October 31, 2011

Paralegal Knowledge Institute Online Course

Paralegal Knowledge Institute is offering a 4-week online, interactive course specifically designed for paralegals entitled: THE PARALEGAL'S ROLE AT TRIAL

Class #1: Pre-Trial Part 1

Introduction
Witness and Exhibit Lists
Working Within the Trial Team (Planning, Objectives, Expectations, Tasks)
Pre-Trial Motions
Judicial Research (Judge, Local Rules, Rules of Court)
Trial Subpoenas and Witnesses


Starts November 7 2011
4:00 Pacific/6:00 Central/7:00 pm Eastern
Each class is two hours. Meets Mondays & Wednesdays
www.paralegalknowledge.com info@paralegalknowledge.com 760-610-5460


October 30, 2011

Risk Assessment Expert Witnesses

Risk assessment expert witnesses may testify on the risk management process, risk analysis, enterprise risk management, and associated matters. In Experts chide TSA for poor risk assessment of security measures, Jim Harper, Cato Institute's
Director of Information Policy, says:

Control over passenger screening technology should be shifted to airlines because the private sector is better than the Transportation Security Administration at making economical security choices based on risk management analyses.

Read more: nextgov.com.

October 30, 2011

Insurance Agencies Expert Witness On Advisory Boards Part 8

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

Accessing capital to grow your agency – For the geographical expansion of your wholesaler, you require additional capital. The strategic advisory board has already approved the expansion expenditure, and now turns to securing capital. Strategic advisory directors have access to expansion capital. The entire process of obtaining expansion capital must be done professionally, and is another area where strategic advisory directors can make a significant contribution.

Read more: insuranceexpertnetwork.com.

October 29, 2011

Trucking Accidents Expert Witnesses & DOT Database

Trucking accidents expert witnesses may testify on issues including federal motor carrier safety regulations, crashworthiness, truck maintenance, hours of service, and associated matters. The US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains several Web sites that provide easy access to valuable safety-related information. Users only need a company's name, USDOT number or motor carrier (MC) number to perform a search. The Company Snapshot is a concise electronic record of a company’s identification, size, commodity information, and safety record, including the safety rating (if any), a roadside out-of-service inspection summary, and crash information.

Read more: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/sites/company-safety.htm.

October 29, 2011

Health Benefits Expert Witness On Health & Welfare Plans Part 4

In A Comparison of Self-Funded and Insured Health and Welfare Plans, health benefits expert witness Mark Johnson, J.D., Ph.D., ERISA Benefits Consulting, Inc., writes:

Another form of health plan is the Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA). In a MEWA, a group of unaffiliated employers pool their contributions in a self-funded benefits plan for their employees. The contributions are based on the number of employees that work for each employer and the estimated costs associated with the plan. This arrangement is a way for smaller employers to get group health and other benefits for their employees.

Supporters of MEWAs typically represent the MEWA as an employee benefit plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and, therefore, exempt from state insurance regulation under ERISA’s broad pre-emption provisions.

October 28, 2011

Professional Engineering Expert Witnesses & Project Supervision

Professional engineering expert witnesses may write reports and testify on issues involving engineering risk assessments, engineering document responsibility, registered professional engineers, and field engineering. In Consumer Guide to Professional Engineering and Professional Land Surveying, the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists writes:

Professional engineers do not have a duty to supervise your project during construction. In
general, the engineer draws the plans and the contractor does the construction. The
engineer has no responsibility to supervise the contractor. If you wish to add construction
supervision to the engineer’s duties, you will need to include this in your contract. Such
supervision usually consists only of periodic oversight of the project.

Read more: http://www.pels.ca.gov/pubs/consumer_guide.pdf

October 26, 2011

Trucking Expert Witnesses & Bridges

Trucking expert witnesses may writes reports and opine on the Department of Transportation, trucking accidents, roadway noise, gross weight, and associated matters. In The Fix We’re In For: The State of Our Nation’s Bridges Transportation for America writes:

In recent years, most transportation agencies have delayed needed repairs and maintenance while focusing their energy on new construction. In 2008, all states combined spent more than $18 billion, or 30 percent of the federal transportation funds they received, to build new roads or add capacity to existing roads. In that same year, states spent $8.1 billion of federal funds on repair and rehabilitation of bridges, or about 13 percent of total funds. States currently have the ability to “flex” or transfer out up to 50 percent of their bridge repair money into other projects or programs.

Read more: http://t4america.org/docs/bridgereport/bridgereport-national.pdf

October 26, 2011

Combustion Expert Witnesses & Fire Research

Combustion expert witnesses may write reports and opine on explosions, flammable materials, and explosive limits. The National Institute of Standards and Technology Building and Fire Research Laboratory's Fire Research Division offers Fire Experiment Results on their website:

The purpose of this web page is to present the results of fire experiments performed at BFRL in several different formats. Each example will:
1) present a plot of the fire's heat release rate,

2) display still pictures and video's of the fire,

3) present data obtained from the fire experiment in a form usable by a zone fire model.

