August 31, 2010

Rubber Expert Witnesses & EPA Proposed Rule

Rubber expert witnesses may opine on rubber consumer products, tires, and rubber piping. Here, experts at the Rubber Manufacturers Association comment on the EPA's proposed rule on scrap tires.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a rule that would significantly harm the existing infrastructure that manages scrap tires as well as reverse two decades of environmental cleanup success, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).

After decades of EPA-sanctioned use as a supplemental industrial fuel, EPA is proposing now to declare whole scrap tires a solid waste. The new designation would require facilities using whole tire-derived fuel (TDF) to add costly new emission controls that would not be required to burn traditional, less efficient fuels. Instead of this option, many TDF users, likely will opt to stop using TDF in favor of more costly, less efficient and higher emitting traditional fossil fuels, including coal. This will likely result in a dramatic reduction of TDF use while driving tens of millions of scrap tires back to landfills, stockpiles and illegal dumping sites.

At the same time, EPA will still allow the use of processed scrap tires to be used as fuel only if most of the steel content is removed, which would add costs to TDF use for facilities such as cement kilns, and increase the amount of energy needed and air pollutants emitted to supply TDF to these facilities. Steel content in tires does not affect overall emissions when consumed as TDF. Instead, the steel is used as a raw material in the manufacture of cement.

Read more: rma.org.

August 30, 2010

Mortgage Loans Expert Witnesses & SFHGLP

Mortgage loans expert witnesses may opine on variable rate mortgages, reverse mortgages, and conventional mortgages, as well as related topics. Here, loan expert Tammye Trevifio, Administrator, Housing and Community Facilities Programs, writes on:

Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program Funding Notice

Many of you may be aware of recent legislation in which Congress provided USDA with authority to resume operating the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) at no cost to taxpayers. This was done through a combination of authority to: increase the upfront fee up to 3.5 percent of the principal obligation; charge a new annual fee of up to 0.5 percent of the outstanding principal balance; and waive payment of any fees for low and very low income borrowers up to a certain amount of loan guarantees.

Read more: mortgagenewsdaily.com.

August 29, 2010

Trucking Industry Expert Witnesses & Port of Los Angeles

Trucking industry expert witnesses may opine on trucking and transportation rules and regulations and federal motor vehicle safety standards, as well as related issues. Here, experts at Truckinginfo.com report:

The U.S. District Court upheld the legality of controversial parts of the Port of Los Angeles' Clean Truck Program yesterday, which could open up the port truck drivers to unionization. But observers say there will likely be an appeal.

Last year, District Judge Christina Snyder granted the American Trucking Associations a preliminary injunction against certain concessions, including a ban on owner-operators at the port. While the ATA does support the Clean Truck Program's environmental goals, the association argued that the concession plan imposes operational requirements that create a regulatory environment similar to state intrastate economic regulation and is thus against federal law.

After hearing arguments earlier this year, Snyder Thursday ruled that although federal law prohibits state and local entities from regulating the rates, routes and services of motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce, the Port of Los Angeles can mandate certain requirements on truckers under a "market participant" exception to that law. That exception is applicable, she ruled, because the port adopted the concession agreement in the Clean Truck Program "as a business necessity."

Read more: truckinginfo.com.

August 28, 2010

Trucking Experts On Fuel Tax

In Fuel Tax Continues to Provide Greatest Public Benefits, trucking experts at the American Transportation Associations write:

It is time to fix our crumbling transportation infrastructure by raising the gas tax, The Washington Post said in a recent editorial.

“By any measure, driving in the United States is cheap,” The Post said. “Driving today is substantially cheaper, in real terms, than it was about a generation ago…Americans spend just $19 on gas taxes per 1,000 miles driven -- half of what they paid in 1975.” Highways are experiencing twice the usage, twice the wear and tear, for the same amount of money; it is a system which can not sustain itself and results in poorer roads for taxpayers. An expected freight boom over the next ten years will put an even greater strain on the nation’s vital transportation system.

According to a recent report compiled by IHS Global Insight and Martin Labbe Associates, U.S. freight tonnage will increase 25 percent by 2021, with the share moved by truck increasing to 71 percent. Our highways cannot accommodate the expected increase in freight volume without substantial improvements, which are not possible with current funding levels. The most efficient way to improve the health of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is to increase the federal fuel tax. The buying power of the HTF is greatly diminished and without replenishment, threatens our economic prosperity and competitiveness. Revenue from the fuel tax will help alleviate critical chokepoints in the supply chain, lower fuel consumption, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing the efficiency of freight transportation.

Read more: truckline.com.

August 27, 2010

Marine Engineering Expert Testifies On Deepwater Horizon

U.S. federal investigators are hearing testimonies from BP and Transocean officials in a probe into the cause of the rig explosion that led to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The hearings, jointly conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, started Monday and will continue through Friday in Houston.

Marine engineering expert Neil Cramond, BP's Gulf of Mexico marine authority official, testified that Transocean's Deepwater Horizon had dozens of maintenance issues in an audit conducted seven months before the rig blast. BP had recommended a five-day suspension of operations on the rig after the audit but later recommended that the rig be put back into service even though not all the issues had been addressed.

Read more: xinhuanet.com.

August 26, 2010

Study On Medical Expert Witnesses Part 2

In Study Questions Use of Paid Medical Expert Witnesses in Malpractice Cases, Newswise.com writes:

Publication of the study, in the August 2010 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology, arrives as a fierce debate over medical malpractice reform that began more than 20 years ago continues to rage in the U.S.. It follows closely on the heels of a survey of physicians, published in June in Archives of Internal Medicine, in which 91 percent of respondents said they believed that “physicians order more tests and procedures than needed to protect themselves from malpractice suits.”

On the opposite side of the issue, plantiffs’ attorneys and other advocates for patients who have been injured by medical malpractice have argued with equal force and considerable success against many measures that have been proposed, such as caps on damages awards, to rein in the costs of malpractice litigation and discourage the practice of “defensive medicine.”

Read more: newswise.com.

August 25, 2010

Online Legal Research Website Now Powered By Justia

The Virtual Chase, an online legal research website founded by law librarian Genie Tyburski, is now powered by Justia. The re-launched Virtual Chase features a new design, as well as additional online legal research and community resources for law librarians and other legal professionals. Legal resources on The Virtual Chase are now organized in four broad categories: Community, Legal Research, Law Libraries and Other Resources.

The Legal Research section provides federal and state law and government guides, links to general legal resources such as portals and search engines, and legal practice areas research guides. This section also includes resources on finding a lawyer, electronic discovery, and locating expert witnesses. Those interested in business research will find resource links to business news, company information and public company filings. Users may also browse through the extensive resources and public records available online to researchers.

The Virtual Chase also provides guidance to researchers on how to evaluate online sources through a series of articles and checklists on information quality.

August 24, 2010

Medical Expert On Adderall

People who use Adderall when they don't need it can experience similar effects as people who use cocaine or methamphetamine, a medical expert told TMZ.Com. According to that report, "Lindsay Lohan's Adderall dependence -- the result of a medical misdiagnosis -- may have been the reason she went off the rails." The report adds "the UCLA rehab facility believe Lindsay was misdiagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder."

Lohan's father Michael hopes his daughter will overcome a possible addiction to prescription medication. "This Adderall stuff has got to be stopped. Seven out of ten kids in college are on this stuff and it's no more than methamphetamine."

Read more: nationaledger.com.

