September 30, 2011

Risk Management Expert Witnesses & Financial Services Part 1

Risk management expert witnesses may testify and write reports on risk assessment, credit risk, and market risk. In Too Good to Fail? New Challenges for Risk Management in Financial Services, SAS, a leader in business analytics software and services, explains:

With regulators, boards and investors heavily scrutinizing risk management practices, effective risk management is more critical than ever. Financial institutions worldwide have initiated risk management measures to address the most glaring deficiencies exposed by the financial crisis. But have they done enough?

* How is the complex operating environment affecting risk management?
* What can firms do to send a clear signal about the value they place on risk management?
* What are the biggest threats to risk management reform?

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September 29, 2011

Insurance Agencies Expert Witness On Advisory Boards Part 2

In The Advantages of Strategic Advisory Boards For Agency Owners insurance agencies expert witness Andres Barile, MBA, CPCU, writes:

Generally, a strategic advisory board meets on a quarterly basis, allowing for members to keep abreast of the significant issues affecting the insurance agency.

Ideally, your board should be comprised of a minimum of four members with expertise and knowledge in agency growth, carrier relationships, mergers and acquisitions, and legal and tax advice.

Following are examples in each of these four areas where a strategic advisory board may prove helpful.

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September 28, 2011

Tree Diseases Expert Witnesses

Tree diseases expert witness may opine on tree diseases that contribute to the death of most of the trees in the United States. In An Index of Common Tree Diseases: The Major Disease of Trees in the United States, Steve Nix writes:

1) Chestnut blight is a fungus that has virtually wiped out the American chestnut, as a commercial species, from eastern hardwood forests. Although roots from trees cut or killed many years ago continue to produce sprouts that survive to the sapling stage before being killed, there is no indication that a cure for this disease will be found. The fungus is widespread and continues to survive as a nonlethal parasite on chinkapin, Spanish chestnut, and post oak.

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September 27, 2011

Bar Security Expert Witness On Conduct Problems

In Nightclub & Bar Security: Death of a Nightclub nightclub security expert, Chris McGoey, CPP, CSP, CAM, writes:

Nightclubs and Bars with a bad reputation have been forced to close their doors for failing to control assaultive crime on the premises....

As you can imagine, a nightclub that markets itself to young adults in an effort to become the next hotspot is destined to have a few conduct problems.

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September 26, 2011

Night Club Security Expert Witness

Nightclub security expert witness, Chris McGoey is writing a book entitled, Nightclub & Bar Security: Avoiding Liability and Negligence Claims. Here is an excerpt.

Bouncers are often the most visible aspect of security in a nightclub or bar. Bouncers in city-clubs often stand out as the huge guys dressed in black. Bouncers and doormen are an important part of a comprehensive nightclub and bar security plan. However, employing overly aggressive bouncers and doormen with little training and inadequate procedures can contribute to the Death of a Nightclub.

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September 25, 2011

Risk Assessment Expert Witnesses

Risk assessment expert witnesses may opine on risk management, risk management plans, and the risk management process. In Comprehensive Risk Assessment Guidance for Federal Information Systems, the National Institute of Standards and Technology writes:

Risk assessment is the topic of the newest special publication from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Guide for Conducting Risk Assessments, an extensive update to its original 2002 publication, is the authoritative source of comprehensive risk assessment guidance for federal information systems, and is open for public comments through November 4.

September 24, 2011

Insurance Agencies Expert Witness On Advisory Boards Part 1

In The Advantages of Strategic Advisory Boards For Agency Owners insurance agencies expert witness Andres Barile, MBA, CPCU, writes:

As the owner of an insurance agency, there is no legal requirement to have a board of directors. But in these interesting times, the owner of an insurance agency should look at forming a strategic advisory board.

A strategic advisory board is a group of carefully selected insurance experience advisors that assists the agent owner in making important decisions. Unlike a traditional board of directors, a strategic advisory board is comprised of members who have knowledge and expertise in specific areas of the insurance industry. The goal of the strategic advisory board is to reduce the amount of anxiety equated with confronting unexpected situations, and to provide solid, trustworthy business advice to ensure successful and profitable agency planning and execution. By adding substantial value, their cost does not become a burden for the agent owner.