Source: http://www.fire.nist.gov/fire/fires/fires.html

October 25, 2011

Insurance Agencies Expert Witness On Advisory Boards Part 7

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

Interviewing underwriters for your managing general agency – The objectivity of the strategic advisory director makes him suitable for the decision-making process in new hires for your managing general agency. MGA owners can turn to the director for one last interview before making a final decision.

Read more: insuranceexpertnetwork.com.

October 25, 2011

Trucking Accidents Expert Witnesses & DOT On Safety

Trucking accidents expert witnesses may testify on issues including federal motor carrier safety regulations, crashworthiness, truck maintenance, hours of service, and associated matters. In Safety Is Good Business—Crashes Hurt Your Bottom Line, the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration writes:

The good news is that many crashes are preventable. For example:

In 1997, 22% of large truck fatal crashes involving more than one vehicle were speeding-related. [Speeding Study]

In 2003, about 2% of drivers with a commercial driver's license (CDL) used controlled substances, and 0.2% used alcohol (0.04 or higher blood alcohol content) while performing their duties. [Drug and Alcohol Survey]

5.5% of fatal truck crashes are caused by driver fatigue. [Hours of Service News Release]

A 2006 study found that only 59% of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers wear safety belts. In 2005, of the 696 CMV drivers who died in truck crashes, 344 were not wearing safety belts. [Safety Belt Studies]

Research has shown that there is a significant relationship between driver job change rate (turnover) and crash involvement. [Driver Retention]

Read more: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/good-business/index.htm.

October 25, 2011

Motor Carrier Fleet Management Expert Witnesses

Motor carrier fleet management expert witnesses may opine on truck drivers, truck driver qualifications, truck fleets, and correlated issues. In Effective Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Management Techniques, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration writes:

This research project focused on motor carrier fleet safety management, namely the problems fleet managers confront and the methods that are available to address these problems. The authors conducted a literature review, held discussions and did interviews with experts, and solicited suggestions from the TRB synthesis panel. Twenty discrete safety problems and 28 safety management methods were identified based on this research information and the knowledge and experience of the authors. Problems addressed encompassed driver safety, knowledge, skills, behaviors, alertness, physical/medical condition, and attitudes. In addition, several vehicle-related problem areas, such as vehicle maintenance and inspection, were considered.

Please see: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/research-technology/tech/Truck-and-Bus-Safety-Management-feb-2007.pdf

October 24, 2011

Explosions Expert Witness On Fire Testing

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

Large scale and full scale fire testing typically involves recreating an entire section of the subject occupancy or involved structure – sometimes one room (compartment) will suffice or sometimes it may be necessary to recreate an entire commercial kitchen or residential house. This process depends on the extent to which pre-fire conditions can be established, such as materials of construction, construction details, ventilation provisions, furnishings, interior finish details, etc.

October 24, 2011

Truck Driver Qualifications Expert Witnesses

Truck driver qualifications expert witnesses may testify and write reports on trucking and transportation rules and regulations, federal motor vehicle safety standards, the Department of Transportation, as well as related issues. In a recent case, the EEOC reports:

New Prime, Inc., one the nation’s largest trucking companies, violated federal law by discriminating against female truck driver applicants when it required that they be trained by female trainers only, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it September 22.

According to the EEOC’s suit, this policy resulted in qualified female applicants being placed on a waiting list due to a lack of female trainers, thus delaying or denying them employment, while New Prime provided training for male applicants without similar delay.

The EEOC specifically charged that New Prime’s policy discriminated against Deanne Roberts, who filed an EEOC charge in 2009, and all similarly situated female truck driver applicants from 2003 to the present. The EEOC anticipates that New Prime will contend that it established this policy to reduce claims of sexual harassment of female trainees.

Read more: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/9-22-11.cfm.

October 24, 2011

Health Benefits Expert Witness On Health & Welfare Plans Part 3

In A Comparison of Self-Funded and Insured Health and Welfare Plans, health benefits expert witness Mark Johnson, J.D., Ph.D., ERISA Benefits Consulting, Inc., writes:

Employers usually hire an administrator to process the claims. Self-funded plans are generally not subject to state laws and regulations, which means that state-mandated benefits, state prompt payment rules, or standards of network adequacy do not apply. Normally employers contract insurance companies or third party administrators (TPAs) to keep track of contributions, process claims, manage enrollment and other administrative functions. This can be confusing because a self funded plan may look like insurance but it is not; and the claims processor is functioning as a TPA, not as an insurance company. Therefore, it and the plan are not subject to state regulation.

