed in the car, anyone would have noticed.

Autopsy photos show that the 6-pound, 9-ounce baby sustained two kinds of brain hemorrhages, retinal hemorrhages, bruises on her mouth and body, and unrelated fractures on opposite sides of her skull. The medical examiner said he believes the injuries weren't accidental because they were so widespread.

For more, see tampabay.com.

December 12, 2009

Police Procedures Expert Witnesses Testify In Reddidng Shooting

Two retired police officers who now testify as police procedures expert witnesses in officer-involved shooting cases say it appears Redding, CA, police were justified when they fired more than 30 rounds at a bank robbery suspect Monday. Richard Lichten, a retired Los Angeles County sheriff's lieutenant who once shot and wounded a suspect with his service revolver, said: "It sounds like the officers were justified in firing their rounds. Cops don't want to admit it, but you're scared to death," he said. "It's a terrible, scary thing. There isn't a cop around who wants to do this."

The two independent experts offered their opinions after reading and watching video accounts on Redding.com of Monday's fatal shooting of Brandon Michael Reuter, 20, of Los Gatos.

For more, see redding.com.

December 11, 2009

Economics Expert Witness & Fire Fighter Verdict

The Connecticut state Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a Superior Court jury verdict awarding two black firefighters hundreds of thousands of dollars for their complaint that the city of New Haven unjustly denied them promotions based on their race. The unanimous decision, written by Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers, went against plaintiffs Lt. Christopher Texeira and retired Lt. John Brantley, who won the jury ruling in July 2005.

However, attorney Martyn Philpot Jr., who represents the two firefighters, cited testimony during the trial from economics expert witness Gerald Jaynes, a Yale professor of economic and African-American studies. According to Rogers’ ruling, Jaynes testified underfilling “favored white males because they were the greater portion of individuals who were, in fact, underfilled.”

For more, see nhregister.com.

December 10, 2009

Professional Engineering Expert Witnesses & ISO 9000

Professional engineering expert witnesses may opine on ISO 9000. Here is a summary of ISO9000 from the ISO9000 Council.

The ISO 9001 standard contains requirements affecting virtually all aspects of any company. Because ISO 9001 is designed for any company of any size and in any industry, the requirements are rather broad and hard to read. The ISO 9001:2008 requirements fall into the following sections:

Section 1: Quality Management System. This section of the ISO 9001:2008 standard outlines the necessary steps to implement the ISO 9001 quality management system:

1. Identify the process (or activities) needed for the quality management system,
2. Determine the sequence and interaction of these processes,
3. Determine how these processes are effectively operated and controlled,
4. Ensure that all information is available to support the operation and monitoring of these processes,
5. Measure, monitor and analyze these processes, and implement action necessary to correct the processes and achieve continual improvement.

The ISO 9001 quality management system requires documentation that includes a quality manual, certain procedures, as well as work instructions. All documentation (including quality records) must be controlled according to a document control procedure. Also in this section, ISO 9001 emphasizes the need for continuous improvement.

Source: iso9000council.org.

December 9, 2009

Construction Site Expert Witness On Expert Reports Part 3

In Citations and Your Credibility, construction site expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company writes:

It is essential to recognize that each of various types of citations and reference listing styles has a specific format that must be followed. Loosely, a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source (not necessarily the original source). More precisely, “a citation is an abbreviated alphanumeric expression (e.g., [Example 79]) embedded in the body of an intellectual work that denotes an entry in the bibliographic references section of the work for the purpose of acknowledging the relevance of the works of others to the topic of discussion at the spot where the citation appears” (Wikipedia, (Unknown). Retrieved Sept. 18, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citation). Generally the combination of both the in-body citation and the bibliographic entry constitutes what is universally considered a citation.

December 8, 2009

Chemistry Expert Witnesses Best For Equine Drug Cases

Dr. Scott Stanley, director of the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California-Davis, encouraged officials at the Symposium on Racing and Gaming to gather all available data before prosecuting equine drug cases. Stanley encouraged them to use chemistry expert witnesses to successfully enforce drug policies.

The conference kicked off the Symposium on Racing and Gaming, presented by the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program this week in Tucson, Arizona.outlined various testing procedures. Equine toxicologist and pharmacologist George Maylin D.V.M. showed how blood tests can provide more information than urine tests while lawyer Ira Finkelstein, who handles equine law cases, addressed case preparation and evidence compilation.

For more, see thoroughbredtimes.com.

December 7, 2009

Medical Expert Witness Restrictions Upheld in Maryland Part 2

Amednews.com reports on Maryland's requirements for medical expert witnesses:

Maryland's highest court upheld a tort reform measure requiring certain qualifications for expert witnesses in medical liability cases, a move physicians say will prevent plaintiffs from using so-called "hired guns" to bolster meritless lawsuits. The high court noted that its interpretation fell in line with other states with similar restrictions on expert witnesses, pointing to decisions in Kansas, North Carolina and Ohio.