August 23, 2010

Telecommunications Expert Witnesses & Cell Phone Data

In When Do You Call an Expert for Cell Phone Data? Leonard Deutchman, Leonard Deutchman, general counsel and administrative partner of LDiscovery, discusses when to hire a telecommunications expert witness:

Cell phone service providers keep records of when telephones transmit to or receive signals from cell towers. Persons familiar with the nomenclature of those records can read them and, if they know a user's telephone number, determine whether the user's cell phone was being used within the vicinity of a cell tower on a certain day and at a certain time.

Such use of records is known as "cell phone tracking." It can be done through records downloaded from cell sites after the fact or in real time; indeed, America became acquainted with the phenomenon on June 17, 1994, during the famous "low speed chase" leading to the arrest of O.J. Simpson, where the suspect's whereabouts were ascertained in real time by following the cell sites which received signals from and transmitted them to a cell phone in a vehicle in which Simpson was traveling. Since then, it is not hyperbole to state that a week rarely passes without one of the CSI, NCIS, or other detective or police procedural television shows making reference to cell phone tracking.

Read more: http://www.law.com

August 22, 2010

Forensic Accounting Expert Witness On Valuation

In THE REAL ESTATE CLIENT: VALUATION SERVES IMPORTANT MASTERS
IN LITIGATION CASES, forensic accounting expert witness Richard M. Squar, CPA, CVA, ABV, CFF, MBA-Taxation, writes:

Before the business appraiser can focus on the specific value of the limited partnership interest, the value of the entire partnership based on the sum of the individual asset values less the partnership liabilities needs to be determined. The appraisal valuation date is critical, such date normally concurring with the date the transaction(s) regarding alleged effects upon the injured party occurred. The valuation date may be expanded to include the date of trial.

Some valuation concepts have evolved to the point of becoming standards of value. It is important that users of a valuation expert understand which standard of value the business valuation expert utilizes. Deciding the appropriate standard of value to use is where the expert often begins.


August 21, 2010

Study On Medical Expert Witnesses Part 1

In Study Questions Use of Paid Medical Expert Witnesses in Malpractice Cases, Newswise.com writes:

A study by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers found that 31 radiologists who reviewed the CT scans used in a medical malpractice lawsuit did not agree with the conclusions reached by four paid medical expert witnesses in the case.

This suggests that the use of radiologists who are blinded to both the medical outcome and the litigation in such cases may be a more objective way of determining whether or not the standard of care has been met, said Richard C. Semelka, MD, lead author of the study and professor of radiology in the UNC School of Medicine.

Read more: newswise.com.

August 20, 2010

Aviation Expert Witnesses & ATC System

The criminal trial of the American pilots of the Legacy jet that collided with a Boeing 737 over the Amazon in 2006 moved forward this month when the judge decided he has no need to hear seven defense witnesses. Mato Grosso federal court judge Fábio Henrique Rodrigues de Moraes Fiorenzage ruled that the witnesses' testimony was dispensable because they were either passengers on the Legacy who lacked technical knowledge or aviation specialists who did not witness the episode, according to Joel Weiss, attorney for the Legacy's pilots Joe Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino.

Lepore and Paladino were at 37,000 feet when the Legacy and the 737 operating Gol Flight 1907 collided. Both aircraft were flying in accordance with ATC clearances. Four air traffic controllers are also on trial. The Legacy's transponder was turned off for close to an hour before the collision. The judge rejected the aviation expert witnesses put forth by the defense, instead asking the Brazilian Air Force to supply someone from among its personnel to explain the ATC system.

Read more: ainonline.com.

August 19, 2010

Environmental Expert Witnesses & Tranmission Line

ITC Midwest personnel and environmental expert witnesses testified earlier this month before the Iowa Utilities Board in a case involving a proposed transmission line in Dubuque County. ITC Seven Dubuque County landowners testified to their objection of the 81-mile, 345-kilovolt line running through their properties during the hearing at the Delaware County Community Center in Manchester.
Concerns included land development, human and livestock health, and gas lines already on the properties. The next hearings, during which expert witnesses for the landowners will be cross-examined, are scheduled for Oct. 5-7.

Read more: thonline.com.

August 18, 2010

Biotechnology Expert Witnesses & Green Biotechnology

Biotechnology means any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use. For instance, biotechnology is applied to improve or facilitate cellular processes such as energy metabolism, gene transfer between unrelated species, or the engineering of enzymes for large scale production of drugs.

Green biotechnology deals with the use of environmentally-friendly solutions as an alternative to traditional agriculture, horticulture, and animal breeding processes. An example is the designing of transgenic plants that are modified for improved flavor, for increased resistance to pests and diseases, or for enhanced growth in adverse weather conditions. Biotechnology expert witnesses may opine on biofortification, metabolic manipulation, etc.

Read more: biologyonline.org.

August 17, 2010

Marketing Strategy Expert Witnesses Part 4

Marketing strategy expert witnesses may opine on market analysis, market barriers, market research, and market share. Here, marketing strategy experts at the American Marketing Association (AMA) and ReadyTalk offer Web Event Best Practices: Promotion:

Best Practice #3: Create a Compelling Title and Abstract

Take the time to craft an event title and abstract that will spark interest among the target audience. Use a “hook” such as a catchy event title if appropriate for your target audience. Keep the event abstract brief, punchy, and easy to read. Use bullet points where possible. Highlight the expertise of your speaker(s). Clearly communicate who the event is targeted at, what they will learn if they attend, and why they can’t afford to miss the event. As a rule of thumb, target no more than 15 words for the title and 150-200 words for the abstract.

August 16, 2010

Litigation Funding Expert Witnesses

Litigation funding expert witnesses may opine on litigation financial options and settlements. In Third Party Financing of Litigation, Paul H. Rubin, Department of Economics Emory University, writes:

The common law has long forbidden third party investment in lawsuits based on “champerty” and related doctrines. More recently, these restrictions have been relaxed, although they may not have been entirely eliminated in the U.S. While it might appear efficient to allow such investment, in fact it is not. The effect of relaxing restrictions will be to increase litigation.

When there are benefits of litigation these are deterrence of harmful activities. However, the U.S. already goes much farther than any other country in allowing class actions and other group based litigation, and so any benefits of increased litigation are likely to be small or nonexistent.

There are two external costs from increasing litigation. First, the plaintiff must pay his own fees, but it also imposes costs – sometimes quite significant costs – on defendants when a lawsuit is filed. In many cases, the costs imposed on defendants are greater than costs borne by plaintiffs, especially when plaintiffs are individuals or class members and defendants are business firms.

Second, the type of lawsuits that would likely result from increased third party investment would probably move the legal system away from efficiency. Overall increasing third party financing of litigation is likely to be harmful.

Read more: northwesternlaw.edu

August 16, 2010

Litigation Finance Expert Witnesses

Litigation finance expert witnesses may opine on litigation financial options and attorneys fees, among other topics. Litigation funding is a practice in which individuals who are plaintiffs in lawsuits receive money from firms and individuals who take a lien on the proceeds of a personal injury suit in return for ready cash. It is not considered a loan as the money does not have to be repaid if the plaintiff's law suit is unsuccessful. It is a nonrecourse debt. Funding companies also advance money to attorneys against anticipated legal fees earned in a personal injury matter.

In A Fee Limitation Rule for Litigation Finance, Michael B. Abramowicz of The George Washington University School of Law writes:

Interest rates on such loans are accordingly well in excess of typical market rates, but the
arrangements may be beneficial to plaintiffs who do not have enough cash on hand to finance a
lawsuit and who either cannot obtain funds through traditional loan sources or do not want to risk
the possibility of facing a large debt if the lawsuit fails. The social welfare case for litigation
finance is simple. Such financing enables liquidity-constrained plaintiffs to bring more cases and
to prosecute cases more effectively. Increased funding for litigation should thus reduce legal
error and help achieve the legal system’s goals, including both compensation and deterrence of
negligent or wrongful acts.