October 23, 2011

Licensed Engineers Expert Witnesses

Licensed engineers expert witnesses may write reports and testify on issues involving engineering risk assessments, registered professional engineers, and engineering document responsibility. In Consumer Guide to Professional Engineering and Professional Land Surveying, the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists writes:The (CA) law requires all licensed engineers and land surveyors to use a written contract when providing their professional services. The written contract must include at a minimum the following information:

1. A description of the services to be provided by the licensed engineer or land surveyor;

2. A description of any basis of compensation applicable to the contract and the method of payment agreed upon by the parties (such as a fixed fee cost, an hourly rate charge, or an hourly rate charge with a maximum fee, as well as the
method and schedule for billing and payment);

3. The name, address, and license number of the licensed engineer or land surveyor, and the name and address of the client;

4. A description of the procedures to be used to accommodate additional services (for example, requiring all work-order changes to be in writing and initialed by both parties or agreeing that work-order changes made be approved verbally
with written follow-up confirmation); and

5. A description of the procedure to be used by either party to terminate the contract.

Read more: http://www.pels.ca.gov/pubs/index.shtml.

October 22, 2011

Commercial Motor Vechicles Expert Witnessses

Commercial motor vehicles expert witnesses may opine on truck drivers, truck driver qualifications, motor carrier safety, and correlated issues. In Effective Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Management Techniques, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration explains:

Many commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety managers are former drivers who have moved up “through the ranks” to a management position. Many progressed from being independent owner-operators to owning and managing their own fleet. Safety, proficiency, and productivity as a driver are likely to be factors that enable these individuals to progress to fleet ownership or a management position. The lessons they have learned on the job are applied to their management of others. However, many CMV safety managers have not had formal training in management, system safety, or the human factors of driving safety. Thus, their effectiveness as safety managers is likely to vary widely, with gaps in their knowledge of various safety problems or available management solutions. A necessary step toward making such knowledge available to carrier safety managers is the systematic compilation of information relating to CMV safety management and the establishment of a common body of knowledge to serve as the basis for improved training for managers or other means of disseminating safety management information to them.

Read more: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/research-technology/tech/Truck-and-Bus-Safety-Management-feb-2007.pdf

October 22, 2011

Credit Risk Expert Witnesses Part 2

Credit risk expert witnesses may opine on risk assessment, risk management, and risk analysis. In the news, CoreLogic debuted the new product, CoreScore Credit Report. According to Tim Grace, senior vice president of Product Management and Analytics for CoreLogic:

By blending the unique data from CoreLogic with the analytic expertise of FICO, we will be able to deliver a new and more predictive credit score with our recently launched CoreScore Credit Report. Together, this new credit report and credit score will provide the mortgage industry with increased visibility into consumer credit behavior and improved credit risk analysis. We envision this score as the first in a series of new scoring solutions that FICO and CoreLogic will create for use in the mortgage industry and beyond.

October 21, 2011

Trucking Expert Witnesses & Tolls

Trucking expert witnesses may testify on transportation charges, fuel charges, fuel surcharges, truck fleets, and associated topics. In the news this week, a Virginia truck driver was arrested after using a device to hide his license plate as he passed through tolls in New York. The driver rigged up a cable to retract his license plate to avoid paying $65 at the George Washington Bridge.

The Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey approved a plan in August to more than double truck tolls by 2015 at tunnels and bridges into New York City.

October 21, 2011

Combustion Expert Witnesses & NIST Data

Combustion expert witnesses may write reports and opine on explosions, flammable materials, and explosive limits. Research in this area may be found at The National Institute of Standards and Technology Engineering Laboratory which now offers public access to their new online repository Disaster and Failure Study Data:

For more than 40 years, scientists and engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have studied structural failures caused by natural disasters, fires and man-made factors, and used the lessons learned to improve building and fire codes, standards and practices. With the launch of the Disaster and Failure Events Data Repository, NIST has begun to make this valuable information accessible more easily online.

The repository will ensure that data collected during and after a disaster or failure event, as well as data generated from related research, is organized and maintained to enable study, analysis and comparison with future severe disaster events. It also will serve as a national archival database where other organizations can store the research, findings and outcomes of their disaster and failure studies.

Read more: http://www.nist.gov/el/disasterstudies/repository-081611.cfm

October 21, 2011

Professional Engineering Expert Witnesses

Professional engineering expert witnesses may write reports and testify on issues involving engineering risk assessments, registered professional engineers, and safety and hazard analysis. In Consumer Guide to Professional Engineering and Professional Land Surveying, the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists writes:

For a home or other building that has been damaged by natural forces such as earthquake, wind, flood, or fire, consultation with a civil or structural engineer is recommended to determine if the building is safe to occupy and can safely be repaired or rebuilt. Civil and/or structural engineers can judge whether or not damage has made a building unsafe to live or work in, or if its condition endangers nearby buildings or the public. Sometimes a geotechnical or soils report is necessary. If so, both civil and geotechnical engineers can provide this service. It is also possible that a survey would need to be done to relocate your property boundaries.