Justices reversed a 2008 appeals court ruling allowing a French interventional neuroradiologist, Dr. Gerard Debrun, to testify as a plaintiff expert witness, though he had not practiced or seen patients since retiring in 2001, and most of his income came from serving as an expert witness. Appellate judges found that a majority of Dr. Debrun's time was spent on other activities that were related to his field, including peer reviewing medical journals, reading, attending conferences and observing procedures.

The high court disagreed. While Dr. Debrun's peer review work qualified as a professional activity and contributed to the medical field, the remainder of his pursuits were undertaken for "personal or leisurely reasons" and did not involve his active participation, justices said.


For more, see amednews.com.

December 6, 2009

Insurance Expert Witness On Expert Assignments Part 6

In When the Phone Rings ... Twelve Questions for Prospective Expert Witness Assignments, insurance bad faith expert witness Kevin M. Quinley, CPCU, ARM, AIC, writes:

Consultants and expert witnesses are more used to answering questions than asking them. When the phone rings, there may be an attorney or prospective client on the other end of the line. He or she poses questions to the consultant or expert, trying to gauge whether there is a good “fit” between the client’s needs and what the practitioner can offer in the way of experience and expertise.

After answering prospective clients’ questions, effective consultants and expert witnesses may have some queries of their own. In fact, they should. Here are 12 questions that can form the basis of an effective fact-gathering process which unearths aspects of a case to help the consultant and expert witness gauge the degree of fit.
(6) In what court or jurisdiction is this: State or Federal Court? This may impact the speed
of the docket, the caliber of the judge in the case, and the amount of leeway you will have in
offering expert opinion.
(7) Where are you in discovery? Have any depositions been taken? Have they been completed?
Has document production been finished or is it in progress? Is there any motion practice? Are
you coming onto the scene at the beginning, middle or end-game of the pre-trial process?

Kevin M. Quinley is a leading authority on insurance issues, including risk management, claims, bad faith, coverages and litigation management. He is the author of more than 600 articles and 10 books. You can reach him through http://www.insuranceexpertnetwork.com/.

December 5, 2009

Trucking Expert Witness On Safety Resources #3

Trucking expert witness V. Paul Herbert, C.P.S.A. of Western Motor Carrier Safety Institute, Inc. offers resources on his website including:

The FMCSA Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER)
System offers company safety data and related services to industry and the public over the Internet. Users can search FMCSA databases, register for a USDOT number, pay fines online, order company safety profiles, challenge FMCSA data using the DataQs system, access the Hazardous Material Route registry, obtain National Crash and Out of Service rates for Hazmat Permit Registration, get printable registration forms and find information about other FMCSA Information Systems.

For more, see Paul Herbert.

December 4, 2009

Construction Site Expert Witness On Expert Reports Part 2

In Citations and Your Credibility, construction site expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company writes:

If you are stating a fact or opinion, always check and cite your reference and source correctly. The common definition of fact vs. opinion is: Facts are objective, i.e., they can be proven. A fact is something that can be verified and backed up with evidence. Opinions are subjective, i.e., they express a preference or bias. An opinion is based on a belief or view. It is not based on evidence that can be verified. To check if something is a fact, ask yourself, Can this statement be proved? To check if it is an opinion, ask yourself, “Does this tell a thought or feeling?” “Would the statement be true all of the time?” Look for key clue words such as feel, believe, always, never, none, most, least, best, and worst. Cite your source and references in the proper format, e.g., Harvard, MLA or APA. This will ensure your report is clear, concise and credible. There will be no question as to what is provable fact, your opinion or supporting opinions of others.

December 3, 2009

The Managed Care Organization Expert Witness

The managed care organization expert witness may write reports on coordinated care, a type of health care delivery that emphasizes active coordination and arrangement of health services. Managed care usually involves three key components: oversight of the medical care given; contractual relationships with and organization of the providers giving care; and the covered benefits tied to managed care regulations.

From http://www.mcol.com.

December 2, 2009

The Health Maintenance Organization Expert Witness

The health maintenance organization expert witness may testify on HMO prepaid health plans.
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) function much like an insurance company. They offer policies, collect premiums and bear financial risk. So how are HMOs different than regular insurance companies? Insurance companies are a third party to patients and providers. HMOs are also the provider. HMOs usually sub-contract out to provider organizations but also share financial risk with providers. HMOs require care to be delivered only by HMO providers, except in emergencies or under special benefit plans. HMOs, as the full name implies, emphasize preventive medicine.

From http://www.mcareol.com/mcoldict/dictlst.asp.

December 1, 2009

Trucking Expert Witness On Safety Resources #2

Trucking expert witness V. Paul Herbert, C.P.S.A., of Western Motor Carrier Safety Institute, Inc., offers resources on his website including:

NHTSA is responsible for reducing deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. This is accomplished by setting and enforcing safety performance standards for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, and through grants to state and local governments to enable them to conduct effective local highway safety programs.

For more, see Paul Herbert.