Read more: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/searlecenter/uploads/Abramowicz_Finance_Final.pdf

August 16, 2010

Pesticide Products Expert Witnesses & Blue Book

Pesticide products expert witnesses may opine on fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. On their website, the Chemical Producers & Distributors Association announces that an updated version of the Pesticide Registration Manual, also known as the "Blue Book," is now available on EPA's web site. The manual describes EPA's review and decision making process for registering a pesticide product and its use. Detailed information for pesticide registrants concerning their responsibilities before, during and after the review process is also included in the manual. EPA is hoping to make available in the near future an electronic version of the "Blue Book" in PDF format. The Agency intends to make subsequent updates to individual chapters of the manual as needed. The "Blue Book" may be accessed at http://www.epa.gov/opprd001/registrationmanual/.

August 16, 2010

Pesticides Expert Witnesses & Pesticide Container Rule

Pesticides expert witnesses may opine on pesticide contamination, insects, and pest control. In Keeping an Eye on Washington, July 2010, the Chemical Producers & Distributors Association writes:

In the June 15, 2010 Federal Register, EPA published a proposed rule to amend the pesticide container and containment regulations to provide a one-year extension of the labeling compliance date from August 16, 2010 to August 16, 2011. Under the proposal, pesticide products released for shipment by a registrant after August 16, 2011 would be required to bear a label that complies with the container requirements. The pesticide container and containment regulations, promulgated on August 16, 2006, include requirements for container design; procedures, standards, and label language to facilitate removal of pesticide residue prior to container disposal or recycling, and criteria for containment of stationary pesticide containers and procedures for container refilling operations.

A final rule published on October 29, 2008 amended the 2006 regulations to extend the original compliance date of August 16, 2009 to August 16, 2010. However, EPA has concluded there is insufficient time to change all labels by the revised August 16, 2010 compliance date due to several factors: 1) more antimicrobial product labels than expected require alternate rinsing instructions rather than the standard text as set forth in the regulations (such statements on the label must be made through the more time-consuming amendment process rather than through the more simplified notification mechanism); 2) EPA’s position on the appropriate container-related statements, particularly rinsing and treatment of rinsate, for certain pesticides has changed over time as a result of experience with product-by-product label reviews and this, EPA notes, has created confusion within the registrant community; and, 3) the length of time for states to review and approve labels is increasing due to staffing reductions and furloughs brought about by budget shortfalls.

Read more: cpda.com.

August 15, 2010

Reverse Engineering Expert Witnesses

Reverse engineering expert witnesses may opine on failed components and reverse engineering. RE is the process of taking something (a device, an electrical component, a software program, etc.) apart and analyzing its workings in detail, usually with the intention to construct a new device or program that does the same thing without actually copying anything from the original.

RE is frequently used on computer hardware and software. Software reverse engineering involves reversing a program's machine code (the string of 0s and 1s that are sent to the logic processor) back into the source code that it was written in, using program language statements.

Software reverse engineering is done to retrieve the source code of a program because the source code was lost, to study how the program performs certain operations, to improve the performance of a program, to fix a bug, to identify malicious content in a program such as a virus or to adapt a program written for use with one microprocessor for use with another.

Read more: searchcio.

August 15, 2010

Forensic Engineering Expert Witnesses & Metal Fatigue

Forensic engineering expert witnesses may opine on reverse engineering, failed components, and metal fatigue. Here, Wikipedia describes metal fatigue:

In materials science, fatigue is the progressive and localized structural damage that occurs when a material is subjected to cyclic loading. The nominal maximum stress values are less than the ultimate tensile stress limit, and may be below the yield stress limit of the material.

Fatigue occurs when a material is subjected to repeated loading and unloading. If the loads are above a certain threshold, microscopic cracks will begin to form at the surface. Eventually a crack will reach a critical size, and the structure will suddenly fracture. The shape of the structure will significantly affect the fatigue life; square holes or sharp corners will lead to elevated local stresses where fatigue cracks can initiate. Round holes and smooth transitions or fillets are therefore important to increase the fatigue strength of the structure.

August 15, 2010

Bars & Lounges Expert Witnesses & Security Part 2

Bars and lounges expert witnesses may opine on bar security, lounge security, and night club security. Consumer's Guide to Nightclub Safety writes:

Do you know what the military does to ensure that teams achieve their aims? They establish rendezvous points. Pick a well defined area outside the nightclub to meet up with your friends. Then when there is an emergency, be sure to see them at your rendezvous point.

Do you know where the exits are? Before you enter a nightclub you should have an understanding of where the closest exit doors are. Are the exits distinctly marked and well lighted? If the exit paths are blocked, report the violation to management and leave the building if they do not listen to you. Then make sure to register a complaint with your local fire marshal.

Do you feel secure? Does the establishment look to be overcrowded? Do you see electric receptacles that seem like they have been incorrectly maintained? Are there safety systems implemented like sprinklers, security lights and smoke alarms? Does the venue participate in the Club Watch Community Connection patron protection and violence prevention initiative? Ask the nightclub management about your concerns. If you do not think you are safe in the building, don't stay inside the business.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/small-business-articles/consumers-guide-to-nightclub-safety-832116.html#ixzz0wivXZkhm


August 15, 2010

Nightclub Expert Witnesses & Security

Nightclub expert witnesses may opine on bar security, lounge security, and night club security. Consumer's Guide to Nightclub Safety writes:

Every day violent murders, stabbings and significant brawls occur at nightclubs throughout the nation. Can nightclub managers protect their customers from these dangerous incidents? The answer is dependent upon whether they are serious regarding their security and whether they have the correct tools and coaching, but consumers and patrons of nightclubs usually do not have any idea what security methodologies and technologies exist at a nightclub. So what should people do to ensure their own safety?

Critical questions you should ask yourself prior to you enter any nightclub:

Should you enter? For example, does the building seem to be in a condition that makes you feel comfortable going inside? When envisioning a calamity, do you think the primary entrance will allow for enough patrons to get away rapidly? Has the region immediately surrounding the nightclub been kept up? Do you have a communication plan? Be ready and have an individual you know available in the event you cannot find your companions.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/small-business-articles/consumers-guide-to-nightclub-safety-832116.html#ixzz0wiu6tOho

August 15, 2010

Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy Expert Witnesses

There are many different types of materials analysis techniques under the broad heading of "spectroscopy", utilizing a wide variety of different approaches to probing material properties, such as absorbance, reflection, emission, scattering, thermal conductivity, and refractive index. Atomic absorption spectroscopy expert witnesses may opine on atomic absorption technology, as well as related issues. In Atomic Absorption: Feeding the Food Safety Market, Hazel Dickson writes on food safety:

The prominence of food safety in the global analytical community has revealed atomic absorption (AA) as a key player in the analysis of trace elements in foodstuffs. An established technique of several decades, AA is proving to be the technique of choice for those laboratories requiring dedicated analysis on a regular basis. Analytical laboratories inherently demand robust and reliable methodologies and instrumentation. AA offers an ideal solution, providing excellent sensitivity, accuracy, and precision. In addition, advances in automation, through online sample dilution and automated standard preparation, simplify routine tasks and offer increased productivity and sample throughput.