Read more: http://www.pels.ca.gov/pubs/index.shtml.

October 21, 2011

Bodily Injury Coverage Expert Witnesses Part 2

Bodily injury coverage expert witnesses may opine on bodily injury claims, bodily liability insurance coverage, and related issues. allinsuranceinfo.org explains:

Claims for Bodily Injury Liability Insurance include medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of income. In case you are sued for damages and injuries to persons, the legal fees can be so high that they can easily lead you to bankruptcy if you are not properly covered. Even if all your valuable assets are your car and your home, and the court would not normally require you to sell them in order to satisfy judgement against you, there will be placed a judgement lien against your home, which may wait till you eventually sell your home. This judgement lien may remain effective for as long as 20 years. Therefore it is vitally important to have Bodily Liability Insurance to be protected in court as well.

Read more: allinsuranceinfo.org.

October 21, 2011

Liability Insurance Expert Witnesses Part 2

Liability insurance expert witnesses may testify on personal liability insurance, automobile liability policies, and more. In Liability Insurance or Personal Umbrella Liability Policy, InsuranceLocal.com explains:

There are many factors to consider when calculation a premium: the state in which you live, the number of liability exposures you have (cars, drivers) etc. Usually the best rates occur when the customer insures both auto and home with the same insurance company and the personal umbrella liability policy. This is a requirement for many insurers offering umbrella coverage.

Read more: InsuranceLocal.com.

October 20, 2011

Insurance Agencies Expert Witness On Advisory Boards Part 6

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

Finding new insurance company markets – As the owner of a wholesale agency, you have put aside a specific budget for searching for new carriers and even investing in initial public offerings of newly-formed insurance holding companies. The strategic advisory director can help in identifying new insurance carriers that have just received their “A” rating, and are looking to build a new distribution system. This expertise is not with the owner of the agency, whether it be retailer, wholesaler, or managing general agency. The dedication to search out newly-formed insurance companies is an expertise, starting with knowing state insurance department officials. Your strategic advisory director can find new carriers better than you, the owner of the agency, can;

Read more: insuranceexpertnetwork.com.

October 19, 2011

Health Benefits Expert Witness On Health & Welfare Plans Part 2

In A Comparison of Self-Funded and Insured Health and Welfare Plans, health benefits expert witnessMark Johnson, J.D., Ph.D., ERISA Benefits Consulting, Inc., writes:

Under state law, insurance companies are regulated and are subject to rules governing benefits, network adequacy, prompt payment of claims, etc. Although fully insured plans in the private sector are still covered by ERISA they are also subject to state insurance regulation. While the state cannot tell an employer what the provisions must be in its ERISA plan, it can tell insurance companies what must be in policies they are authorized to sell; in essence back door regulation.
In a self-funded healthcare plan an employer provides health and other welfare benefits to employees with its own funds. For self-funded plans, the financial risk falls on the employer, with employee cost sharing arrangements similar to the insured plan, i.e. deductibles, co-payments and employee monthly contributions (the latter are functionally the same as premiums). The cost of the plan consists of benefits actually paid to health care providers, administrative fees, stop-loss premiums if the employer elects on an aggregate or individual basis to shift financial responsibility to an insurance policy after a trigger is met, and other variable costs.

October 18, 2011

Credit Risk Expert Witnesses Part 1

Credit risk expert witnesses may opine on risk assessment, risk management, and risk analysis. In the news this week, CoreLogic debuted the new product, CoreScore Credit Report which they say will use public records to add previously hidden data not included in traditional credit reports. Lenders may soon have access to new details on credit behavior, e.g. rental history, taxes and child support payments.

October 18, 2011

Telecommunications Expert Witness On Call Center Technology

Telecommunications expert witness David Lucantoni, Ph.D., DLT Consulting, writes on the most important items that need to be understood by both attorneys and infringement and validity experts.

1. Architecture for both the structures in the patent and of the accused infringing system - The hardware components need to be understood, ACD, VRU, CTI, etc. Are connections between components direct, through the PSTN, etc.?

2. Call or message flows – What are the specific messages, sequence, source and destination between components to achieve each important transaction under study.

3. What is stored in the various databases – Various data is requested and retrieved from the various databases, customer login and pin (for returning customers), customer account information (address, services subscribed to, etc.), previous customer transactions with system. These typically show up on the operator’s screen as a “screen pop” as the call is routed to an operator.