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September 23, 2011

Restaurants Expert Witness On Safety & Security

In Restaurants Expert Witness Says Restaurant Industry Needs More Focus on Safety & Security, Howard Cannon writes that the restaurant industry needs to pay closer attention to safety and security.

Government agencies recommend monthly safety meetings with staff and management, but very few follow that advice. Too often, there is poor training and lack of focus on safety and security for customers or the restaurant staff; and, there is little or no commitment to following up on the training that does exist.

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September 22, 2011

Long Term Care Insurance Expert Witnesses

Long term care insurance expert witnesses may provide reports concerning managed care, health insurance, long term care insurance,and associated matters. On their website, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance explains:

Most consumers do not know they must "health qualify" for long-term care insurance. There is a saying, your money pays for long-term care insurance - but your health buys it. Your health is the single most important factor.

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September 21, 2011

Trucking Expert Witnesses & Cross Border Program

Trucking expert witnesses may write reports and testify on truck driver qualifications, federal motor vehicle safety standards, as well as related issues. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, demanding they address serious concerns about the safety of Mexican trucks on U.S. roads. The letter comes in response to a report published by the Inspector General on the cross border trucking “pilot” program. The IG’s report showed that FMCSA was not yet prepared to launch a pilot program with the strict level of scrutiny and monitoring of safety performance mandated by Congress. The agency has yet to transmit a report to Congress outlining the steps taken to address the shortfalls.

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September 20, 2011

Arborist Expert On Loss Of Mature Trees

Arborist expert Neville Fay MA , MICFor, MArborA, FLS, FRSA, principal arboricultural consultant and company director at Treework Environmental Practice, describes the loss of mature trees:

We are really endangering our native-grown trees by bringing in diseases which our trees never evolved to cope with.

One of the biggest pressures on our trees is us – through things like pollution and trenching of roots. We are not ­managing our urban environment with enough water for trees.

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September 19, 2011

Flammable Materials Expert Witness On Computer Fire Modeling

On his website, flammble materials expert witness William E. Gale, Jr., PhD, PE, CSP, CFEI, CFII, writes on computer fire modeling.

Modeling fires and explosions is a computer-intensive process requiring many gigabytes of RAM to implement the computational process, and significant hard drive space to store the results. Simple fire models can be run on a desktop system; however, more complex problems may take weeks to run on desktop PCs and work stations. Multiple computers linked together in parallel and arranged as a computer cluster is the proper venue for providing efficient and effective modeling capabilities.

September 18, 2011

Combustion Expert Witness & Fire Testing

On his website, combustion expert witness William E. Gale, Jr., PhD, PE, CSP, CFEI, CFII, writes on Fire Testing.

Small scale testing, also referred to as bench scale testing, can show how a small-sized material specimen reacts to various failure modes and/or incipient fire situations. Flammability and fire retardancy on a comparative basis may be of interest, or conformance with specific ASTM testing requirements. Medium and large scale testing, however, may be warranted for data development. With the use of sophisticated data acquisition systems and equipment involving radiometers, thermocouples, infrared thermal imaging cameras, oxygen depletion sensors, Intermediate Scale Calorimeters (ICAL) and other similar devices, BG&S can provide the needed foundational basis for applying the scientific method in the investigative process as called for by NFPA 921.

September 18, 2011

Explosions Expert Witness

On his website, explosions expert witness William E. Gale, Jr., PhD, PE, CSP, CFEI, CFII, writes on Fire Testing.

Fire testing can provide critically important data to the fire scientist and fire investigator that cannot be derived in any other way. Testing also provides a platform for meaningful material behavior analyses where variables such as fuel package configurations and arrays, ventilation conditions, and thermal inertia effects are of interest.

