March 31, 2011

Leasing Expert Witnesses & Economic Improvement

Leasing expert witnesses may testify on commercial leasing, lease purchases, rental agreements, and related topics. In Equipping Business Success In An Improving Company William G. Sutton, CAE, President, Equipment Leasing and Finance Association writes:

Businesses are ramping up to meet increasing demand and market opportunities in response to continued signs of economic improvement. Acquiring equipment to operate and grow is critical, and for smart businesses, equipment financing is a key acquisition strategy. Equipment financing is tailored to individual business considerations, including that of maintaining cash reserves.

Read more: mtbmag.com.

March 30, 2011

Medical Insurance Expert Witness & the Reimbursement Process

Medical insurance expert witness Mr. L. Lamar Blount, - CPA, FHFMA, CFF, is the author of the AMA's best selling book on physician reimbursement, Mastering the Reimbursement Process (Billing and Compliance).

The book guides users through the reimbursement process from start to finish and includes information on types of insurance and payers, coding systems, insurance processing and review and appeals. Also included are chapters on electronic claims processing, compliance plans for physicians, and privacy and confidentiality issues, including HIPAA as well as an appendix on OIG Compliance and Internet Resources.

Read more: healthlawnetwork.com.

March 30, 2011

Genetics Expert Witnesses

Genetics expert witnesses may write reports and opine on genetic diagnosis, prenatal testing, medical genetics, and related topics. Virtual Medical Practice LLC writes that the number of diseases in humans known to be attributable to inherited inborn errors of metabolism exceeds 500.

While individually rare, collectively these disorders account for a significant proportion of illness particularly in children. A recent study in a major US pediatric hospital found that an underlying disorder with a significant genetic component was found in 71% of admitted children. The vast majority (96%) of underlying chronic disorders in children in this study were either clearly genetic or had a genetic susceptibility.

Read more: virtualmdpractice.com.

March 29, 2011

Entertainment Expert Witnesses & Copyright Part 1

Entertainment expert witnesses may testify on motion picture distribution, media piracy, royalties, and related topics. In Protecting Creativity, Expanding Consumer Choice, the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. writes:

Respect for copyrights is central to the ability of creative artists to make great movies and TV shows and help our economy grow. The MPAA and its member companies are committed to protecting the rights of those who create the content we love. We are also committed to embracing new technologies and innovative approaches that enable consumers to enjoy their favorite movies and TV shows in exciting and flexible ways. Indeed, the motion picture industry has always been at the forefront of such innovation. Think of the transition from silent pictures to sound or black-and-white to color or, today, 2D to 3D.

Read more: mpaa.com.

March 29, 2011

Risk Management Expert Witness On Risk Assessment Part 8

In What the Defendant Can Do Wrong, security management and risk management expert witness Ira Somerson, BCFE, CPP, CSC, writes on security oversight:

Unfortunately security managers are not taught security management in business schools. Most security problems are business and people problems, but still no serious effort exists (with an established business school) to provide this important curricula to future business executives. Security is taught within criminology curricula, but that is more like preaching to the choir. As a result, a business organization’s operation is usually not structured to include and coordinate security oversight. It is often left to others, not qualified to understand security risks, to assume this important stewardship. This could be an argument for hiring a security manager if your organization does have unique and developed security threats, but it also begs the issue of ensuring that other disciplines within an organization include analysis of security threats in their agenda. For example: audit, safety/environmental, operations, human resources, legal and/or facilities are routinely exposed to security issues. Discovery and investigation will more often than not identify that organizations do not understand or provide desired stewardship of security within their organization.

March 28, 2011

Property Insurance Expert Witnesses

Property insurance expert witnesses may write reports and opine on flood insurance, earthquake insurance, home insurance, and related topics. Here, Sheryl Devereaux, Houston Political Buzz Examiner, reports on Texas House Committee legislation regarding property insurance:

Impassioned and expert testimony about two bills in the Texas Legislature, HB 272 and HB2818, attempting to solve problems with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) lasted hours in hearing by the House Committee on Insurance today. The committee discussed the claims of the authors, Representatives Smithee, and Taylor respectively, to improve the psuedo-governmental agency and allow better efficiently and effectively pay out on claims.

Discussion focused upon ways to solve the failures of the organization that covers 14 coastal counties including Houston's Harris County. The bills attempt to provide better efficiency to processing claims--that proved to be painfully sluggish after Ike, and greater transparency, including publishing the salaries of board and other employees of TWIA. The most controversial section of the bill is a clause that requires arbitration for a disputed or inefficiently processed claim rather than a law suit. One member of the panel argued that the Texas State Constitution provides the right of all citizens due process of the courts for remedy. The packed audience applauded.

Read more: examiner.com/houston.

March 27, 2011

Semiconductors Expert Witness & Key Terms

Semiconductors expert witness Ron Maltiel includes links on his website to industry information which includes a Semiconductor Glossary. The purpose of the glossary is to "give you an instant explanation of key terms and concepts in the area of semiconductor materials, manufacturing and devices."

