August 31, 2012

Fire Expert & Second Fisker Electric Car Fire

Fisker Automotvie Inc. has hired an independent fire expert to investigate the second fire in a Fisker Karma. The first electric car caught fire in the owner's garage and burned the Texas house down. The second sedan caught fire in California while not being charged and it appears the fire did not begin in the battery. Fisker Automotive was started in 2007 by Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler.

August 30, 2012

Patent Expert Witnesses & Apple Verdict

Patents expert witnesses are qualified to testify on software patents, invention patents, and international patents, as well as related issues. In The Foreman's Aha Moment in Apple v. Samsung Was Based on Misunderstanding Prior Art, Groklaw discusses how the Apple v. Samsung jury reached their verdict.

August 29, 2012

Trucking Expert Witnesses & New Rules

Trucking expert witnesses may write reports and testify on the Department of Transportation, truck driver qualifications, and federal motor vehicle safety standards, as well as related issues.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be working on 29 new rules over the next two years which include one regarding electronic logging devices.

Read more:

August 28, 2012

Real Estate Expert On Foreclosure Sales

In Buying a Foreclosure? Watch Out for These 5 Landmines, residential real estate expert Brendon DeSimone writes for Zillowblog on what to expect in a foreclosure sale. Mr. DeSimone is a realtor & HGTV real estate expert who has collaborated on multiple real estate books. and his expert advice is regularly sought out by print, online and television media outlets like FOX News, CNBC and Forbes.

Read more:

August 27, 2012

Document Examination Expert Witness On Report Writing Part 2

In Report Writing and Opinion Terminology, document examination expert witness Ronald N. Morris writes:

The FDE uses a report format he is comfortable with, or one established by the laboratory in which he works. No one format is the only correct and accepted one to use. However, whatever format is used it should incorporate the following basic elements:
A. Questioned: A clearly written, and complete description of all the questioned documents submitted for examination.
B. Known: A clearly written, and complete description of all the known writing, and who wrote it
C. Requested Examinations: A clearly written statement of the examination(s) requested.
D. Examination Results: The use of clearly written and easily understood language and concepts too accurately convey the conclusions reached by the FDE, based on the examination and comparison of the submitted documents. Clarification statements or examples, when used in the report, should only be included to assist the reader of the report in understanding the full significance of the conclusions.
E. Remarks: This section describes the disposition of the submitted documents, and other relevant comments. For chain of custody purposes, the disposition of evidence statements must be clearly written.
Request for additional known writing or other additional evidence can also be included in this section. It can also be a part of the appropriate conclusion statement in the examination results section. Other information such as how much advance notice is required to prepare court illustrations, or other pertinent information can also be included in this section of the report.

August 26, 2012

Hospitality Expert Witness On ADR Part 5

In Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Hospitality Industry hospitality expert witness Maurice Robinson writes on arbitration:

Arbitration is a well-established form of dispute resolution that provides the parties with a final and legally binding decision. The decision is enforceable by a court of law typically after only a very limited review and may not be appealed except under very limited circumstances. Occasionally, the parties may agree to a non-binding arbitration, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

For years arbitration was viewed as an effective alternative to litigation and trial through the court system only in certain types of disputes, such as construction and design, labor and employment, disagreements over the purchase and sale of residential real property, consumer stock brokerage, and medical care. Early on, arbitration was pushed primarily by certain industries, such as stock brokers, architects, construction professionals, labor unions and hospitals, who perceived arbitration as an effective alternative to trial for a variety of reasons: they had a large number of lawsuits largely involving repetitive, cookie-cutter issues; they wanted to achieve some uniformity of result; they wanted confidentiality to the extent possible; and they wanted their disputes to be “tried” by an
arbitrator with industry savvy, if not industry expertise.