September 18, 2011

Construction Site Expert Witness On When To Hire An Expert Part 6

In Are You Waiting Too Long To Hire An Expert?, construction site expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company, writes:

Finally, there is the all important expert report. A logical, detailed, well-structured and well- written report can promote settlement. On the other hand, a hurried expert analysis is frequently flawed, inconsistent and poorly written, allowing an opposing attorney to have a field day questioning as to inaccuracies and conflicting statements and challenging the credibility of the expert. Allowing the expert sufficient time to make sure his or her thoughts are clear and all the pertinent facts along with opinion, conclusions and supporting evidence are presented in an easy to read and understandable fashion is essential.

Experts must be objective. The expert’s goal is to search for facts, expose the truth and provide opinion and conclusion based on them. Selecting the right expert for your needs is not always easy. The diligent, experienced trial counsel will engage and retain the expert early in the litigation process, which pays invaluable dividends.

William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company for more than 35 years, specializes in excavation & construction site preparation – earthwork and grading, water mains, sewer installation, trenching, containment, underground utilities, dike repair, heavy equipment rentals.

September 17, 2011

Licensed Engineers Expert Witnesses

Licensed engineers expert witnesses may write reports and testify on engineering document responsibility, professional engineers, design reviews, and correlated matters. In Client Expectations of Perfection, The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Risk Management Committee writes:

Negligence vs Errors and Omissions

One major aspect of this problem is the term errors and omissions.” Clients know design professionals purchase professional liability insurance, which to the client should cover any deviation that could be deemed an error or omission. But, clients do not attach the term “negligent” to qualify an “error or omission.” Clients argue any deviation that has caused a loss or cost is an “error or omission” and the design professional needs to be monetarily accountable, regardless of the actual responsiveness of the insurance policy. (Professional liability insurance policies typically have significant deductibles and exclude coverage for warranties, penalties, liquidated damages, and other liabilities design professionals assume by contract alone.)

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September 17, 2011

Psychology Expert Witness & Duane Buck Case

Psychology expert witness Walter Quijano testified in the murder trial of Duane Buck whose execution has now been blocked by the US Supreme Court. The high court ruled that Quijano had introduced racial bias into the case in 2000.

September 16, 2011

Professional Engineering Expert Witnesses

Professional engineering expert witnesses may write reports and testify on engineering document responsibility, licensed engineers, design reviews, and correlated matters. In Client Expectations of Perfection, The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Risk Management Committee writes:

Design professionals are required by law to meet the existing standard of care in the performance of their professional services. Many clients have elevated expectations of performance to a level beyond the legal definition of standard of care; to the extent it is becoming more common for clients to expect design professionals to produce “perfect” deliverables. This is evident in both public and private contracts in which clients request or demand contract terms that: 1) establish an unreasonably high standard of care; 2) indemnify the client for anything connected with design services; and/or 3) require any and all “deficiencies” be corrected at no cost to the client.

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September 16, 2011

Digital Screen Media Expert Witnesses

Digital screen media expert witnesses may opine on video files, media formats, media players, and associated matters. The Digital Screen Media Association offers a glossary at including:

Back channel - a data communication from which a media player exchanges information with a network management server. The back channel communications include content and playlist download, playback and system log upload, remote system control, etc.

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September 16, 2011

Truck Driver Qualifications Expert Witnesses

Truck driver qualifications expert witnesses may write reports and testify on driver training, driver experience, and affiliated matters. In The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Office of Research and Analysis reports:

Driver critical reasons are coded in four categories:

* Non-Performance: The driver fell asleep, was disabled by a heart attack or seizure, or was physically impaired for another reason.

* Recognition: The driver was inattentive, was distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle, or failed to observe the situation adequately for some other reason.

* Decision: For example, the driver was driving too fast for conditions, misjudged the speed of other vehicles, or followed other vehicles too closely.

* Performance: For example, the driver panicked, overcompensated, or exercised poor directional control.

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September 16, 2011

Arborist Expert Witness On "After The Storm" Part 3

In After the Storm...(but before the cleanup starts) arborist expert witness Russell E. Carlson, RCA, BCMA, writes:

As a consulting arborist, I have been called on many cases long after the trees have been cut up and hauled away, and asked to reconstruct the "scene of the crime." When there is just a bare patch of soil and a 10-year old picture of the bottom part of the tree, it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine why a tree failed, or what it may have been worth. Sometimes it isn't even known who removed the tree. You may be called on to perform or help with the investigation. This kind of record keeping can make the process much easier.