One of the fastest growing markets in food safety is China, mirrored by the continued growth of the Chinese Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Food Safety Law, introduced in China in June 2009, which toughens penalties against manufacturers of mislabeled or tainted food, and has raised the profile of food safety in this region significantly. This has resulted in a noticeable increase in the trace elemental analysis of foodstuffs. China is the world's largest exporter of fruits and vegetables, with meat, fish, and cereals (such as rice) contributing significantly to the billion-dollar export market.


Read more: http://spectroscopyonline.findanalytichem.com/spectroscopy.

August 14, 2010

Spectroscopic Analysis Expert Witnesses

There are many different types of materials analysis techniques under the broad heading of "spectroscopy", utilizing a wide variety of different approaches to probing material properties, such as absorbance, reflection, emission, scattering, thermal conductivity, and refractive index. Spectroscopic analysis expert witnesses may opine on infrared spectroscopy and absorption spectroscopy, as well as related issues. In Atomic Absorption: Feeding the Food Safety Market, Hazel Dickson writes on food safety and the media:

Recent years have seen a change in the availability of research and information relating to food and public health. Such research is no longer only visible to scientific researchers through academic literature but is becoming more and more visible to the general public through news websites, magazine articles, and online blogs and social networking sites — for example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration now announces product recalls though the real-time information network Twitter. In addition, the past several months have seen a wealth of articles appearing in the general public news relating specifically to trace elements in foodstuffs, including antimony and arsenic in fruit juice, lead in cocoa products, and tin in canned foods. With an ever-increasing public and consumer awareness, the demands placed on food analysis and testing laboratories has reached an all-time high.

Read more: http://spectroscopyonline.findanalytichem.com/spectroscopy.

August 14, 2010

Spectroscopy Expert Witnesses

There are many different types of materials analysis techniques under the broad heading of "spectroscopy", utilizing a wide variety of different approaches to probing material properties, such as absorbance, reflection, emission, scattering, thermal conductivity, and refractive index. Spectroscopy expert witnesses may opine on spectroscopic analysis and absorption spectroscopy, as well as related issues. In Atomic Absorption: Feeding the Food Safety Market, Hazel Dickson writes on metallic elements in food:

Some metallic elements are essential to the health and well being of the human body as they play an important role in basic functions. Examples of these include phosphorus, which is needed for muscle and tissue growth, and calcium, which is critical for normal cell operation. Minute amounts of zinc and manganese are required for hormone production and enzyme function. The absence or excess of these elements in the diet would result in the body not functioning in a normal and healthy way. Other elements such as arsenic, mercury, and lead are toxic and offer no physiological benefit. Entry of these elements into the body is usually via ingestion of food that has been contaminated due to pollution of the environment where the food is produced. Food and beverage suppliers and manufacturers, therefore, have a responsibility to know what is in the food they are supplying to consumers.

Read more: http://spectroscopyonline.findanalytichem.com/spectroscopy.

August 14, 2010

Interstate Motor Carrier Operations Expert Witnesses & Motor Carrier Protection Act of 2010 Part 3

Interstate motor carrier operations expert witnesses may opine on federal motor carrier safety regulations and the Department of Transportation (DOT), as well as other issues. Trucking experts at the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) recently issued a press release, coming out in support of the newly proposed Motor Carrier Protection Act of 2010.

Why would this legislation be a good thing for truckers? Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of OOIDA, thinks tightening regulation and closing loopholes is necessary. "If passed, this law would put a stop to a system that allows rogue brokers and scam artist to operate unchecked," he said. "Too often, we've seen bad brokers get away with collecting payment from shippers but leaving truckers holding the bag." The OOIDA has, for many decades, represented the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. They are the nation's largest such trade association, with over 155,000 members.

Read more: http://www.truckertrucker.com/.

August 14, 2010

Streaming Video Expert Witnesses

Streaming media expert witnesses may opine on digital multimedia evidence and streaming video, as well as related topics. The Law Enforcement & Emergency Services Video Association (LEVA) issued their Best Practices for the Acquisition of Digital Multimedia Evidence Version 3.0 on April 14, 2010, including information on preservation of DME.

DME preservation should consider the following:

Gaining Physical Access
If the data is stored on-site, coordinate with personnel at the storage location to gain access to secured areas, locked containers, or storage devices.
Access to remotely stored evidence may be acquired over network cables, phone cables, or through wireless connectivity. It may be necessary to contact other personnel who can access the DME and make arrangements to preserve the data.

Gaining Logical Access
Usernames and passwords may be required to gain logical access to the data on the system. Local network information, such as IP addresses, may also be required.

Controlling Access
Controlling access to the system can be accomplished by limiting physical access to the recording/storage device and by isolating the recording/storage device from external sources. External sources of access include network cables, phone cables, and wireless communication devices.

Preventing Loss
Steps should be taken to ensure no overwriting of the relevant data occurs until the data has been transferred to the acquisition media. Attention should be given to pre-scheduled data-purge and/or over-write settings. It may be necessary to solicit the assistance of additional resources including, but not limited to, manufacturer support personnel, network administrators, or a qualified computer forensic examiner. A sudden loss of power could cause destruction of the evidence. Terminating the power source should be considered a last resort.

Read more: leva.org.

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August 14, 2010

Mortgage Loans Expert Witness On Foreclosures Part 3

In Ask the Expert: How the Securities Foreclosure Mess Happened, mortgage loans expert witness Maher E. Soliman writes on the Conditional Prepayment Rate:

The CPR is the measurement of prepayment speed determine from reversion (sale of a home) refinance or the opposite end of the spectrum which is delinquency and default. Mortgages originated over the last decade were attributed an estimated holding time or CPR of say 60 months. Other things that influence price and for understanding the lenders desire to become fixated with the sub prime mortgage sector are subject to ethical scrutiny. I am referring to extreme maximum leverage used to buy loans and the introduction of something called accounting practices such as derecognition. The latter is suspect, according to many accountants, as it offer no real value to a transfer and subject to entering a “gain on sale.”

Read more: http://www.foreclosureinfosearch.com/

August 14, 2010

Variable Rate Mortgages Expert Witness On Foreclosures Part 2

In Ask the Expert: How the Securities Foreclosure Mess Happened, variable rate mortgages expert witness Maher E. Soliman writes:

It maybe the FDIC and lax oversight causing the unbelievable reemergence of banking and institutional investment activity in partnership. Their triparty collective efforts emerge in direct opposition to the spirit and intent of FIERREA legislation.

FIERREA was provided by the US legislature to expressly deny banks the capacity to used insured deposits to invest in junk classes of bonds disguised as securities. Devaluation of Bank equity and value once again becomes a reality.

Just like only a decade prior, the over valued bonds held as equity provided astronomical liquidity while their presense weighed down institutional balances sheets. These CDO's were now being devalued as worthless equity shares held in a trust. The trust and SPE structured finance merited derecognition or off balance sheet capitalization to avoid FIERREA legislative prohibition.

The old junk bond debt was exchanged for carrying a new kind of debt but off balance sheet as an asset.

Read more: http://www.foreclosureinfosearch.com/

August 14, 2010

Marketing Analysis Expert Blog

Market analysis expert Rosalie Hamilton offers tips on expert witness marketing at http://expertcommunications.blogspot.com/.

I frequently read advice and reactions from attorneys and judges regarding expert witnesses. It is rare, however, to hear it from a juror's perspective. Here are one juror's comments after a recent seven day trial:

Expert Witness for Plaintiff [EWP] was not board certified and claimed the reason he wasn't was that it was too expensive.

EWP was flown into [city X] from [several states away]. This was suspect , as we do have a leading medical center here; surely they could have found an ontological hematologist from [city X]. Would have set better with [city X] jury for sure!