4. Back-end or off-site systems – Typically various (3rd-party) credit card verification systems.

October 17, 2011

General Liability Insurance Expert Witnesses

General liability insurance expert witnesses may write reports and testify on acts of omission, risk financing, insurance policies, and associated matters. General liability insurance may be defined as:

Insurance policy that covers claims arising from an insured's liability due to damage or injury (caused by negligence or acts of omission) during performance of his or her duties or business.

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

October 16, 2011

Bodily Injury Coverage Expert Witnesses Part 1

Bodily injury coverage expert witnesses may opine on bodily injury claims, bodily liability insurance coverage, and related issues. allinsuranceinfo.org explains:

Bodily Injury Liability Insurance (BI) is a must on the roads. In most states purchasing a minimal amount of this coverage is a requirement. Bodily Injury Liability combined with Property Damage Liability coverage is the Auto Insurance policy basis.

Read more: allinsuranceinfo.org.

October 16, 2011

Construction Expert Witness On How To Advertise Part 1

In Experts - How do you Advertise?, construction expert witness William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company, writes:

Recently I had the opportunity to be involved in an in-depth discussion and survey of experts regarding the best forms of advertising. While hardly a scientific survey, the comments and results were extremely interesting.

Referral and listing services such as Forensis Group, TASA, JurisPro, HG Experts and others were mentioned. These services differ in how they charge experts. Some charge an annual fee to be listed in their database and some add a fee to the client who hires you through their service. The results were mixed. Approximately 70% of the experts favored services such as these. Some had very good experiences and some did not. For this expert the use of referral and listing services is a great form of exposure and an asset to my practice. These services receive thousands of hits or visits by attorneys looking for qualified experts. The cost is minimal compared to the amount of exposure and potential leads you can receive.

William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company for more than 35 years, specializes in excavation & construction site preparation.

October 15, 2011

Insurance Agencies Expert Witness On Advisory Boards Part 5

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

Carrier Relationships

• Negotiating existing insurance carrier agency agreements – Your retail insurance agency has just received the bad news that your largest carrier is leaving the state because of reinsurance costs and insurance product pricing. As the owner of the agency, you turn to your strategic advisory board to come up with a solution to delay the carrier’s withdrawal from the state. In fact, the strategic director would be aware of the carrier withdrawal before it makes the decision to withdraw. Experienced strategic directors know all the signs because they have experienced this before in their younger years. Delaying the withdrawal means commission dollars saved, and value added;

Read more: insuranceexpertnetwork.com.

October 14, 2011

Health Benefits Expert Witness On Health & Welfare Plans Part 1

In A Comparison of Self-Funded and Insured Health and Welfare Plans, health benefits expert witnessMark Johnson, J.D., Ph.D., ERISA Benefits Consulting, Inc., writes:

Employee welfare benefit plans can be either fully insured, or self-funded. This article explains and compares the differences between the two types.

Most companies have a fully insured employee benefit plan, where the employer arranges for health coverage from an insurance company. The insurance company assumes the risk for payment of claims based on an actuarial analysis of the policy terms and covered group. The insurance company collects a monthly premium, which is typically shared by the employer and the employee, and pays for claims based on the policy terms. The covered employee is responsible for any deductibles and co-payments.

October 13, 2011

Indemnity Expert Witnesses

Indemnity expert witnesses may opine on indemnification, indemnity health insurance, and associated matters. ProfessionalIsuranceIndemnity.org writes:

The term professional indemnity has many definitions ranging from a sum of money paid for damages caused by a professional in the course of his or her work to a legal exemption for liability for damages. Irrespective of the definition, however, professional indemnity insurance covers you for any financial claims made against you for your actions carried out in the course of your professional duties.

What if you were not personally responsible for any errors made by your employees, or even contractors employed by you to carry out certain work? What then? Are you still liable in law? In a simple word, yes! So who comes under the umbrella of 'professional"?

Read more: insuranceprofessionalindemnity.org.

October 12, 2011

Insurance Industry Expert Witnesses

Insurance industry expert witnesses may write reports and testify on property insurance, insurance regulations, casualty insurance, and long term care insurance. On its website, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a free newswire service with daily insurance news delivered to your email.

Subscribe to the NAIC NewsWire here: http://www.naic.org/newswire_archive.htm

October 11, 2011

Construction Expert Witness On Guaranteed Maximum Contracts Part 4

In Guaranteed Maximum Contracts construction expert witness Paul Gogulski explains the the G-Max contract:

There is another reason for using the G-Max contract system: It is the best vehicle for recovering cost when pricing on extras becomes unreasonable. The fact that owners have tremendous leverage on extras is not often mentioned among users, perhaps because it is a business advantage. Consider once again the outrageous cost for a new door. Assume that the contractor wants $1,500 to cut the hole and install a new door, plus another $50,000 to relocate the 4-inch gas pipe that nobody knew existed. Assume also that the true cost of the piping relocation is only $10,000, but the contractor will not back off his estimate. The work must start and he demands approval.