You may also find links to:

Semicyclopedia

ACRONYMS and Vocabulary Used in Semiconductor Industry

Fiber Optics Glossary

March 26, 2011

Long Term Disability Insurance Expert Witnesses

Long term disability insurance expert witnesses may opine on disability income insurance, state disability insurance, disability insurance benefits, and related topics. In How To Prepare For Your Disability Hearing, Insurance News writes on the hearing process and what to expect:

You’ll probably be in a room with the judge, a hearing assistant who will record the proceedings, any witnesses and, if you have one, your SSDI representative. The Administrative Law Judge also may ask medical or vocational experts to attend and offer their opinions. The medical expert, a doctor, will review your medical records and give his or her opinion about your testimony. The vocational expert will respond to hypothetical questions from the judge about any limitations related to your ability to work.

The ALJ may ask questions about your disability, pain level, and how your disability affects you life. They usually won’t ask technical questions because this information is in your file. When you answer questions, don’t just explain your medical condition. Instead, thoroughly describe how your condition affects your life. For example, tell the judge if you are unable to sit, stand, walk or concentrate. Do not exaggerate your condition.

Following the hearing, it may take several months for the ALJ to render a decision. Many claimants are awarded at the hearing level. But if the claim is denied, claimants still have the option of moving forward with a disability appeal to the Appeals Council.

Read more: insurancenewsnet.com.

March 25, 2011

Finance Expert Witness Testifies In Tribune Bankruptcy Case

Courthouse News Service reports that Tribune Co.'s plan to exit bankruptcy may violate FCC rules because some of the creditors backing its plan have holdings in other media companies, an expert witness testified in Bankruptcy Court. Finance expert witness Mark Prak testified on Thursday that Tribune creditors JPMorgan & Chase, Angelo Gordon & Co., and Oaktree Capital Management have significant holdings in media companies that compete in some of the same markets with Tribune.

Those holdings, Prak said, would violate the Federal Communications Commission's multiple- and cross-ownership rules under Tribune's reorganization plan.

Read more: courthousenews.com.

March 24, 2011

Risk Management Expert Witness On Risk Assessment Part 7

In What the Defendant Can Do Wrong, security management and risk management expert witness Ira Somerson, BCFE, CPP, CSC, writes on tracking security incidents.

The trick is to create a policy and procedure with management’s strong support that ensures employees will report incidents the very first time they experience an incident or reasonable suspicion. Instead, senior management and house counsel persistently avoid doing this pointing to their concern of it creating a self-incriminating record. In fact, failure to understand one’s history and risks is the best route to self-incrimination. If employees believe that their customers and their own best interests are served, they will support a well developed incident reporting and loss tracking program. Discovery and investigation will more often than not identify that organizations do not perform this vital function and are therefor doomed to persistent security incidents.

March 23, 2011

Insurance Expert Michael McRaith New Director Federal Insurance Office

Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner announced Thursday that the first director of the new Federal Insurance Office (FIO) will be Michael McRaith, currently insurance director of Illinois and formerly the secretary/treasurer of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Prior to McRaith’s appointment, there was only a single spot on the FSOC panel filled by an insurance expert; that position was nonvoting. Criticism held that the FSOC was involved in matters that impacted the insurance industry without sufficient expertise on the council.

Read more: advisorone.com.

March 22, 2011

Semiconductors Expert Witness On Semiconductor Technology

In Introduction to Semiconductor Device Manufacturing, semiconductor expert witness Ron Maltiel writes:

Semiconductor technology is continuously evolving and becoming more prevalent in our lives due to the significant advances in the technology and decreases in cost. One of the prominent trends in semiconductor technology over the last 40 years has been the shrinking in size of the individual transistors. This increases the number of transistors that can be included in each new generation of products.

The following narrative is a basic introduction to the semiconductor fabrication (commonly referred to as fab) manufacturing process.

Some of the most common electrical devices used in Integrated Circuits (IC) are transistors and capacitors. Both are manufactured by carving structures directly into the top of a wafer (slice of semiconductor material), as well as by depositing material on top of the wafer surface.

Read more: http://maltiel-consulting.com/Semiconductor_Manufacturing_101_maltiel-consulting.html

March 21, 2011

Business Expert Witnesses & Succession Planning Part 1

Business expert witnesses may advise regarding executive management, director duties, executive compensation, and related topics. CrainsNewYork.com writes that about 98% of corporate executives believe succession planning is important, yet only 35% have a succession plan in place, according to a recent survey by the Korn/Ferry Institute. In Taking Over: Insider Tips from a Third-Generation CEO, Mitchell Kaneff, chief executive of Arkay Packaging in Manhattan, offers a guide to succession planning.

1. Plan early. “Start succession planning a minimum of five to 10 years prior to the next generation coming into the business,” advised Mr. Kaneff. Sometimes, the process may get stalled, so it is important to build in extra time.

2. Get an outside perspective. Making decisions about succession can be lonely, so it helps to have a sounding board outside of your family or colleagues. “We brought in an industrial psychologist,” said Mr. Kaneff.

March 20, 2011

Engineering Expert & Waste To Energy Plant

Advisers to Mecklenburg County’s Solid Waste Department want an outside engineering expert to review a proposed waste-to-energy plant before giving its operators the area’s residential trash for use as fuel. The Mecklenburg (NC) Board of County Commissioners says the county should refrain from signing a contract with the developers of the ReVenture project without a favorable recommendation from an outside expert source.

Read more: Charlotte Business Journal.