By documenting the case before the tree is removed, you may be saving your customer a lot of headaches, and a lot of trouble. You may be saving them a lot of money, too. The time it takes to investigate a tree damage case can actually decrease as more information is available, and the results are more accurate and defensible. So take a few minutes to make some notes, take some pictures, and properly document the damaged tree. The time you spend will be well worth it to your client. Make this a routine part of your service for your customers, and they will be glad they hired you as their arborist.

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September 15, 2011

Media Expert Witnesses & AT&T Announcement

Media expert witnesses may opine on film, television, wireless technology, and associated topics. In the news, Lee Knife, Interim Executive Director of the Digital Media Association, responded to AT&T's recent announcement of its plan to slow down the speed or "throttle" wireless service for its heaviest data users.

If implemented, AT&T's plans to throttle or place arbitrary caps on mobile wireless data users will likely hinder the substantial economic progress, innovation and improvements to the general public welfare that have been witnessed since the advent of the Internet. On issues ranging from education to healthcare to online gaming and other forms of social entertainment, Internet access has given rise to countless new opportunities by offering an important pipeline of information and services that were unimaginable just a few short years ago.

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September 15, 2011

Insurance Carriers Expert Witness On Errors & Omissions

Insurance carriers expert witness Alan F. Shirek, AFS Risk Consulting International, advises on the obligations of Insurance industry custom and practice. He writes:

Unfortunately, errors and omissions are not the sole purview of the agent or broker. Often, it is the carrier that has erred in its duty to the insured. The relationships between and among the placing agent or broker, the insurance carrier or carriers, both primary and excess, and the expectations of the insured party are sometimes in conflict. In such cases, testimony as to the customary practices within the insurance industry can assist in the resolution of disagreements between the parties.

September 15, 2011

Trucking Accidents Expert Witnesses FMCSA Study Part 2

Trucking accidents expert witnesses may write reports and testify on crashworthiness, truck maintenance, hours of service, and associated matters. In The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Office of Research and Analysis reports:

Coding Crash Causation Variables

Many variables were coded from the hundreds of data elements collected on each crash. Three key variables were coded for assessing crash risk:

* Critical Event: The action or event that put the vehicle or vehicles on a course that made the collision unavoidable. The critical event is assigned to the vehicle that took the action that made the crash inevitable.

* Critical Reason: The immediate reason for the critical event (i.e., the failure leading to the critical event). The critical reason is assigned to the vehicle coded with the critical event in the crash. It can be coded as a driver error, vehicle failure, or environmental condition (roadway or weather).

* Associated Factors: The person, vehicle, and environmental conditions present at the time of the crash. No judgment is made as to whether any factor is related to the reason for a particular crash, just whether the factor was present. The list of the many factors that can be coded provides enough information to describe the circumstances of the crash.

September 15, 2011

Risk Management Expert Witness On Obligations Of Insurance Producers Part 1

Risk management expert witness Alan F. Shirek, AFS Risk Consulting International, advises on the obligations of employed producers to their firms with respect to “non-compete” and “non-piracy” agreements. In Obligations of employed producers, Shirek writes:

Unfortunately, a contract that appeared clear to both parties when signed becomes less than clear when a dispute arises. Furthermore, the wording of many producer contracts is in direct contradiction to the laws of the state in which the contract was executed. Producer contracts often come into focus when a producer accepts a new offer of employment. In many cases, the former employer desires compensation or attempts to enforce non-compete or anti-piracy wording in the contract.

Producer compensation — Again, while the intent of the parties appeared clear when the contract was executed, those intentions may change subsequently. Practice may differ from contractual terms. Contractual terms may be verbally or informally amended for a period of time before one part or another seeks to enforce the terms of the contract as written.