Under lump sum contracts owner's haven't got much choice, but under the G Max system, even if you agree to the $50,000, all you've given away is the difference in fees, or $2,400 instead of $40,000. Once the work is complete and true cost is known, even this can be adjusted. There's a strong incentive here to be honest. Nothing like it exists with any other format. Cost plus contracts claim to be the same, but in reality they do not have any incentive for shared savings or efficiencies.

October 10, 2011

Insurance Agencies Expert Witness On Advisory Boards Part 4

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

Forming an agent-owned captive insurance company – Your retail insurance agency has been writing errors and omissions on real estate appraisers with a consistent 25 percent loss ratio, and you want to recapture some of the underwriting profit into your own agent-owned captive insurance company. You require a complete feasibility study, and want to raise the capital for the captive insurance company through a private placement memorandum. The technical task of structuring the feasibility study for the agent-owned captive can be delegated to the strategic advisory board. Should you use Arizona or Vermont, or even Hawaii as your domestic domicile? Do you want to own a Cayman Island agency captive, or Barbados? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each domicile, or shore and offshore? The strategic advisory director has all the answers to let you proceed with this concept to enhance value.

Read more: insuranceexpertnetwork.com.

October 9, 2011

Health Benefits Expert Witness On Challenge In 21st Century

In The 21st Century Benefits Challenge Health, health benefits expert witness Mark Johnson, J.D., Ph.D., ERISA Benefits Consulting, Inc., writes:

As the baby boomer generation begins to enter retirement, the competition for qualified talent from a shrinking workforce intensifies.

* Health benefits are increasing in cost and complexity
* The employer will continue to be a vital part of the retirement income security puzzle
* Benefits are vital to attract and retain the best employees
* Social Security and Medicare are under siege and being changed
* Membership associations are growing as benefits sources for individuals and employers
* Mergers, acquisitions or spin-offs frequently present unexpected benefits-related issues

October 8, 2011

Business Income Claims Expert Witnesses

Business income claims expert witnesses may write reports and testify on risk management, business interruption claims, and related issues. In Business Income Claims: Simplified!, How to Document and Calculate Loss, Robert M. Swift, CPCU, CIPA, CBCP, writes:

Business Income claims are the most frustrating part of insurance and cause the majority of E&O lawsuits. Business owners do not understand the coverage, so post loss they receive an education about their insurance policy language resulting in hard feelings and lawsuits. Insurance companies unnecessarily spend approximately $2,500 per claim in loss adjustment expenses hiring forensic accountants to show the insured how to calculate and document their claim. Agents and brokers devote many hours of non-billable time hand-holding, talking to the adjuster, and explaining the policy to the insured. Undoubtedly, this unnecessary time and expense could be better utilized properly preparing and adequately protecting the insured which would eliminate nasty surprises.

Read more: bisimplified.com.

October 8, 2011

Indemnity Expert Witnesses

Indemnity expert witnesses may opine on indemnification, indemnity health insurance, and associated matters. ProfessionalIndemnityInsurance. org writes:

The right level of insurance professional indemnity is essential to offer you peace of mind in the event of individual, corporate body or governmental department making a claim for damages, injury or negligence against you, your business or any members of your staff. Any professional business or individual, irrespective of the professional services they provide, must be certain that they are covered for anything that could occur in the course of their business that could do damage or cause loss to their clients.

Read more: insuranceprofessionalindemnity.org.

October 8, 2011

Disability Insurance Expert Witnesses & Survey Findings

Disability insurance expert witnesses may opine on disability income insurance and disability insurance claims, among other topics. On their website, the Council for Disability Awareness discusses the The 2011 Council for Disability Awareness Long-Term Disability Claims Review:

CDA Survey Findings: Summary of Key Findings from Proprietary CDA Member Company Data

* $8.3 billion in long-term disability insurance claim payments were made in 2010 by CDA member companies that participated in this year's study. This represents a 1% increase over payments made in 2009.
* Impact of the economic downturn on disability claims: 56% of participating companies reported increased claim incidence from 2009 to 2010, and most suggested the increase was impacted by the recession. By comparison, in the 2009 data, only 18% of participating companies reported increased claim incidence, 71% reported incidence to be flat and 11% reported decreased incidence.
* Impact of the economic downturn on employers providing group long-term disability programs: Participating companies reported 0.6% fewer employers offering group longterm disability insurance programs in 2010 compared to the prior year.