March 19, 2011

Risk Management Expert Witness On Risk Assessment Part 6

In What the Defendant Can Do Wrong, security management and risk management expert witness Ira Somerson, BCFE, CPP, CSC, writes on inherent risks.

Inherent Risks:
When you ask someone what is the primary risk in a convenience store operation, the usual answer is “robbery.” Others may say shoplifting, but from the point of view of criticality and the potential for violence and/or loss of intrinsic assets, robbery would be the likely choice. Some will argue that not all convenience stores are equally vulnerable to robbery. This is true. But the fact remains that its basic operation (without adequate deterrents) makes it uniquely vulnerable to this particular crime.

Although a bar and night club may also be vulnerable to a robbery, the same response in this environment would probably be “aggravated or simple assault” (fighting). A department store? Shoplifting. A parking lot? That would depend upon where the parking lot was, but usually theft of or from auto. A high-rise residential building? burglary and/or various assaults. These examples are generalizations that require far more study, but explain why risk assessment is strategic in developing a security program. A security program should never be developed solely on the basis of anecdotal or experiential instincts. But they should be included in the risk assessment paradigm.

March 18, 2011

Marketing Strategy Expert Witnesses Part 2

Marketing strategy expert witnesses may write reports and opine on branding, market studies, market analysis, and related topics. Here, WOMMA, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association describes common types of word of mouth marketing.

Evangelist Marketing: Cultivating evangelists, advocates, or volunteers who are encouraged to take a leadership role in actively spreading the word on your behalf.

Product Seeding: Placing the right product into the right hands at the right time, providing information or samples to influential individuals.

Influencer Marketing: Identifying key communities and opinion leaders who are likely to talk about products and have the ability to influence the opinions of others.

Cause Marketing: Supporting social causes to earn respect and support from people who feel strongly about the cause.

Conversation Creation: Interesting or fun advertising, emails, catch phrases, entertainment, or promotions designed to start word of mouth activity.

Brand Blogging: Creating blogs and participating in the blogosphere, in the spirit of open, transparent communications; sharing information of value that the blog community may talk about.

Referral Programs: Creating tools that enable satisfied customers to refer their friends.

Read more: womma.org.

March 17, 2011

Collision Speed Expert Witness On Cause Analysis Part 4

In What is Traffic Accident Reconstruction And Cause Analysis?, collision speed expert witness Patrick Scott Moore writes:

Why use a Reconstruction Specialist?

Attorneys understand the law and the procedures of a civil suit or criminal trial. However, most attorneys do not have the expert knowledge required to explain the causal factors of a traffic accident. Therefore, attorneys generally use experts to assist them with their more complex cases. A reconstruction specialist can evaluate and assist in the preparation and presentation of a technically involved case, as well as, testify as an expert.

Are Reconstruction Specialists expensive?

Reconstruction can be expensive if the case requires many hours of critical evaluation and analysis. However, most reconstructions only require the expert to inspect, evaluate, analyze, and document typical collisions. Typical collisions generally take from 10-20 hours to complete. Ask the reconstruction specialist for the hourly rate they charge so that you can compare rates. Some reconstruction specialists are more qualified, and therefore, charge more. Always remember, check the qualifications as outlined above, then apply the rule "you get what you pay for"!!

March 16, 2011

Insurance Expert Witness On Pollution Exclusions Part 2

In The I.S.O. Pollution Exclusion: How Far Does It Go?, insurance expert witness Dale C. Crawford writes:

In responding to judicial interpretations supportive of coverage, the language became quite restrictive. Two key clauses are the definition of pollutants and the exclusionary terms:

“Pollutants” mean any solid, liquid, gaseous or thermal irritant or contaminant, including smoke, vapor, soot, fumes, acids, alkalis, chemicals and waste. Waste includes materials to be recycled, reconditioned, or reclaimed.

This insurance does not apply to:
f. Pollution [Insurance Services Office standard form]
(1) “Bodily Injury” or “Property Damage” which would not have occurred in whole or in
part but for the actual, alleged, or threatened discharge, dispersal, seepage, migration, release, or escape of “pollutants” at any time.

March 15, 2011

Health Physics Expert Witnesses

Health physics expert witnesses may write reports and opine on radiation safety. In Consumer Products Containing Radioactive Materials the Health Physics Society writes:

Everything we encounter in our daily lives contains some radioactive material, some naturally occurring and some man-made: the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the ground we walk upon, and the consumer products we purchase and use. Although many might be familiar with the use of radiation to diagnose disease and treat cancer, some people, when they hear the terms “radioactive” and “radiation,” might recall images of mushroom clouds or monster mutants that inhabit the world of science fiction movies and comic books. Unfortunately, those false images can cause inordinate fear that is not justified regarding low levels of radioactive material. Many consumer items containing naturally occurring radioactivity can be safely used. This fact sheet describes a few of the more commonly encountered and familiar consumer products. Included are the items that can contain sufficient radioactive material to be distinguished from the general environ-mental background radiation with a simple handheld radiation survey meter.

Read more: hps.org.

March 15, 2011

Collision Analysis Expert Witness On Cause Analysis Part 3

In What is Traffic Accident Reconstruction And Cause Analysis?, collision analysis expert witness Patrick Scott Moore writes:

When selecting a reconstruction specialist the experience, training, education, and certifications of the candidate should be thoroughly examined. The best approach is to require the candidate to have a strong background in each of the above mentioned areas. Many expert witnesses have only one or two of the areas such as education and/or training. With courts becoming more and more critical of experts it is best to search for a candidate that can meet the court's criteria in all of the areas.