EWP' s attitude -- I'm right and everyone else is wrong -- was simply not digestible by this jury. It just didn't wash. There not standard of protocol for this treatment, so there can be no absolutes.

EWP did not address the jury, but plaintiff's lawyer.

EWP was not cool or calm.

The Expert Witness for the Defense [EWD] was excellent. Spoke directly to the jury, was board certified...EWD was careful to state, that for this patient, this situation, the doctor made right decisions. Plaintiff's lawyer was able to get EWD to agree to many things, but EWD kept clarifying with, "I agree to this, but not for this patient in this situation."

August 14, 2010

Gas Stations Expert Witnesses

Gas stations expert witnesses may opine on service stations, filling stations, gasoline, petrol, and diesel fuel. Here the California Service Station & Automotive Repair Association writes on ENHANCED INSPECTION PROGRAM FOR VST (Vapor Systems Technologies Inc.) NOZZLES:

On July 26, the Air Resources Board (ARB) held a meeting with industry associations and representatives to clarify expectations of the Enhanced Inspection Program that will mitigate gasoline spray incidents by VST nozzles.

A few CSSARA members have shared specific issues that they have had concerning customer complaints about pumping gas without hold-open nozzle clips, and about VST removing clips without prior approval in an attempt to fix the problem. Dealers have said that they have had VST reattach the clips to satisfy customers. The ARB is aware of these complaints and is exploring steps to be taken to alleviate the problems.

At this time, it is recommended that you make daily inspections of your VST nozzles to make sure that the clips are working properly and that gasoline is not still in the hoses. We welcome your observations, comments, and questions about this program and possible solutions.


Read more: http://www.cssara.org/.

August 13, 2010

Transportation Rules and Regulations Expert Witnesses & Motor Carrier Protection Act of 2010 Part 2

Transportation rules and regulations expert witnesses may opine on federal motor carrier safety regulations and the Department of Transportation (DOT), as well as other issues. Trucking experts at the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) recently issued a press release, coming out in support of the newly proposed Motor Carrier Protection Act of 2010.

The act would establish significant penalties for violations of broker regulations, including unlimited liability for freight charges for conducting brokerage activities without a license or bond. Additionally, if the bill is passed into law, brokers and freight forwarders will be required to renew their operating authority annually and FMCSA will be required to revoke operating authority that is not renewed annually. Revenue generated from the renewal fees would then be dedicate to FMCSA's oversight and enforcement of broker regulations. The bill establishes strict guidelines on companies that provide brokers with surety bonds, as well as guidelines on how they administer these bonds. The bill clarifies that trucking companies must have a broker's or freight forwarder's license and an appropriate bond in addition to their motor carrier operating authority to arrange freight for another carrier for compensation.

Read more: http://www.truckertrucker.com/.

August 13, 2010

Trucking Expert Witnesses & Motor Carrier Protection Act of 2010 Part 1

Trucking expert witnesses may opine on federal motor carrier safety regulations and the Department of Transportation (DOT), as well as other issues. Trucking experts at the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) recently issued a press release, coming out in support of the newly proposed Motor Carrier Protection Act of 2010.

Warning that with the introduction of the new bill, that "bad brokers' days are numbered," they applauded the legislation that would significantly increase regulatory oversight of brokers and freight forwarders in the trucking industry.

The senate bill was introduced by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). S. 3483 was introduced in response to concerns about unscrupulous brokering practices that prey upon small business truckers. The two senators worked closely with the OOIDA as well as the Transportation Intermediaries Association in developing this legislation. The Motor Carrier Protection Act of 2010 legislates an increase in the broker bond from $10,000 to $100,000 and expands that bond requirement to freight forwarders. It increases requirements and disclosures for any person or company seeking to obtain broker or freight forwarder authority.

Read more: http://www.truckertrucker.com/.

August 13, 2010

Mortgages Expert Witness On Foreclosures Part 1

In Ask the Expert: How the Securities Foreclosure Mess Happened, mortgages expert witness Maher E. Soliman writes:

With the recent collapse in lending and drain on market liquidity, property values also collapsed.The events hold a negative effect on bank's assets and likewise the capital value of all member banks and FSB's. This is the current condition that further reduces banking liquidity.

If you return to 1989 and the passage of FIERREA, you recall how the legislation made it unlawful for a bank to hold junk bonds as bank assets. It was a decision coupled with the government electing to close (versus to sell off) the largest market maker of junk bonds at the time.

Drexil Burnham and Lambert fell in a shake up that caused a direct collapse of the junk bond market in just over a 6-month period. Its was cause for a loss in asset value of over 70% after assets were sold by the FDIC, RTC, banks and S&Ls at a deep government induced discount.

The sector subsequently recovered their previous value as other market makers entered the junk bond arena seeking to provide liquidity to buyers and sellers.

Read more: http://www.foreclosureinfosearch.com/

August 13, 2010

Video Capture Expert Witnesses

Video capture expert witnesses may opine on digital multimedia evidence and streaming media, as well as related topics. Definitions include:

Multimedia Evidence
Analog or digital media, including, but not limited to, film, tape, magnetic and optical media, and/or the information contained therein. NOTE: The term Digital Multimedia Evidence (DME) used in this document refers specifically to multimedia evidence in a digital form.

Forensic Video Analysis
Forensic Video Analysis is the scientific examination, comparison and/or evaluation of video in legal matters.

Integrity Verification
The process of confirming that the data presented is complete and unaltered since time of acquisition.

Authentication
The process of substantiating that the data is an accurate representation of what it purports to be.


Read more: leva.org.

LEVA Disclaimer:
As a condition to the use of this document and the information contained therein, the LEVA requests notification by e-mail before or contemporaneous to the introduction of this document, or any portion thereof, as a marked exhibit offered for or moved into evidence in any judicial, administrative, legislative or adjudicatory hearing or other proceeding (including discovery proceedings). Such notification shall include:
1) The formal name of the proceeding, including docket number or similar identifier;
2) The name and location of the body conducting the hearing or proceeding;
3) The subsequent to the use of this document in a formal proceeding please notify LEVA as to its use and outcome; and
4) The name, mailing address (if available) and contact information of the party offering or moving the document into evidence.
Notifications should be sent to documentation@leva.org. It is the user’s responsibility to ensure they have the most current version of this document. It is recommended that previous versions be archived for future reference, as needed, in accordance with that agency’s policies.
Redistribution Policy:
LEVA grants permission for redistribution and use of all publicly posted documents provided that the following conditions are met:
1) Redistributions of documents or parts of documents must retain the LEVA cover page containing the disclaimer.
2) Neither the name of LEVA nor the names of contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from its documents.
3) Any reference or quote from a LEVA document must include the version number (or create date) of the document and mention if the document is in a draft status.

August 13, 2010

Marketing Effectiveness Expert Blog

Marketing effectiveness expert Rosalie Hamilton offers tips on expert witness marketing at http://expertcommunications.blogspot.com/.

Commentary for expert consultants to the legal industry and the methods to find prospect attorneys, companies and insurers that need their expert consultant services. Current trends in billing habits, legislation, advertising and business development for doctors, engineers, CPAs, criminalists, professors, scientists, investigators, legal nurse consultants, etc. Discussion of the ins and outs of professionals working within the weird world of attorneys, courts and litigation.