August 24, 2012

Cross Border Data Protection

In Addressing the Challenges of Cross-Border Data Protection and eDiscovery The Organization of Legal Professionals writes:

One of the more troubling eDiscovery issues that globalization has inadvertently imposed on organizations is compliance with a complex set of international data protection and privacy laws. These laws present a significant challenge to U.S. companies, which enjoy fewer domestic restraints on collecting and storing personal data of its employees and consumers. Read more: e-discovery 2.0.

The Organization of Legal Professionals is a professional association dedicated to setting standards and certifications through collaboration, education and certifications.

August 23, 2012

Expert Witnesses In Slip & Fall Cases Part 6

In More effective use of experts in slip-and-fall cases - The right expert will help you to better prepare the case and win it at trial, attorney David Reinard writes on when to retain your experts:

The answer here is easy: Before it’s too late and no sooner than you have to. In other words, there is no “one-size-fitsall”
answer. Experts are critical to success in these cases. As noted above, they can help you in every aspect of your case, from pre-litigation investigation to your cross of the defense experts at trial. On the other hand, unless you have an unlimited budget, you need to be careful to hire experts at the right time.

The decision on when depends on a variety of factors:
• How experienced are you with the type of case you have? If this is your first slip-and-fall, sooner is probably better.
• Do you need an immediate site inspection by an expert? If you think the site may change, you can’t act fast enough. (You should personally visit any slip-and-fall scene immediately and take 10 times the number of pictures you think you need.)

(The Advocate Magazine, March 2012)

David Reinard is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, a member of ABOTA, and is regularly designated a Super Lawyer. He has tried dozens of cases throughout California.

August 22, 2012

Dental Expert Witness On TMJ Experts Part 1

In What to Look for in a TMJ or Orofacial/Craniofacial Pain Expert, dental expert witness Dr. John Van der Werff

Choosing an expert witness for TMJ disorders, or TMD (temporomandibular disorders), as it is officially titled, can be confusing because many medical practitioners try to treat these complex problems. So what should you look for in a TMJ expert?

The temporomandibular joint can be affected by misaligned teeth and the bite, therefore, a dentist makes the best expert witness when evaluating TMJ disorders. The American Dental Association does not currently recognize treatment of TMD as a specialty. Specialty training in a field such as oral surgery, orthodontics, and prosthodontics does not necessarily translate into specialty training in TMJ. Instead, look for a dentist who has extensive post-graduate training in TMD and orofacial/craniofacial pain. There are a number of private and university-based programs and courses available.

August 20, 2012

Document Examination Expert Witness On Attorney Questions #2

In Questions Attorneys Pose Regarding Document Examination, document examination expert witness Jan Leach writes:

4. How are document examiners paid? The document examiner is paid a retainer to begin the case. Fees are generally posted and set . The fees are not related to outcomes. Document Examiners are paid for their time and research design for questioned issues.

5. How calendared are Document Examiners? Often Document Examiners are scheduled out three to four months ahead. It is good to inform the examiner of hearings, depositions, court appearances, and any other deadlines critical to the case. Since the field of Document Examiners is small, DE’s often travel several states to fit attorneys’ needs.

6. Why should an expert be used? A competent, qualified expert may provide crucial evidence to move your case forward.

Jan Leach is a Forensic Document Examiner with court appearances in Florida, NY and the southern states since 1996. Typical cases include contracts, disputed wills, quit claim deeds, mortgages, trusts, altered medical and insurance records, promissory notes, and identity theft.

August 19, 2012

Law Enforcement Expert Witness & Former Officers Lawsuit

Former Police Chief Dale Stevenson may serve as a law enforcement expert witness for Flushing Township, MI, in lawsuits that former police officers have filed. Laid off police officers claim that the former police chief, city supervisor, treasurer, and three trustees dissolved the Flushing police force in response to supporting recall efforts of the elected officials. The township then contracted with the county government for police service.