Read more: disabilitycanhappen.org.

October 8, 2011

Polygraph Expert Witness On Polygraph Examinations Part 1

In The Case for Forensic Polygraph Testing in Post-Adjudication Sexual Offender Examination and Management, polygraph expert witness Ken Blackstone writes:

In 1973, in the Multnomah County Circuit of Oregon, Judge John C. Beatty, Jr. was the first to order the use of the polygraph in the management of convicted sexual offenders. Today, almost 40 years later, the number of registered sex offenders in the US and its territories exceeds half a million and they are all under some form of management. The post adjudication polygraph is used by the responsible State and Federal agencies in three common circumstances: in prisons during the incarceration of convicted sex offenders; in the community during subsequent probation and parole; and during the civil commitment of sexually dangerous persons.

The Problem

Polygraph examination is a catch-all term used to describe the use of the polygraph instrument, either as a forensic tool to determine the veracity of a statement or as a utility tool to generate statements and disclosures. While these two approaches are superficially similar their foundations are not. To equate one with the other is like comparing lightning bolts and lightning bugs

Ken Blackstone is an expert regarding polygraph examinations. He is the author of the book Polygraph, Sex Offenders, and the Court (2011, Emerson Books ISBN 978-061-5506-80-7). www.blackstonepolygraph.com

October 7, 2011

Night Club Security Expert Witness On Liabilities

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

Nightclub problems arise when there is intentional over-crowding, over-serving of alcohol, failing to ban minors, admitting and serving obviously intoxicated persons, and known troublemakers. Other liabilities include failure to control loitering in the parking lot, failure to establish and enforce reasonable club rules, and an intentional policy not to call the police when warranted. Poor business decisions can make a club too intense and will place too much responsibility in the hands of club bouncers to control misconduct. This is a big mistake.

Read more: crimedoctor.com.

October 6, 2011

Insurance Claims Expert Witnesses

Insurance claims expert witnesses may write reports and testify on property insurance, insurance regulations, casualty insurance, and long term care insurance. Visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website to research news and analysis on the insurance industry. NAIC is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.

Read more: www.insurance.naic.org/.

October 6, 2011

Marketing Strategy Expert Witness On The Global Marketplace Part 3

In Creating a Sales Presence in the Global Marketplace, marketing strategy expert witness Glen Balzer writes:

Resources

When a company begins to plan its move into a foreign market, it can draw resources from several quarters. Divide resources into two broad groups: data and network. First, use data to build the expansion plan. How large is the market and how fast is it growing? Does the marketplace use manufacturers’ representatives, a direct sales force, or a hybrid blend of reps and direct sales? How eagerly do customers accept new entrants, particularly foreign entrants? How does a company contact and interview potential reps?

Second, develop a network. When a company enters a new foreign market, it begins with no established network. Develop and constantly nurture the network. The objective of the network is to have someone to call when faced with a dilemma, unforeseen challenge, or scandal. Industry trade associations are a good source of resources. Association staff and member companies both domestically and in the foreign market can provide insight into the foreign sales operation in its start-up phase.

Embassies around the world often have staff that is devoted to helping companies expand sales. Embassy staff can provide data on the size and composition of the foreign market.

They gather data on the manufacturing capabilities of indigenous competitors, and the presence and plans of foreign companies. They organize trade missions and trade fairs. Commercial staff in embassies can help arrange introductions to customers, potential sales partners and staff.


Read more: www.neweraconsulting.com

October 6, 2011

Construction Expert Witness On Guaranteed Maximum Contracts Part 3

In Guaranteed Maximum Contracts construction expert witness Paul Gogulski explains the the G-Max contract:

G-Max contracts best achieve the owner's objective because a partnership is formed between owner and contractor wherein the owner agrees to reimburse the contractor for actual cost as it occurs, not from a schedule of values. This eliminates the distrust between parties. It also eliminates the contractor's negligence to pay his suppliers and subcontractors because he gets audited monthly. In today's market, this one issue alone will solve a lot of problems and insure both savings and a smoothly running project.

The owner plays an active role throughout the entire process. The whole issue of cost is manageable when the savings are shared, rather than negotiated from an adversarial position. When the administration is properly set-up and organized, the benefits are truly amazing. Because every purchase order and invoice received from the contractor is submitted to the owner as backup, and because the owner agrees to cut the time for processing and pay promptly, a positive and successful relationship is assured. Front end loading disappears, so does the haggling with price.

October 5, 2011

Insurance Agencies Expert Witness On Advisory Boards Part 3

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

Agency Growth

Employment agreements for agency producers – In your agency, you have approached a competing producer trying to persuade her to leave her present position and join your fast growing retail agency. There is one big hurdle: she has a strict “non-compete agreement” that has to be circumvented. You can turn to the expertise of your strategic advisory board and work with its members to come to a solution on hiring the producer, without the problems that a non-compete agreement can give you;

Read more: insuranceexpertnetwork.com.