August 13, 2010

Finance Expert Witnesses & CEOs

In the abstract for Which CEO Characteristics and Abilities Matter?, Steven N. Kaplan, Mark M. Klebanov, and Morten Sorensen write:

We exploit a unique dataset to study individual characteristics of CEO candidates for companies involved in buyout and venture capital transactions and relate these characteristics to subsequent corporate performance. CEO candidates vary along two primary dimensions: one that captures general ability and another that contrasts communication and interpersonal skills with execution skills. Subsequent performance is positively related to general ability and to execution skills. The findings expand our view of CEO characteristics and types relative to previous studies.

Finance expert witnesses may opine on CEOs, buyouts, venture capital, and other finance related issues.

August 13, 2010

Biotechnology Expert Witnesses & Blue Biotechnology

Biotechnology means any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use. For instance, biotechnology is applied to improve or facilitate cellular processes such as energy metabolism, gene transfer between unrelated species, or the engineering of enzymes for large scale production of drugs.

Blue biotechnology is concerned with the application of molecular biological methods to marine and freshwater organisms. It involves the use of these organisms, and their derivatives, for purposes such as increasing seafood supply and safety, controlling the proliferation of noxious water-borne organisms, and developing new drugs. Biotechnology expert witnesses may testify on antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, biochemical engineering, algae, etc.

Read more: biologyonline.org.

August 12, 2010

Service Stations Expert Witnesses & Safety

Service stations expert witnesses may opine on gas stations, filling stations, gasoline, petrol, and diesel fuel. Here the 24 Hour California Gas Station Association writes on safety:

Economic conditions sometimes lead to desperate acts by desperate individuals. As gasoline prices rise we all want to be sure employees at service stations are not placed in harms way. Misguided anger by frustrated individuals directed at service station employees can become a reality. Incidents of aggression could be on the rise particularly in the late evening and early morning hours at 24 locations, unless proactive measures are taken. When there are no perceived witnesses or an employee appears to be in a vulnerable position, theft, vandalism and aggression toward service station personnel is more likely to occur.

Read more: http://24hourgasstationassociation.com/

August 12, 2010

Marketing Expert On Manners

In

Manners Matter for Expert Witnesses,
marketing expert Rosalie Hamilton writes :
As an expert witness, your demeanor can be critical to how triers of fact view you, your report, and your testimony. Respect, politeness and composure can make a big difference in how the jury sees you. In "Effective Expert Preparation and Presentation," in The Advocate Magazine, May 2010, the Honorable Peter J. Polos (Ret.) writes that in addition to "Yes, sir/ma'am" and "Your Honor" that:
Experts should not let their tempers show no matter how bad the behavior of the questioning attorney. If the expert maintains his or her composure and the cross-examining attorney does not, it can only negatively impact the other side. Some of the the worst expert testimony I saw was due to argumentative or defensive testimony by the expert on cross-examination.

I will add from a marketing perspective that word gets around among attorneys. If you are known as composed and well-mannered, you are more likely to be referred and recommended to other attorneys.

(Unfortunately, this article is not available online but I highly recommend you read the entire article if possible. Judge Polos has valuable advice on several areas of expert witnessing).

Read more: expertcommunicationsblogspot.com.

August 12, 2010

Digital Video Expert Witnesses

Digital video expert witnesses may opine on digital multimedia evidence and streaming media, as well as related topics. The Law Enforcement & Emergency Services Video Association (LEVA) issued their Best Practices for the Acquisition of Digital Multimedia Evidence Version 3.0 on April 14, 2010.

Executive Summary:
The proliferation of digital video recording systems (DVRs) in our society presents significant challenges to law enforcement when attempting to obtain visual evidence of a crime. Proprietary digital recording technology and a lack of interoperable standards in the CCTV Industry, means that no single Standard Operating Procedure or process can be referenced for the acquisition of all Digital Multimedia Evidence (DME).

First Responders, Digital Evidence Specialists, Forensic Video Analysts and Technicians require specialized equipment, skills, knowledge and training to ensure that DME is protected and that Best Evidence is recovered and preserved.

Data that is commonly exported from DVR systems are often wrapped in any one of a number of digital video containers or players. Many of the players are referred to as “Open Source” and allow easy viewing of the data in most computer systems. However, ‘Open Source’ players and containers, such as those identified by file extensions with .WMV, .AVI, .AFS, etc., often indicate that the visual quality of the evidence has been reduced from its original form.
The goal of this document is to guide the investigator through Best Practices to ensure that best evidence is the target of DME acquisition and that the integrity of the original data is maintained.

Please see LEVA member profiles George Reis (Imaging Forensics) and Grant Fredericks (Forensic Video Solutions)


Read more:
leva.org.

LEVA Disclaimer:
As a condition to the use of this document and the information contained therein, the LEVA requests notification by e-mail before or contemporaneous to the introduction of this document, or any portion thereof, as a marked exhibit offered for or moved into evidence in any judicial, administrative, legislative or adjudicatory hearing or other proceeding (including discovery proceedings). Such notification shall include:
1) The formal name of the proceeding, including docket number or similar identifier;
2) The name and location of the body conducting the hearing or proceeding;
3) The subsequent to the use of this document in a formal proceeding please notify LEVA as to its use and outcome; and
4) The name, mailing address (if available) and contact information of the party offering or moving the document into evidence.
Notifications should be sent to documentation@leva.org. It is the user’s responsibility to ensure they have the most current version of this document. It is recommended that previous versions be archived for future reference, as needed, in accordance with that agency’s policies.
Redistribution Policy:
LEVA grants permission for redistribution and use of all publicly posted documents provided that the following conditions are met:
1) Redistributions of documents or parts of documents must retain the LEVA cover page containing the disclaimer.
2) Neither the name of LEVA nor the names of contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from its documents.
3) Any reference or quote from a LEVA document must include the version number (or create date) of the document and mention if the document is in a draft status.

August 12, 2010

Insurance Regulations Expert Witnesses

In Insurance 101 - Property - Casualty Basics, the American Insurance Association writes on Checks and Balances - An Insurance Regulation Overview:

Property-casualty insurance is heavily regulated at the state level; this is particularly true for personal lines and for workers’ compensation. Generally speaking, state regulators have oversight of market conduct; insurance company and agent licensing; insurance rates; policy language; financial condition (solvency) of insurance companies; and, consumer protection in insurance transactions.

Ideally, regulators focus their resources on making sure that insurance rates are adequate to cover losses, so that claims can be paid in full. They also are responsible for making sure that rates are neither unreasonably high nor unfairly discriminatory. Another key regulatory duty is to make sure that insurers remain solvent, i.e., that they maintain enough capital to pay policyholder losses as they come due.

Insurance regulations expert witnesses may opine on state insurance laws and regulations, as well as other insurance issues.

August 12, 2010

Marketing Strategy Expert Witnesses Part 3

Marketing strategy expert witnesses may opine on market analysis, market barriers, market research, and market share. Here, marketing strategy experts at the American Marketing Association (AMA) and ReadyTalk offer Web Event Best Practices:

Best Practice #2: Define the Audience & Deliver Value, Not a Sales Pitch

Clearly articulate the target audience for the web event and don’t try to reach too broad of an audience with a single event. What is their job function? What is their geographic location? What are their key pain points and business problems? Then, design the event from the ground up to meet the needs of this target audience.

Keep their geographic location(s) in mind when scheduling the time for the event. For example, don’t schedule it for the afternoon Eastern Time if you are trying to reach an audience in Europe or for the morning Eastern Time if your target attendees are on the West Coast.

Select a topic that will catch the target audience’s attention and entice them to register for and attend the event. Position yourself as an industry thought-leader and deliver highly relevant content of value to the audience. The event should be more than a thinly-veiled sales pitch or product demonstration–events of this nature will be perceived as such and greatly decrease audience attendance and engagement.