August 18, 2012

Personal Injury Expert Witness On Floor Safety

Personal injury expert witness Dr. Gidon R. Vardi says the possibility of personal injury is always present no matter how safe the property owner thinks his building might be. “Any floor surface can become a hazard if not properly designed, installed and maintained,” says Dr. Vardi. “That is especially true when it comes to commercial floors where pedestrian traffic encounters a variety of distraction and obstacles.” The expert is experience in coefficient of friction testing, light level testing, construction standards, and OSHA compliance.

August 17, 2012

Semiconductors Expert Witness Fees

Semiconductors expert witness Michael Thomas has sued the law firm of King & Spalding in San Mateo County Superior Court for fees in a large ITC case. Thomas has over twenty years in the semiconductor industry, primarily in the fields of Operations, Test and Product Engineering, Project Management and Quality Assurance. He says the law firm is telling him that a bankrupt former client is liable for the expert witness fees.

August 16, 2012

Electrical Engineering Expert Witness Testifies For Samsung

Electrical engineering expert witness Dr. Woodward Yang testified for Samsung in the patent case filed by Apple in US District Court, N.D. Cal., C 11-1846 & C 12-0630. Dr. Yang is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University and said that Apple uses Samsung features in their mobile devices.

August 15, 2012

Document Examination Expert Witness On Attorney Questions Part 1

In Questions Attorneys Pose Regarding Document Examination, document examination expert witness Jan Leach writes:

1. Should I hire an expert as a consultant or as an expert witness?
Consultants can sit with you during a trial proceeding and offer insight. An expert witness will present a finding in court and will only appear for testimony.

2. What should a Letter of Opinion contain?
The question or task posed by the attorney should be clearly stated. The known and questioned documents are listed and identified; the scientific process should be described by the expert as followed in the study, and the opinion reached should be expressed by known standards of the industry.

3. What should be conveyed about the case initially? Often an examiner is contacted by both sides of a case. To avoid conflict of interest, share the name of client and other litigants as well as the opposing attorney. Withhold case information and claims until no conflict is assured. Once retained, the expert should be detailed with a description of the case and its related documents,. How many documents are in question and how many known signatures are available for comparison?

Jan Leach is a Forensic Document Examiner with court appearances in Florida, NY and the southern states since 1996. Typical cases include contracts, disputed wills, quit claim deeds, mortgages, trusts, altered medical and insurance records, promissory notes, and identity theft.

August 14, 2012

Medical Expert Witness On Direct Examination Part 1

In Preparing an Expert Witness for Direct Examination: Time for a Pep Talk, medical expert witness Dr. Burton Bentley of Elite Medical Experts LLC writes:

From the perspective of the expert witness, direct examination is not a particularly enjoyable process. The adversarial environment, intensity of focus, and technical nature of the data all combine to add stress to an already demanding situation. Experts themselves also may have some degree of self-doubt, a subliminal fear of being placed under scrutiny magnified by the inherent human tendency to avoid criticizing others. In the absence of a focused mind, even the staunchest expert may melt under the spotlight of skillful direct examination. Consequently, an astute litigator must understand the perspective of the expert and then reinforce the skills that will lead to the expert’s success. Toward this end, a basic pep talk is a good place to begin.

August 13, 2012

Document Examination Expert Witness On Report Writing Part 1

In Report Writing and Opinion Terminology, document examination expert witness Ronald N. Morris writes:
At the conclusion of the analysis phase of an examination and comparison, the Forensic Document Examiner (FDE) writes a report that should be complete, standing on its own without having to rely on the availability of other documents for descriptions. The results of this analysis should be easy to understand. He uses language to accomplish this purpose, but because language is not always precise, the same words can have different meanings, or slightly different meanings, to different people. This is particularly true when he states his conclusions using probability statements. The purpose of this paper is to assist the reader in:
A. Understanding the format of a questioned document report
B. The way examined documents should be described and how the appropriate probability statements are chosen by the FDE
C. The language and terms are chosen to express the conclusions reached in the examination
D. How the language and terms should be interpreted and understood by the reader of the report.
Additionally, the probability statements in this paper are those used by the author and are in accordance with terminology in the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard/guideline, Designation: E 1658-04. The probability statements, discussion, and examples in that standard/guideline, are clearly written and easily understood, because they are not complicated.