September 14, 2011

Disability Insurance Expert Witnesses

Disability insurance expert witnesses may testify on disability income insurance, disability and insurance claims, among other topics. The International Disability Insurance Society website offers a glossary for disability insurance which includes definitions such as:

Entire Contract Clause A provision in a group insurance contract stating that the insurance policy, the policy owner’s application that is attached to the policy, and any individual applications of any insured person constitute the entire insurance contact.

Entity Plan The type of buy-out plan in which the business itself, a separate entity is paid the disability benefits under a disability buy sell agreement.

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September 14, 2011

Entertainment Expert Witness & Capitol Records v. MP3Tunes Case

Attorney Steve Gordon served as an entertainment expert witness in In Capitol Records v. MP3Tunes, Inc. District Judge William H. Pauley (S.D.N.Y.) ruled that the digital music locker business of MP3Tunes is protected by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Gordon served as Director of Business Affairs at Sony Music from 1991 to 2001.

September 14, 2011

Aboriculture Expert Witness On Services Offered By An Arborist

Greg Applegate, ASCA, Arborgate Consulting, Inc., describes the types of assignments he receives as a arboriculture expert witness:

Diagnostics: Shigometer, starch tests, penetrometer, root investigation, and site evaluation.

Hazard Evaluation: Risk analysis (current methods) defect identification and investigation. Decay, root health and branch attachment investigation. Abatement options explored.

Appraisal: Replacement method, formula method, or cost of cure, for legal, insurance or planning purposes.

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September 13, 2011

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Expert Witnesses

Federal motor vehicle safety standards expert witnesses may opine on safety performance requirements for motor vehicles, motor vehicle equipment, and related topics. In The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Office of Research and Analysis reports on:

Critical Events

Three major types of critical events were assigned to large trucks:

* Running out of the travel lane, either into another lane or off the road (32 percent of the large trucks in the LTCCS sample were assigned this critical event)

* Vehicle loss of control due to traveling too fast for conditions, cargo shift, vehicle systems failure, poor road conditions, or other reasons (29 percent)

* Colliding with the rear end of another vehicle in the truck?s travel lane (22 percent).

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September 13, 2011

Tree Expert Witness On "After The Storm" Part 2

In After the Storm...(but before the cleanup starts) tree expert witness Russell E. Carlson, RCA, BCMA, writes:

What are the details? Start at the beginning, with the species of tree. Then measure the trunk at 4.5 feet above the ground level. Take either the diameter or the circumference -- just indicate which you used. Check the tree for its condition -- look for signs of decay, especially if it was visible before the damage occurred. Look for insect or disease damage. You don't have to be an expert at this, just record if there is some type of damage from a pest, and describe that damage.

Next, write down details of where the tree was located. This includes where on a property it stood, how far from structures, etc. A simple site sketch will help. If the tree damaged other things when it fell, make note of the type and extent of damage. Include other landscape plants and hardscape features that were damaged or destroyed, especially if they will be removed with the tree. If vehicles were involved, indicate where they traveled, and where they came to rest. Also list the names of anyone who worked on the cleanup: this may be critical to a later investigation.

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September 13, 2011

Hours Of Service Expert Witnesses & Roadcheck 2011

Hours of service expert witnesses may consult on hours of service regulations, fatigued truck driving, and related matters. In Texas Trucking Accident Attorney Says Roadcheck 2011 Reveals Truck Driver Fatigue Problem, East Texas personal injury attorney Randy Roberts writes:

The high number of hours-of-service logbook violations uncovered during Roadcheck 2011 underscores the need for new rules to reduce fatigued driving accidents, injuries and deaths, East Texas personal injury lawyer Randy Roberts says. "If you look at these results, it’s clear that there is, indeed, a very serious problem with drivers spending too much time on the road."

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September 13, 2011

Medical Experts & ProPublica

On their website, Internet For Lawyers announces ProPublica Provides Database of Payments to Physicians by Pharmaceutical Companies

ProPublica, the "independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest," has created a searchable database of payments made by pharmaceutical companies to doctors - usually as compensation for presentations the doctors make that discuss the companies' drugs. While this information is not part of the public record, some pharmaceutical companies have begun posting this information on their own Web sites. ProPublica has gathered this information from these various sources to create its searchable database. The database is searchable by doctor's name. It can also be filtered by state.