Consider offering an additional value-add to encourage registrants to attend; for example, offer attendees a free research report or chapter from a book that is relevant to the target audience.

August 11, 2010

Marketing Experts On Surveys Part 3

In 7 Habits of Highly Successful Surveys, marketing experts at Vovic Corporation offer these ideas on writing objective questions:

Remember the adage “Garbage in, Garbage out”. Poorly worded questions will lead to suspect results and erroneous conclusions. Respondents should not be able to determine where you stand on any topic, so use nonjudgmental wording and choose neutral terms. Don’t ask leading questions such as “What do you like about your service?” but instead ask “What, if anything, do you like…?”

Remove any ambiguity in your questions. Ask one item at a time, rather than using confusing questions like “How would you rate our price and service?” Make sure to avoid industry jargon. Write from the respondent’s perspective and not your perspective. Have others proofread your questions for clarity, and consider pre-testing your survey with a segment of your audience.

The best practices for writing scales have been thoroughly researched. Respondents prefer fully labeled scales; they have greater reliability and validity. Five- and 7-point scales have the greatest reliability and validity but 10- and 11-point scales are popular. Where possible use standard scales rather than writing your own. Numeric values alter the meaning of labels and should be avoided.

August 10, 2010

Wrongful Death Expert Witness On Aggressive Patients

Wrongful death expert witness Barry Gustin, MD, MPH, FAAEP, writes on de-escalating the toxicologically altered aggressive individual:

Toxicologists when reviewing cases are often faced with a subject in question that had altered mental status as a consequence of the effects of illicit substances. In this setting, dealing with aggressive patients can make a big difference in outcome. Patient death or injury resulting from the use of restraint and seclusion is an increasing concern in the field and in prison. Excessive and inappropriate TASER use has also been associated with sudden death. A well-known 1998 article documented 142 restraint-related deaths nationwide over a decade, 40% of which were attributed to unintentional asphyxiation during restraint. Restraint not only poses a risk for patient harm but also is physically and emotionally traumatizing for staff involved in the incident. Many have pointed out that high restraint rates are now understood as evidence of treatment failure. Since the Joint Commission began tracking sentinel events in 1996, it has reviewed the deaths of 20 patients who were physically restrained. Since then, the Joint Commission has advocated standards based on prevention as an intervention and the use of restraint as a last resort only after the least restrictive measures are exhausted.

Read more.

August 10, 2010

Commercial Liability Policies Expert Witnesses

In Insurance 101 - Property - Casualty Basics, the American Insurance Association writes on commercial property insurance:

Commercial property policies cover buildings and the organization’s property, and include a type of coverage known as “business interruption” designed to help a company continue operating if it is put out of its office/physical plant by a covered risk. Commercial liability policies protect policyholders against financial responsibility for injury or property damage resulting from a policyholder’s premises, products, services, or other operations. One example of commercial casualty coverage is workers’ compensation, which deals with lost earnings and medical expenses of employees injured on the job.

Commercial liability policies expert witnesses may testify on commercial property losses, workers' compensation, and other insurance issues.

August 9, 2010

Biomechanical Engineeering Expert Witnesses & White Biotechnology

Biotechnology means any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use. For instance, biotechnology is applied to improve or facilitate cellular processes such as energy metabolism, gene transfer between unrelated species, or the engineering of enzymes for large scale production of drugs.

White biotechnology refers to biotechnology applied to industrial processes. It involves the use of enzymes and organisms for the processing and production of chemicals, materials, and energy. Biochemical engineering expert witnesses may opine on production of bulk and fine chemicals, biofuels, and agricultural products.

Read more: biologyonline.org.

August 9, 2010

Liability Insurance Expert Witnesses

In Insurance 101 - Property - Casualty Basics, the American Insurance Association writes on liability claim costs:

Liability claim costs generally are broken down into two categories: 1) special damages, which include the claimant’s out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages; and, 2) general damages, which cover compensation for pain and suffering (often called non-economic damages). The claim representative/adjuster has the responsibility to offer a fair settlement to the injured party (whether first- or third-party), but can offer only up to the dollar limits of the policy. Once the claimant and company agree on the amount of loss, the company pays that amount (less the amount of a deductible in first-party claims). If there is disagreement over the claim, the matter may go to arbitration, mediation, or court for resolution.

Liability insurance expert witnesses may write reports and opine on insurance claims, damages, and other insurance matters.

August 8, 2010

Finance Expert Witnesses & Hedge Funds

In A Law and Finance Analysis of Hedge Funds, finance expert Douglas Cumming, Associate Professor and Ontario Research Chair in the Schulich School of Business at York University, describes the paper on hedge funds he wrote with Na Dai, SUNY at Albany:

This paper empirically analyzes the impact of hedge fund regulation on fund structure and performance. The data indicate restrictions on the location of key service providers and permissible distributions via wrappers are associated with lower fund alphas, lower average monthly returns, and higher fixed fees. Further, restrictions on the location of key service providers are associated with lower manipulation-proof performance measures, while wrapper distributions are associated with lower performance fees. As well, the data show standard deviations of monthly returns are lower among jurisdictions with restrictions on the location of key service providers and higher minimum capitalization requirements.

Finance expert witnesses may opine on hedge funds, financial planning, structured finance, financial projections, and more.

August 8, 2010

Biotechnology Expert Witnesses & Red Biotechnology

Biotechnology means any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use. For instance, biotechnology is applied to improve or facilitate cellular processes such as energy metabolism, gene transfer between unrelated species, or the engineering of enzymes for large scale production of drugs.

Red biotechnology refers to the use of organisms for the improvement of medical processes. It includes the designing of organisms to manufacture pharmaceutical products like antibiotics and vaccines, the engineering of genetic cures through genomic manipulation, and its use in forensics through DNA profiling. Biotechnology expert witnesses may opine on antibiotics, genomic manipulation, genetic engineering, and more.

Read more: biologyonline.org.

August 7, 2010

Marketing Strategy Expert Witnesses Part 2

Marketing strategy expert witnesses may opine on market analysis, market barriers, market research, and market share. Here, marketing strategy experts at the American Marketing Association (AMA) and ReadyTalk offer Web Event Best Practices:

Best Practice #1: Plan Like You Would for an In-Person Event

Don’t skimp on planning for your web event – treat it with the same level of care as you would an in-person event. Ensuring a well-attended, seamless, and high-quality web event requires advance preparation that begins at least 6 to 8 weeks before the live event. Items to address during planning include target audience, topic and content, date and time, event format, speakers, promotional activities, and follow-up strategy.

August 7, 2010

Property Insurance Expert Witnesses

In Insurance 101 - Property - Casualty Basics, the American Insurance Association writes:

The property casualty insurance industry provides protection from risk in two basic areas: protection for physical items, such as houses, personal possessions, cars, commercial buildings, and inventory (property), and protection against legal liability (casualty). Property insurance is a “first-party” coverage for losses related to a policyholder’s own person/property. Casualty (or liability) insurance is a “third-party” coverage for a policyholder’s legal obligations against losses the policyholder may cause to others.

These two basic types of coverage are written for both individuals or families (“personal lines” policies) and businesses (“commercial lines” policies). Personal lines policies include homeowners insurance, renters insurance, and vehicle coverage. For example, homeowners policies cover both fire damage to a house and/or contents, plus legal defense costs and liabilities
should a person be injured on the policyholder’s property.