August 11, 2012

Paralegal Knowledge Institute Webinar On Social Media

The Paralegal Knowledge Institute is presenting a one hour webinar on The Use Of Facebook And Other Social Media in Litigation September 12, 2012.

Few people are unfamiliar with social media. To some people it means Facebook, to others it means Twitter or YouTube, and to still others, it's everywhere they can post their thoughts freely. Yet, social media litigation is still in its infancy.
Social media can be used in employment cases, product liability, family law, workers compensation - just about anywhere. What do you need know and where do you begin?

This webinar gives you an overview covering:

Status of current federal legislation
Recent developments in state and federal case law
Discovery Requests,
Protective orders
Motions to compel and
Juror misconduct

To register, send an email to

August 9, 2012

Internet Expert Witnesses & Google $22.5M Fine

Internet expert witnesses may testify on issues involving cyber-squatting, spam, email, websites, and related matters. In the news this week, the Federal Trade Commission has fined Google $22.5M for violating an earlier privacy settlement with the federal agency. The FTC charged Google with misrepresenting to users of Apple Inc.’s Safari Internet browser that it would not place tracking “cookies” or serve targeted ads to those users. More information about the FTC case can be found at the Tech@FTC blog.

August 8, 2012

Patents Expert Witnesses & Apple v. Samsung

Sydney Federal Court Judge Annabelle Claire Benne warned Samsung counsel Katrina Howard regarding the accusation that Apple inappropriately influenced patent expert witnesses. Technology expert Aruna Seneviratne, Director of the Australian Technology Park Laboratory of NICTA, said Apple lawyers pointed out a typographical error in his report and he was not pressured by Apple.

Apple claims that Samsung copied designs and features from the iPhone while Samsung accuses Apple of violating their wireless technology patents.

August 7, 2012

Psychiatry Expert Witness & UAH Shooter Defense

Judge Alan Mann has allowed psychiatry expert witness Dr. James Merikangas, his assistant Adrienne Taylor, and Dr. John Matthew Fabian access to Amy Bishop-Anderson. Bishop-Anderson is charged in the 2010 shooting at The University of Alabama in Huntsville that killed three and injured six. The three witnesses will work to develop an insanity defense for the September trial.

August 5, 2012

Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness Sues Attorney & News Agency

Accident reconstruction expert witness Amrit Toor has sued attorney Thomas Harding claiming defamation after Harding compared the expert to Johnny Carson's fictional magician character Carnac. Toor is a forensic engineer specializing in accident reconstruction at Intech Engineering Ltd. He is also suing the Canadian news agency Postmedia seeking damages over an article published in the Vancouver Sun.

August 3, 2012

Copyrights Expert Witnesses & EA v. Zynga

Copyrights expert witnesses may testify on copyright infringement, copyright notice, and copyright limitations. In the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Electronic Arts sued Zynga this week for copyright infringement stating that Zynga copied the game The Sims Social in creating The Ville. EA is the second largest U.S. video-game maker. Packaged video game sales have decreased as users move to games like The Sims Social and The Ville which are played on social sites.

August 2, 2012

Trucking Expert Witness & Standards Of Care

Trucking expert witness Lew Grill specializes in the standard of care of truck drivers and the motor carriers who employ them. See Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's regulations and their interpretations governing highway transportation on his website:

August 1, 2012

Pediatrics Expert Witness Testifies In Child Mistreatment Case

Pediatrics expert witness Dr. Blaine Tolby testified in the Washington state child mistreatment case against Jeffery and Rebecca Trebilcock. The Treblicocks were charged with criminal mistreatment of their four adopted children and found guilty of of first-degree criminal mistreatment of their teenage son and third-degree criminal mistreatment of his sister. Tolby testified that the oldest boy suffered from psychosocial dwarfism brought on by a traumatic home situation.