Knowing whether the opposition's expert witness (or one you're considering) has received payments from a particular drug manufacturer could be invaluable.

Beginning in 2013, Federal law requires pharmaceutical companies to report this payment information. It will then be listed on a government sponsored Web site. Until then, ProPublica will update its database periodically.

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September 12, 2011

Trucking Accidents Expert Witnesses FMCSA Study

Trucking accidents expert witnesses may write reports and testify on crashworthiness, truck maintenance, hours of service, and associated matters. In The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Office of Research and Analysis reports:

Motor vehicle crashes are complex events. Usually they involve two or more vehicles. Elements that influence the occurrence of a crash may take place hours, days, or months before the crash. They include driver training and experience, vehicle design and manufacture, highway condition and traffic signaling, and weather conditions. Other elements may take place immediately before a crash, such as a decision to turn in traffic, a tire blowout, or snow. Crash reconstruction experts rarely conclude that crashes are the result of a single factor.

Fatigue, drinking alcohol, and speeding are major factors in motor vehicle crashes overall. Although their presence does not always result in a crash, these three factors, as well as other driver, vehicle, and environmental factors, can increase the risk that a crash will occur. In the LTCCS, ?causation? is defined in terms of the factors that are most likely to increase the risk that large trucks will be involved in serious crashes.

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September 12, 2011

Transportation Rules and Regulations Expert Witnesses

Transportation rules and regulations expert witnesses may write reports and opine on the Department of Transportation, trucking accidents, the truck manufacturing industry, and related topics. In Liftgate Steps and Lighting: More Complicated Than You Think, Tom Berg, Senior Editor - Trailer Talk describes a safety issue that came up in a task force session during the American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council meeting in Tampa, Fla., in February.

Regarding steps, users and manufacturers of liftgates discussed the ins and outs of entry and egress and how to make it safe for drivers and helpers. The object is to write a TMC Recommended Practice for members to use in spec'ing new equipment, but it can't just say, "Here, here, and there." Some definitions and dimensions are needed.

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September 12, 2011

Insurance Industry Expert Witnesses & Acronyms

Insurance industry expert witnesses may opine on insurance regulation, insurance claims, and insurance coverage.
With so many acronyms in the insurance industry, the International Risk Management Institute, Inc., offers Risk and Insurance Acronyms on their website.

September 11, 2011

Arborist Expert Witness On "After The Storm" Part 1

In After the Storm...(but before the cleanup starts) arborist expert witness Russell E. Carlson, RCA, BCMA, writes:

Before you start up the chainsaw, before you make a single cut -- make sure that any damage is documented. It only takes a few minutes to get what you need. Those minutes can be worth a lot in the long run.

Any tree damaged in a storm, or by vandalism, tresspass or accidents, may be insured or may be eligible for a casualty loss tax deduction. Don't assume it isn't covered in some way. Document the details right at the beginning, and you won't have to worry about it later.

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September 11, 2011

Logistics Industry Expert Witnesses - Just For Fun

Logistics industry expert witnesses may write reports and testify on on issues including interstate motor carrier operations, truck fleets, and related topics. Just for fun, in her blog All That's Trucking, Deborah Lockridge, writes:

Five words or less

On a LinkedIn transportation discussion group, there's been a discussion thread where members answer the simple question: "In five words or less, describe what you do." I wanted to share some of the responses with you, from the simple to the sublime to the just plain funny:

Match customers to trucks

Deliver the capacity you need

Keep the trucks full

Use our trucks to please

Baby sit delivery drivers daily

Evaluate, train drivers better & faster

Safety first tonnage last

Keep vehicles safe and secure

Transport freight safely, on time

Problem solver, professional cat wrangler

Stomp out fires, go home

Live up to others' promises

Battling the forces of evil

Never blow anything up

September 11, 2011

Risk Management Expert Witness & "Best In Class" Part 3

In Risk Management Consulting, risk management expert witness Alan F. Shirek,
AFS Risk Consulting International, LLC, writes:

Such tasks or projects may include developing ways to enhance the effectiveness of insurance brokers or agents, insurance carriers, third party claims administrators or other outside vendors. They may include developing communication tools that will enhance the ability of the risk management department to assist the operating companies or departments. They may include projects designed to provide an independent appraisal of key catastrophic exposures to loss. And they may involve analysis of certain significant legal exposures that could be difficult to absorb without a negative impact on corporate earnings.