The following is a list of qualifiers:
# How many years of on-scene traffic accident investigation experience
# How many on-scene traffic accidents investigated
# How much specific traffic accident education and training

* IPTM (University of North Florida)
* Northwestern University (Traffic Accident Institute)
* Texas A&M (Traffic Accident Institute)
* University of California, Riverside (Traffic Accident Institute)

# What certifications have been attained

* a. A.C.T.A.R. (Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction)

March 14, 2011

Atmospheric Physics Expert Witnesses

Atmospheric physics expert witnesses apply physics to the study of the atmosphere. Atmospheric physicists attempt to model Earth's atmosphere and the atmospheres of the other planets using fluid flow equations, chemical models, radiation balancing, and energy transfer processes in the atmosphere (as well as how these tie in to other systems such as the oceans). In order to model weather systems, atmospheric physicists employ elements of scattering theory, wave propagation models, cloud physics, statistical mechanics and spatial statistics which are highly mathematical and related to physics. It has close links to meteorology and climatology and also covers the design and construction of instruments for studying the atmosphere and the interpretation of the data they provide, including remote sensing instruments.

Read more:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_physics

March 14, 2011

Traffic Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness On Cause Analysis Part 2

In What is Traffic Accident Reconstruction And Cause Analysis?, traffic accident reconstruction expert witness Patrick Scott Moore writes:

Who are Reconstruction Specialists and how are they trained?

Reconstruction specialists are generally engineers, physicists, or law enforcement. Engineers and physicists are educated in the laws of physics, and therefore, are considered experts on objects in motion and the forces acting on those objects. Law enforcement is educated in the investigation of traffic accidents, as well as, physics as it applies to traffic accidents. Although it is generally true that engineers and physicists have a stronger background in physics, law enforcement generally has the stronger background in the identification, collection, and documentation of forensic evidence, as well as, courtroom testimony.

March 14, 2011

White Collar Crime Expert Witness On The Opposing Expert Part 3

In Cross-Examining a Financial Expert, white collar crime expert witness Mr. Henry J. Kahrs, CPA/ABV/CFF, CMA, CFE, CM of RGL Forensics writes:

OBJECTIVE I: EXCLUDE OR DISCREDIT

When the goal is to exclude or discredit the opposing financial expert’s opinion, attorneys may opt to:

* Proceed with a Daubert Challenge
* Attack the Appropriateness of the Expert’s Methodology
* Attack the Underlying Assumptions
* Attack the Quality of the Work

Daubert Challenges

The number of successful Daubert challenges will increase as attorneys improve their skills at demonstrating the following:

1. Qualifications - The expert does not possess the prerequisite qualifications
2. Methodology - The expert did not use appropriate methodologies
3. Application - The expert failed to apply the methodologies properly, and
4. Support for Opinions - The expert failed to support his conclusions or establish a direct link between the litigated actions and the calculated damages

March 14, 2011

Risk Management Expert Witness On Risk Assessment Part 5

In What the Defendant Can Do Wrong, security management and risk management expert witness Ira Somerson, BCFE, CPP, CSC, writes on discovery and investigation of a Security Program:

Discovery and investigation of a premises security matters should seek to identify:
■ Did Defendant routinely conduct qualitative and quantitative risk assessments?
■ Was the assessment performed using a qualified methodology?
■ Has Defendant determined the operational aspects of a facility and its “inherent” risks?
■ Were qualified persons used in conducting the risk assessment?
■ Can Defendant illustrate changes in their security strategies in response to a continuing risk assessment program.
■ Has Defendant sought in-house or outsourced expert support?
■ Has Defendant ignored the advice of existing security vendors or inside requests for support?

March 13, 2011

Leasing Expert Witness On Office Building Appraisal

In Medical Office Building Appraisal, leasing expert witness Orell Anderson, MAI, of Bell, Anderson & Sanders LLC, writes:

Even when equipped with a complete understanding of how to appraise a standard office building, to appraise a medical office building an appraiser must thoroughly understand the many characteristics that make us appraisal unique. Not only do the physical, financial, and external influences of medical office buildings (MOB•) differ significantly from standard office buildings, but the recent proposed changes in the medical and political arenas add to the complexity of these appraisal assignments. All of these factors combined male appraising medical office buildings a specialty within the appraisal profession.

March 13, 2011

Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness On Cause Analysis Part 1

In What is Traffic Accident Reconstruction And Cause Analysis?, accident reconstruction expert witness Patrick Scott Moore writes:

Traffic accident reconstruction is the science of recreating the dynamics of a collision in an attempt to determine the causes. A complete reconstruction requires a complete investigation and analysis of all relevant evidence, statements of the parties and witnesses, and documentation of the collision.

Often, the reconstruction specialist will review and analyze photos and/or videos of the collision scene, police traffic accident reports, statements by the parties/witnessess, reports by claims adjusters, vehicle damage reports by auto body shops, medical reports describing injuries, and any other relevant information regarding the collision.

Usually, unless there are time constraints, the reconstruction specialist will visit the collision site to do a forensic analysis of the environment. This is where the reconstruction specialist must be a good investigator. Collecting good forensic information from the site of the collision requires experience in the skills of identifying, collecting, and preserving evidence.