October 4, 2011

Marketing Expert & Initial Inquiry Call Part 2

Marketing experts may consult on marketing effectiveness, marketing research, marketing strategy, and more. At Expert Communications.com, Rosalie Hamilton provides methods for experts to find attorneys, companies and insurers that need their expert consultant services. ExpertCommunications.blogspot.com writes:

Following Rosalie's June newsletter article, "How Much to Say in the Initial Inquiry Call," several experts sent me their own "initial call" procedures. Here is one so clear and comprehensive, I wanted to share it:

My retainer agreement not only lists the fees and scope of my work, but I also have a clause (in bold) that expressly forbids the attorney from disclosing me as an expert witness if the attorney has not retained me. This happened many times in my early career, and that is why I put it into my retainer agreement. The clause also states I will take action against the attorney if I am listed without being retained. This clause has stopped attorneys from listing me as expert without retaining me. In addition, I have proof that I sent them the retainer agreement, thus I know my clause has been read.

Read more: expertcommunications.blogspot.com.

October 4, 2011

Risk Management Expert Witnesses & Financial Services Part 2

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, offers this on-demand seminar:

With regulators, boards and investors heavily scrutinizing risk management practices, effective risk management is more critical than ever. How has the risk landscape changed in the past year? What are financial services firms doing now to manage risk more effectively?

Join our panel of experts to review key insights from this year's survey of senior risk professionals, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit exclusively for SAS.

Featured speakers:

* Richard Apostolik – President and Chief Executive Officer, Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)
* Abhik Sen – Managing Editor, Industry & Management Research, Economist Intelligence Unit
* David M. Wallace – Global Financial Services Marketing Manager, SAS

Read more: sas.com.

October 3, 2011

Disability Insurance Expert Witnesses & Risk

Disability insurance expert witnesses may opine on disability income insurance and disability insurance claims, among other topics. On their website, the Council for Disability Awareness answers the question: What are your chances of becoming disabled?

Higher than you probably think. You can ignore the problem, but it's hard to ignore the facts:

* Just over 1 in 4 of today's 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire.
* Freak accidents are NOT usually the culprit. Back injuries, cancer, heart disease and other illnesses cause the majority of long-term absences.

Are you prepared if it happens to you? Probably not. If you're like most Americans, you don't have disability insurance. Or enough emergency savings to last 31.2 months. Yes, that’s the duration of the average long-term disability claim.

Read more: disabilitycanhappen.org.

October 2, 2011

Night Club Security Expert Witness On Theft

Night club security expert witness John Case, CPP, has over 30 years of private sector security experience. Here he writes on theft:

Employees and customers in nearly every type of business steal over a billion dollars a week from unknowing employers just like you! Honest employees often know theft is happening but hesitate to inform management of the problem. Most times, there are warning signs of theft are occurring through declining profits, unexplained inventory shortages, rumors and other discrepancies. But management usually doesn’t know how to deal with the problem until it is forced to face a crippling loss. There are proven ways to detect and prevent theft related losses within your business. You just have to know what to do!

Read more: employeetheft.com.

October 1, 2011

Marketing Strategy Expert Witness On The Global Marketplace Part 2

In Creating a Sales Presence in the Global Marketplace, marketing strategy expert witness Glen Balzer writes:

Expectations

When a company begins discussion about creating a sales presence in a foreign market, each member of the executive team probably has a different reason for expanding internationally. Sales may seek greater total available market. Manufacturing may prize greater volume across which to spread its fixed cost. Marketing might wish greater market share. Research and Development might crave better visibility into the foreign market. Finance may welcome the opportunity to reduce financial risk by spreading revenue across uncorrelated markets. Engineering may seek the opportunity to create an alliance with a foreign customer or competitor. If the project is to succeed, the executive team must develop and agree to a shared purpose.

Various groups must buy into the foreign market expansion, since those groups will be required to provide resources for the project. Ensure that all groups are prepared to offer resources. More important, confirm that all groups actually buy into the project. For best results, ensure that each group responsible for applying resources in the foreign market actually feels as though it owns its respective piece of the project.


Read more: www.neweraconsulting.com

October 1, 2011

Tree Care Expert Witnesses & Tree Failure

Tree care expert witnesses may opine on tree diseases, storm damage, fallen trees and related issues. In Tree Storm Damage - Dealing With Total Tree Failure, professional forester Steve Nix writes:

Catastrophic tree failure and damage is not only dangerous but can cause significant property loss and will be expensive to remove. Here are some ways to deal with complete tree damage.

Read more: forestry.about.com.