In each case, the right consultant can bring additional experience and problem solving ability lacking in the core risk management team. The consultant can augment the talents and experience of the core team, making their contribution to the success of the overall venture even more effective.

Risk management continues to be a highly complex activity. The right consultant understands who his or her client is and what they need to accomplish. They don’t lose sight of the fact that the project or task assigned to them continues to be the responsibility of the risk management department. The consultant succeeds by helping the retaining firm and its staff to succeed.

We look forward to hearing about your needs and how we can assist you in satisfying them.

September 10, 2011

Trucking Industry Expert Witnesses & Sustainablility

Trucking industry expert witnesses may write reports and testify on on issues including federal motor carrier safety regulations, crashworthiness, truck maintenance, hours of service, and more. In The True Meaning of Sustainability, Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief All That's Trucking blog writes:

"If you're looking for a buzzword in the logistics industry of late, it doesn't get much buzzier than "sustainability," noted American Shipper magazine in an April article.

In a survey, the magazine found that some shippers are factoring how "green" a carrier or logistics company is when deciding whether to use them to transport goods.

The survey found that more than a third of buyers use vendors' sustainability plans as a tiebreaker or deciding factor in buying decisions. And nearly 70% of carriers with a "proven plan" earned higher rates because of it.

September 10, 2011

Media Expert Witness On Photography Experts

In About Photography and the Law, entertainment and media expert witness Professor Jeff Sedlik writes:

A photography expert can analyze a photograph using forensic methods to determine the circumstances under which the photograph was made, and to reveal details of the photograph not visible to the naked eye. A photography expert may also use photographic equipment to conduct an analysis of a location, accident scene or crime scene, or to create simulations or reenactments. Photography experts can provide consultation and/or testimony or litigation support for attorneys, plaintiffs or defendants in photography litigation.

September 9, 2011

Arborist Expert Witnesses & Hazard Tree Evaluation

Arborist expert witnesses may write reports and opine on arboriculture, certified arborists, diagnosis and treatment of tree diseases, and more. Here, IML Wood Testing Systems describes Hazard Tree Evaluation:

While experienced observation will continue to be important, combining Visual Tree Assessment (VTA) and IML instruments aids early detection of decay, preventing personal injury and property damage due to fallen trees. The IML Resistograph measures the degree of decay and remaining wall thickness, giving the user a quantification of the structural integrity of trees.

The inspector can also attach the 45 degree adapter to measure and record the wood density below ground level. The resulting data is the kind of detailed documentation managers and consultants need to defend or justify their decisions whether or not to remove a tree!

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September 8, 2011

Insurance Agencies Expert Witness On Standard Of Care

Insurance agencies expert witness Alan F. Shirek, AFS Risk Consulting International, LLC, describes Insurance agents’ and brokers’ standard of care

Generally speaking, the insurance agent or broker owes a high degree of care to its client. The extent of broker’s duty, in any specific case, is the result of the facts, statutory requirements and common law. In assessing the degree to which a broker has satisfied his or her duty, the broker’s stated policies, procedures and practices have a most persuasive effect. By comparing the broker’s actual performance to the performance required by his or her firm, a compelling case can be made for the broker’s success or failure at providing the appropriate level of care.

September 7, 2011

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Expert Witness On High Efficiency Appliances

Carbon monoxide expert witness Russell Keeler, PE, writes:

The push for greater and greater energy conservation has led to a variety of unintended consequences. One of these is that very high efficiency gas burning appliances such as furnaces and boilers can produce high, and perhaps toxic levels of carbon monoxide (CO). High efficiency appliances produce relatively low flue gas temperatures. These low temperatures can cause condensation of the flue gas. If the wrong type of flue is installed, the flue will corrode, and flue gas may leak into the room where the appliance is installed. Death from carbon monoxide poisoning has resulted in a number of cases over the last few years.