Once the aforementioned analysis has been conducted, the reconstruction specialist attempts to position the parties prior to, at, and after the impact to better understand the dynamics of the collision to determine the causal factors. Now the reconstruction specialist is ready to form an opinion and testify in court as an expert witness.

March 13, 2011

Nuclear Physics Expert On Japan Reactor

Nuclear energy analyst Robert Alvarez of the Institute for Policy Studies says there are many things we do not know about the Fukushima Prefecture nuclear plant failure, including whether the containment structure is fully intact.

The information that has been made public, particularly by the Japanese nuclear safety authorities, certainly indicate that radioactive elements from the fuel itself have escaped and entered the environment. And even if the reactor maintains its integrity, there's a possibility that things like open relief valves on the top of the reactor and things like that may still release large amounts of radioactivity.

Robert Alvarez, an Institute for Policy Studies senior scholar, served as senior policy adviser to the Energy Department's secretary and deputy assistant secretary for national security and the environment from 1993 to 1999.

Read more: voanews.com.

March 13, 2011

Media Expert Witnesses & Social Media Part 3

Media expert witnesses may opine on mass media, music, television, and social media. In No “R” in Social Media Tom Morse, Media Communications Association Central Carolina Chapter President writes:

Things can get murky when it comes to “soft metrics,” such as measuring views on YouTube, comments on blogs, brand mentions, or tweets. Activity that happens beyond an organization’s website is more difficult to quantify. An agreement on how these will be evaluated is important. Construct strategies that help drive traffic into an environment where you have more sophisticated capabilities to engage and convert online actions into sales. For example, a video posted to YouTube can include a unique URL providing content that supplements the video. Hits to the web page can the tracked and offers for items such as white papers can be converted to sales leads.

Read more: http://www.mca-i.org/

March 13, 2011

Insurance Claims Expert Witnesses & Auto Insurance Fraud Part 5

Insurance claims expert witnesses may opine on insurance policy interpretation, insurance fraud, and related topics. In 8 Great Ways to Get Busted for Auto Insurance Fraud, Insurance.com writes:

8. Buy insurance for a loss you already had.

This is one of the all-time classics. You've been meaning to get comprehensive coverage for awhile now, but never got around to it. Unfortunately, a tree branch just fell on your car, breaking the windshield and severely denting the hood. So, you call your auto insurance company and add comprehensive coverage, then file a claim a few days later. The problem? During the investigation, the SIU finds out you started calling body shops to get estimates before you had comprehensive coverage. Not a good situation for you.

These are just a few of the ways an insurance company's SIU can catch fraud. They also work with law enforcement, state departments of insurance, and the justice system to identify insurance fraud and assist in prosecuting the offenders. Many companies have computer programs that flag suspicious claims for review by the SIU. If you're caught, penalties can range from denial of your claims, to cancellation of your car insurance policy, to possible fines or jail time. In other words, it's not worth it.

If you suspect a person or group is committing insurance fraud, you can report it to the police, your insurance company, or the National Insurance Crime Bureau. You might even get a reward.

Read more: insurance.com.

March 13, 2011

Marketing Strategy Expert Witnesses Part 1

Marketing strategy expert witnesses may write reports and opine on branding, market studies, market analysis, and related topics. Here, WOMMA, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association describes common types of word of mouth marketing.

This is not a complete list -- we're publishing it as a means to begin a dialog toward standardization, and we welcome your comments. (Not everyone agrees that each of these should be part of word of mouth marketing, and many marketers use different terms to describe them.)

Buzz Marketing: Using high-profile entertainment or news to get people to talk about your brand.

Viral Marketing: Creating entertaining or informative messages that are designed to be passed along in an exponential fashion, often electronically or by email.

Community Marketing: Forming or supporting niche communities that are likely to share interests about the brand (such as user groups, fan clubs, and discussion forums); providing tools, content, and information to support those communities.

Grassroots Marketing: Organizing and motivating volunteers to engage in personal or local outreach.

Read more: womma.org.

March 12, 2011

Physics Expert On Nuclear Reactor

Guardian.co.uk reports that Japan's fears of nuclear mayhem recede as the nuclear reactor at Fukushima Daiichi starts to cool.

For a few unnerving hours, Japan faced a bleak and unsettling prospect. The devastation wreaked by Friday's earthquake and tsunami seemed set to be followed by a nuclear meltdown that could have spread radioactive waste over large parts of the country. Fears of a nuclear fallout were raised when a massive explosion rocked the Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant following damage to one of its reactors in Friday's earthquake.

"To reduce the pressure, you would have to release some steam into the atmosphere from the system," said physics expert Professpr Patrick H. Regan, professor of nuclear physics at Surrey University. "In that steam, there will be small but measurable amounts of radioactive nitrogen 16 [produced when neutrons hit water]. This remains radioactive for only about five seconds, after which it decays to natural oxygen."

Read more: guardian.co.uk.