Property insurance expert witnesses may write reports on homeowner's insurance, auto insurance, and insurance loss claims, among other topics.

August 6, 2010

Marketing Experts On Surveys Part 2

In 7 Habits of Highly Successful Surveys, marketing experts at Vovic Corporation write on surveying the right number of people:
Some might consider a “census approach” to surveying, attempting to gather feedback from 100% of the population. Others take a “sampling approach”. If you are thinking of taking a census approach with your survey, consider:
• The census approach works best for populations under 1,000 individuals
• It may require you to utilize incentives to boost response to the appropriate level
• Make sure you invite all respondents
• Use reminders and deadlines to ensure highest response rates among your population
A sampling approach may be more effective for your situation. Some of the benefits of a sampling approach are as follows:
• The sampling approach works best for populations over 1,000 individuals
• This approach avoids fatiguing respondents
• Segmentation allows you to obtain information on particular subgroups
If you are going to take the sampling approach, be mindful of the number of responses required to get a solid indication of how the target population overall would respond to your questions.
To ensure good sampling, make sure your selection of population is as random as possible. Send scheduled email reminders. Do not invite all potential respondents, thereby leaving names available for future surveys. For web surveys, make sure they are representative of the population for which you have email addresses; you may need to expand and test the representativeness and comprehensiveness of your house email lists.

August 5, 2010

Wrongful Death Expert Witness On Avoiding Medical Malpractice

Wrongful death expert witness Barry Gustin, MD, MPH, FAAEP, writes on avoiding medical malpractice when patients are handed off to other physicians:

When patients are transferred from one doctor to another, or from an outpatient setting to a hospital or nursing home, there is an increased chance of a serious mishap that can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit. Who is ultimately found liable for fumbling the patient handoff may be up to a jury to decide years after the event. Plaintiffs' attorneys generally will sue everyone involved in the patients' care – at least initially -- regardless of their degree of accountability, until the facts are clear.

Problems with handoff communication are listed as one of the root causes in up to 70% of adverse sentinel events compiled by the Joint Commission. The potential for something to go wrong -- needed follow-up care that slips through the cracks or vital information that isn't communicated in a timely fashion -- can have life or death impact for patients. It's also a leading driver of malpractice lawsuits against health professionals.

Read more.

August 4, 2010

Trucking Industry Expert Witnesses

Trucking industry expert witnesses may opine on the transportation and logistics industry. Here the American Trucking Association describes how trucks are responsible for the majority of freight movement over land, and are vital tools in the manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing industries.

With as many as 750,000 interstate motor carriers in the United States, the trucking industry is the driving force behind the U.S. economy. Trucking does the heavy lifting to move, through the supply chain, nearly everything we consume or use. Few Americans realize, however, that trucks deliver 70 percent of all freight tonnage or that 80 percent of U.S. communities receive their goods exclusively by truck. Even fewer know that the motor carrier industry provides jobs and generates significant personal income and tax revenue.

It takes nearly 9 million people to move about 11 billion tons of freight annually. Trucking collects more than $650 billion in revenue and represents about 5 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product. One out of every 13 people working in the private sector in the United States is employed in a trucking-related job across manufacturing, retail, public utility, construction, service, transportation, mining and agricultural sectors. Of those, 3.5 million are commercial drivers, averaging $50,000 annually. Some earn well above $100,000 per year.

August 3, 2010

Emissions Requirements Expert On Clean Trucks Program

Emission requirements expert Kevin Dukesherer, owner of Progressive Transportation Services and founding member of The Clean Truck Coalition, said in a July 8 Op-Ed in The Daily Breeze that "Those interested in truly helping truck drivers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach should advocate relatively quick and easy improvements to drayage operations at marine terminals, not an act of Congress."

Congressional Aides last week visited the Port of Los Angeles as part of a U.S. House of Representatives committee review of the Clean Trucks Program. The two-day tour, however, had little to do with their clean air achievements and instead focused on the thousands of independent owner operators hauling freight from the port, Dukesherer said.

The Clean Trucks Program has been extremely successful, reducing emissions from drayage trucks by 80 percent in just two years. Despite these results, the Teamsters union and their allies at the Port of Los Angeles continue to claim that independent owner operators can not sustain the environmental gains achieved under the program. The Teamsters have pushed for a change in federal transportation law that would give local ports the authority to regulate the trucking industry, with the goal of making it easier to organize the workforce.

Read more: truckline.com.

August 3, 2010

Insurance Expert Witnesses & Risk

In Insurance 101 - Property - Casualty Basics, the American Insurance Association writes:

Risk has two key dimensions— frequency and severity—and both help determine insurability. Frequency relates to how often a loss occurs, i.e., whether the risk/event is common or relatively rare. Severity relates to how costly losses resulting from that risk could be, i.e., whether they could be relatively inexpensive or truly catastrophic in nature. insurance can be an appropriate method of risk transfer for low-frequency, high-severity losses (e.g., house fires or tornadoes), as well as for high-frequency, low-severity losses (e.g., motor vehicle crashes). However, insurance may not be the most appropriate method for treating all risks facing individuals and businesses.

For example, insurance could be too expensive for certain risks (low-frequency, low-severity) or unavailable for other risks (such as high-frequency, high-severity risks, or risks whose frequency
and/or severity is difficult to predict, such as terrorism). Additionally, insurance may be unable to fully compensate for a loss (e.g., the destruction of family photos, which have great emotional value but little financial value).



Insurance expert witnesses
may opine regarding insurance loss claims and insurance policy coverage, among other topics.

August 2, 2010

Marketing Strategy Expert Witnesses Part 1

Marketing strategy expert witnesses may opine on market analysis, market barriers, market research, and market share. Here, marketing strategy experts at the American Marketing Association (AMA) and ReadyTalk offer Web Event Best Practices:

A successful web event can help strengthen a company’s brand awareness, increase exposure in the market, and generate qualified sales leads. If done right, it can elevate an organization’s credibility and reinforce its position as an industry thought leader. However, running a high-profile web event can be intimidating and challenging.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) and ReadyTalk have produced hundreds of effective web events and have learned that the best results are achieved through advanced planning and treating web events with the same care traditionally reserved for in-person events.

In this guide, ReadyTalk and the AMA share best practices, tools and samples for planning and executing a successful web event. Use this information-packed document as a supplemental guide to help make web events a great experience for you and your audience.

August 1, 2010

Trucking Expert Witnesses & Safety Campaign

Trucking expert witnesses may opine on the trucking industry and trucking and transportation rules and regulations. The American Trucking Associations website reports that:

The Missouri State Highway Patrol recently teamed up with NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing team and Con-way Freight to kick off a statewide safety campaign against texting while driving, according to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. The safety campaign’s logo will also be displayed on Con-way Freight’s No. 16 Ford Fusion race car driven by Colin Braun, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat said.

“Anybody can drive a vehicle if they’re focused on it 100 percent,” Braun said. “As a race car driver I don’t [text] while I’m racing, and I don’t do it in my personal car. I know I can’t do it safely, and I’ve got quick reflexes compared to a lot of people on the road.” Missouri became the 23rd state to adopt a ban on texting in August of 2009, when the state made it illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to text while driving, said the Missouri DOT website. However, the newly launched safety campaign advocates that all drivers - regardless of age - refrain from texting while driving.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) supports the efforts of the 30 states and the District of Columbia that have banned texting by automobile drivers and will continue to work with affiliated state trucking associations and stakeholder groups to encourage the remaining states to institute a ban. A comprehensive listing of state laws on texting and cell phone usage is available online from the Governors Highway Safety Association.