Burners need to be checked every year to determine the amount of carbon monoxide present. Anything over a trace amount of CO requires the retuning or replacement of the burner.

September 6, 2011

Insurance Practices Expert Witness On Broker Duty Part 2

In The Paige Report: Does an insurance broker have a duty to give advice?, insurance practices expert witness Mr. David H. Paige, Esq. writes:

Implications for Agent/Broker Liability: The continuing issue addressed in this decision is whether insurance brokers have an obligation to give advice, and not simply to purchase the coverage requested. As will be addressed in later Reports, other states have implied that an insurance broker has a duty to speak up and advise an insured to take action when it is clear to the broker that the client is acting unwisely. Perhaps one of the biggest issues to be addressed is whether the differing state standards are surprising to insureds who find themselves without the advice that they thought was implied in their relationship with their broker.

* Williams v. Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs Insurance Services of California, Inc., 177 Cal. App. 4th 624, 98 Cal. Rptr. 3d 910 (2009). PLEASE NOTE: Full copies of court decisions may be available through counsel or through various internet links and paid services.

September 5, 2011

Risk Management Expert Witnesses & Glossary Of Terms

Risk management expert witnesses may opine on damages, insurance claims, and insurance coverage. The International Risk Management Institute, Inc., offers a Glossary of Insurance and Risk Management Terms on their website.

The Glossary of Insurance and Risk Management Terms was first published by IRMI in 1978 to help those within and outside the insurance industry to communicate effectively. It has been continuously updated and expanded since the original publication and, with definitions of more than 3,100 risk and insurance terms, is probably the most comprehensive and up to date property and casualty insurance glossary or dictionary.

Use the index of defined risk management and insurance terms, the expandable table of contents on the left, or the search engine to find the insurance or risk management definition you need.

Also be sure to check out the insurance acronyms and abbreviations where nearly 1,000 insurance abbreviations are defined.

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September 4, 2011

Antitrust Expert Witness & AT&T Case

The US Department of Justice has blocked AT&T from taking over Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA. Antitrust law expert witness and Howard University law professor Andy Gavil testified before Congress saying, "Having read the complaint, I don't see a basis for a negotiated settlement."

September 3, 2011

Medical Malpractice Expert Witnesses

The Tennessee Supreme Court decision Shipley vs. Williams made changes governing medical
expert testimony
in malpractice cases. The case dealt with whether a doctor may testify on standard of care in the local community when he is from out of the area.

September 2, 2011

Construction Site Expert Witness On When To Hire An Expert Part 5

In Are You Waiting Too Long To Hire An Expert?, construction site expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company, writes:

An expert who knows the industry and the acronyms, lingo, and generic terms associated with that industry can be a valuable asset in preparing deposition questions for your adversary. Taking your expert to adversary depositions can be extremely helpful. Many times, the person being deposed will say something that to the attorney may sound logical and reasonable; however, the answer may have contained industry terminology that camouflages the truth. An expert who is thoroughly familiar with the vernacular of the trade can recommend questions exposing restrictive or misleading language. The ability to query cautiously worded answers can change the impression intended to be conveyed by your adversary.

Provide the expert with enough advance notice that you require his or her services. A well- rationalized, logical opinion and conclusion must take into account a large number of factors. I have worked on many cases where, on simply reviewing and reflecting back on the facts and evidence, I realized and discovered additional evidence, which solidified and confirmed my opinions and conclusions.

William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company for more than 35 years, specializes in excavation & construction site preparation – earthwork and grading, water mains, sewer installation, trenching, containment, underground utilities, dike repair, heavy equipment rentals.

September 1, 2011

Computer Expert & Android Lawsuit

In the legal battle with Motorola, Google Inc. alleges that one of the expert witnesses has seen the source code of the Android operating system and has asked the US International Trade Commission to stop him from testifying.