March 12, 2011

Mass Media Expert Witnesses & Social Media Part 2

Mass media expert witnesses may opine on mass media, music, television, and social media. In No “R” in Social Media, Tom Morse, Media Communications Association Central Carolina Chapter President writes:

Many organizations use applications such as Google Analytics or SAS® Customer Intelligence to monitor web traffic and gain valuable business insights. For organizations without such capabilities, there are still many ways to track and measure the business value of social media. Regardless of the channel, a strong call to action can drive traffic back to where engagement can be turned into leads and sales. In some cases it might be a unique 800 number, hotlink, promotional code, or email address that delivers prospects to where tracking and conversions can be done – a call center or company website. These simple techniques, some would call them old school, have long proven effective. Regardless of whether the engagement begins on a syndicated blog, Facebook, or Twitter, prospects can be engaged in a way that can provide meaningful information.

Read more: http://www.mca-i.org/

March 12, 2011

Electrical Expert Witness & Risk Control Part 2

In Construction Hazards – Early Identification and Risk Control, electrical expert witness Gregory W. Miller, P.E., B.S.E.E, writes:

1. Identifying the Hazards – This is the first step. It includes walking the project site and meeting with the project and design engineers to get a handle on the scope and activities associated with the project. A well-developed HIP will provide the safety professional with the ability to target his questions and focus his initial investigation into the high-rate hazards. Typical questions covered by the HIP include:
What existing hazards exist at or near the site? Power lines? Pipelines? Nearby population & traffic?

What construction techniques might create hazards? Blasting? Excavations? Heavy
lifts? Chemical handling? Steel erection? Hot work? Hot tie-ins?

What high-risk tasks will be employed?

March 12, 2011

Rescue Expert Witness On Standards For Fire & Rescue Industry Part 2

In Standard for Technical Rescue, rescue expert witness Gerald M. Dworkin, Lifesaving Resources Inc., writes:

If lifeguards are trained in CPR and AED for the Professional Rescuer, then it would be negligent not to provide them with the equipment used within those training programs, namely AEDs and Bag-Valve-Mask Resuscitators, among other things. Drowning is a hypoxic event. The only effective way to treat hypoxia in a victim of respiratory and/or cardiac distress or arrest while waiting for the arrival of EMS personnel is to provide positive pressure ventilation (PPV) using a personal resuscitation mask or an appropriately sized bag-valve-mask (BVM) resuscitator along with supplemental oxygen administration. While the use of a personal resuscitation mask provides for the administration of 16 percent oxygen from atmospheric air, the use of a bag-valve-mask will provide the patient with 21 percent oxygen from atmospheric air. And, by attaching an oxygen tank and regulator flowing oxygen at 15 liters per minute, the rescuer will then be providing the patient with 100 percent oxygen.

Read more: www.lifesaving.com.

March 11, 2011

Insurance Expert Witness On Pollution Exclusions Part 1

In The I.S.O. Pollution Exclusion: How Far Does It Go?, insurance expert witness Dale C. Crawford writes:

Anyone involved in insurance dispute resolution will sooner or later come across an issue involving pollution exclusions. Most carriers—even those operating on a non-admitted basis—use the Insurance Services Office standard form. Typically, the
conflict will be whether a cause of loss falls within the exclusionary language.

When these exclusions first evolved in the early 1970s, those active in the industry at the time will recall the two significant features addressed. The first was that damage from pollution was excluded unless it was sudden and accidental; second, the focus was on costs to remediate air, land or water damaged by the pollutants. Thus the intentional polluter who contaminated large land areas or streams over many years or habitually released noxious airborne chemicals would not have coverage for the costs of cleanup. Insurers soon found that the requirement for sudden and accidental was often given wide latitude in favor of coverage. The different terms adopted across the industry were gradually tightened and narrowed into more standard forms, ultimately resulting in a standard ISO form in 1985 with an absolute exclusion.

March 11, 2011

Fraud Expert Witness On The Opposing Expert Part 2

In Cross-Examining a Financial Expert, fraud expert witness Mr. Henry J. Kahrs, CPA/ABV/CFF, CMA, CFE, CM of RGL Forensics writes:

The best way that attorneys can prepare for this important moment in the courtroom is to start with three primary steps. First, gain an understanding of the basic methodologies used in forensic damage analysis and the generally accepted processes employed in the application of the methodologies. Second, become familiar with records and resources available to the opposing expert in your case. And finally, take a comprehensive discovery deposition of the expert that locks down the opinions that will be offered at trial. Prepared with this foundation, you will be well armed to face the opposing financial expert.

Generally, there are three approaches to the cross-examination of a financial expert:

· Exclude or discredit the financial expert’s opinion

· Put into question the expert’s credibility or integrity, or

· Support your own legal theory or assumption by using the opposing expert’s opinions or calculations.

Regardless of the approach you adopt in cross-examination, your success is dependant on understanding the basic approaches and methodologies employed by financial experts. Because the specific methodology will vary from case to case, this article cannot address the plethora of details and variations that you will encounter in your career. What is presented here are some basics of forensic financial analysis to help you develop a plan and approach to cross-examining these experts.

March 10, 2011

Media Expert Witnesses & Social Media Part 1

Media expert witnesses may opine on mass media, music, television, and social media. In No “R” in Social Media Tom Morse, Media Communications Association Central Carolina Chapter President writes:

Even without use of spell checker, I know there isn’t an “R” in social media. But, communications professionals need to understand the return, and how they will evaluate the return, on investments in social media.

Measuring ROI for social media is part of the job. Social media is about more than just engagement and awareness. While social media is at the top of the sales funnel, there are still many ways to track and evaluate the return on investment. The process should begin with an agreement on how the organization will define the “R” in ROI  is it awareness, leads, conversions, sales? Evaluation of social media is less about what can be done than what should be done. Identify the evaluation criteria, and then secure agreement with sales enablement and business executives on how social media will be evaluated. At this point in our understanding of social media, the criteria will be different from other activities such as advertising, trade shows, or speaking engagements. But, establish some criteria and process for assessing the payoff on investments in social media.

Read more: http://www.mca-i.org/

March 10, 2011

Marketing Expert Witnesses

Marketing expert witnesses may write reports and opine on branding, market studies, market analysis, and related topics. The American Marketing Association Board of Directors defines marketing as the "activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large" and marketing research.

Marketing research is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information--information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications.

Read more: marketingpower.com.

March 9, 2011

Entertainment Expert Witness Hired In Lawsuit vs Rapper

Felicia Miyakawa, associate professor of musicology and assistant director of Middle Tennessee State University School of Music, has been enlisted as an expert musicologist to testify in a copyright lawsuit against rapper Lil Wayne.

Lil Wayne, also known as Weezy, is being sued over his song "Mrs. Officer" that features singer Bobby V. Producer Michael "Mali Boy" Bradford is suing Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., claiming that he made the track's original beat but was not credited and compensated.

Read more: www.dnj.com.

March 9, 2011

White Collar Crime Expert Witness On The Opposing Expert Part 1

In Cross-Examining a Financial Expert, white collar crime expert witness Mr. Henry J. Kahrs, CPA/ABV/CFF, CMA, CFE, CM of RGL Forensics writes:

The trial’s going well, and you’ve arrived at a crucial point in the case: the cross-examination of the opposing financial expert. For many attorneys, this can be a watershed moment: how well you are able to cross-examine this expert, and convey the appropriate message to the jury or judge, can significantly impact the damages sought.

With their specialized training, financial experts can often have the advantage when facing a questioner inexperienced with complex financial terms or concepts. Attorneys may inadvertently interchange common language with “terms of art,” or use terms in ways that demonstrate a lack of familiarity with the theories of the discipline. Resulting answers from the expert may vary dramatically from the expected or, in the alternative, provide the expert with an opportunity to show his command of the topic. This can lead to confusion in the court, or give the opposing expert additional credibility.

March 9, 2011

Risk Management Expert Witness On Risk Assessment Part 4

In What the Defendant Can Do Wrong, security management and risk management expert witness Ira Somerson, BCFE, CPP, CSC, describes:

Examples of “Qualitative” Risk Assessment: ■ Facility’s perimeter and community surveys. ■ Police Department and other community interviews. ■ Employee and contractor interviews. ■ Process and operational surveillance and studies. ■ Analysis of existing physical and procedural security.

Examples of “Quantitative” Risk Assessment:
■ Benchmarking all facility’s operated by the organization to determine risk levels and a standard of care.
■ Benchmarking competitive or similar facilities to identify a standard of care.
■ Analysis of public police (dispatch and/or incident data) and an organization’s incident data.
■ Analysis of an organizations in-house incident data.
■ Reference to and use of strategy (security practices) evolving from scientific research.


March 8, 2011

Insurance Claims Expert Witnesses & Auto Insurance Fraud Part 4

Insurance claims expert witnesses may opine on insurance policy interpretation, insurance fraud, and related topics. In 8 Great Ways to Get Busted for Auto Insurance Fraud, Insurance.com writes:

6. Include previous damage to your car in your loss report.

How could an investigator know when the damage happened? You've wanted to fix the dent in your door for a long time now, and this seems like the perfect opportunity. It's not, because the SIU can use rust analysis and wear patterns to determine if the damage is new or old.

7. "Negotiate" with the repair shop to pad the estimate.

Your car insurance will cover the damage to your fender, which is the good news. The bad news is that you still have to pay the deductible. Maybe the repair shop could just add your deductible to their bill? However, the SIU fraud claims adjusters know how long a repair takes and how much the parts cost, so they'll know the estimate is too high. And, a reputable repair shop won't risk its reputation to help you commit fraud.

Read more: insurance.com.

March 7, 2011

Rescue Expert Witness On Standards For Fire & Rescue Industry Part 1

In Standard for Technical Rescue, rescue expert witness Gerald M. Dworkin, Lifesaving Resources Inc., writes:

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) establishes standards for the Fire and Rescue industry. In February 2004, they published NFPA 1670: Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents. The purpose of this standard was to minimize threats to rescuers while conducting operations at technical search and rescue (SAR) incidents, and the standard deals specifically with identifying and establishing levels of functional capability for conducting technical rescue operations safely and effectively.

Lifesaving Resources Inc. advocates the need to conduct a Threat Assessment of the aquatics facility and the implementation of these principles within the Lifeguard and Aquatic Recreation Sector as follows:

The Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) needs to (A) assess the technical rescue hazard within the facility/system; (B) identify the level of operational capability required; and (C) establish operational criteria.

Read more: www.lifesaving.com.

March 7, 2011

Electrical Expert Witness & Risk Control Part 1

In Construction Hazards – Early Identification and Risk Control, electrical expert witness Gregory W. Miller, P.E., B.S.E.E, writes:

The tragedies associated with construction project losses give us the opportunity to reflect on the incident causes. In many cases we can use our hindsight to view the “coulda’s”, “shoulda’s” and “if-only’s” that might have made the difference early in the project. As a result of these necessary and sometimes profitable incident reviews, a tool has developed that is in use by many construction agencies. That tool we refer to as a “Hazard Identification Program”. It may also be known by other names, but the basic concept is the early identification and control of construction site hazards. The purpose for early identification is to facilitate the elimination or control of the hazard risk prior to construction mobilization.

March 6, 2011

Insurance Expert Witness On Expert Assignments Part 11

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

(12) How did you find me? The answer can be valuable “intel” about your marketing and where you get the most bang for your promotional buck. Did the lawyer find you through a paid ad, a directory, an Internet listing, a Google search, by word of mouth? How? Keep track of how you get referrals. Consider beefing up your investment in those media. This question helps you fine tune your business development efforts, though chances are you may want to have fishing lines in each of these marketing “ponds” to maximize the odds of getting calls.

This is not an exhaustive list, and some of these questions may be unnecessary, depending on what the prospective client covers in the initial discussions. Other consultants and experts may adapt this template to the needs of a particular case. Getting these questions out in the open and getting straight answers can help the expert make a fully informed decision about accepting a case and determining the appropriate pricing approach.

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/.

March 5, 2011

Medical Expert Witness On Death Of Toddler

The staff at Portland House Nursery, Huddersfield County, UK, who tried desperately to save tragic toddler Adam Milner could not have been expected to know exactly what to do, a medical expert has said. Dr Michael Bell, a Leeds intensive care consultant, gave expert evidence at the inquest at Bradford Coroners’ Court into the death of two-year-old Adam. He said: “These individuals are not health care practitioners and are not working in a health care setting.

Adam is thought to have died after choking on a piece of sausage while having his lunch at Portland House Nursery in Lindley on August, 19, 2009. A postmortem report showed that after choking on a foreign body Adam was starved of oxygen and had a heart attack.

Read More http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/local-west-yorkshire-news/2011/03/03/portland-house-nursery-staff-did-all-they-could-for-adam-milner-86081-28269002/#ixzz1FliKXv6R

March 4, 2011

Risk Management Expert Witness On Risk Assessment Part 3

In What the Defendant Can Do Wrong, security management and risk management expert witness Ira Somerson, BCFE, CPP, CSC, writes that the mission of security management (loss prevention) will be below a standard security industry practice if it fails to:

■ Identify reasonably foreseeable risks.
■ Test and continue to monitor the existing security program in response to the foreseeable levels of risk.

What Should a Risk Assessment Consider?

In conducting risks assessments, the process should include:
Operational aspects of a facility and its “inherent” risks.
■ Perceptions of the facility or operation by the public.
■ Perceptions of the facility or operation by its employees and contractors.
■ Public statements and lifestyles of high-profile executives and employees.
■ Demographics (“social disorder”) of the community where the facility is located.
■ Demographics of the facility’s work force.
■ Nature of neighboring properties.
■ Access roads to facility.
■ Police and/or a facility’s incident history.
■ Facility management of its property and resources.
■ Efficiency of a facility’s existing security strategy.

March 3, 2011

Insurance Claims Expert Witnesses & Auto Insurance Fraud Part 3

Insurance claims expert witnesses may opine on insurance policy interpretation, insurance fraud, and related topics. In 8 Great Ways to Get Busted for Auto Insurance Fraud, Insurance.com writes:

4. Claim whiplash from an accident when you don't have bumper damage.

(Bonus points if you weren't even hit from behind.) SIU accident investigators can tell what kind of damage you and your car are likely to sustain from a collision. If you weren't hit hard enough or from the right angle, they'll know you're making a false auto insurance claim.

5. Add a few cousins or friends who weren't in the car to your accident claim.

The accident investigators will immediately be suspicious if accounts of a collision differ. If what you say changes, or doesn't agree with the police report and accounts of the other driver and any witnesses, it won't be good.

Read more: insurance.com.

March 2, 2011

Medical Expert Witness On Stem Cell Therapy Case

Florida state health regulators have imposed an emergency license restriction on Dr. Zannos Grekos for using experimental stem cell therapy on a breast cancer patient in his Bonita Springs practice last year, resulting in the woman’s death, according to the state’s order.

“The use of unorthodox stem cell transfusions for diseases that have shown no benefit can be extremely dangerous...” a medical expert witness retained by the state Department of Health said about the Grekos case involving the breast cancer patient. “I felt that his care was substandard and dangerous.”

Read more: naplenews.com.

March 1, 2011

Insurance Expert Witness On Expert Assignments Part 10

In When the Phone Rings ... Twelve Questions for Prospective Expert Witness Assignments, risk management expert witness Kevin M. Quinley, CPCU, ARM, AIC, writes:
(11) When is it likely that expert depositions would be taken? Have dates been set? If not, would my deposition likely be taken in the next 30 days? Sixty days? Ninety days? This can be handy to know in terms of your own preparation, especially in conjunction with the amount of documents or materials you may need to review on a given case. A compressed time frame may also impact your fee structure, based on the idea that rush jobs cost more and merit premium pricing. Ask if the court has entered a scheduling order and, if so, determine the deadlines for depositions.

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/.