March 31, 2013

Forensic Psychiatry Expert Witness On Difficult Diagnosis

The forensic psychiatry expert witness who testified in the case against Richard Kachkar said the defendant was difficult to diagnose. Kachkar is charged with the death Toronto police officer Sargent Ryan Russell. Kachkar drove a stolen snowplow through Toronto and struck down Officer Russell.

Expert witness Dr. John Bradford is Clinical Director of the Forensic Program and Co-Director of the Sexual Behaviors Clinic at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, Professor of Psychiatry and Head, Division of Forensic Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa.


March 30, 2013

OSHA Expert Witnesses & Railroad Company Violations

OSHA expert witnesses may consult and write reports on workplace safety, job hazards, OSHA regulations and more. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released findings this month against the Norfolk Southern Railway over its actions in response to an injured worker. PRNewswire reports that Northern Southern Railway fired a Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employee (Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters) when he reported an on the job eye injury. The railway violated employee protections of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (49 U.S.C. §20109).

The employee was reinstated and awarded lost wages and benefits in addition to compensatory and punitive damages.

March 29, 2013

Accident Investigation Expert Witness On Evidence Collection Part 2

In Event Data Recorders: Proper Evidence Collection in Criminal, Insurance and Tort Liability Investigations, accident investigation expert witness Shawn Gyorke writes:

The mandatory terms of this type of legislation (preservation of physical evidence), which demands the preservation and production of all forensic evidence, can be reinforced by the explicit terms of a corresponding criminal code, wherein law enforcement can be found criminally culpable for failures in compliance. Under the Illinois statute, it is “unlawful for a law enforcement agency or an agent acting on behalf of the law enforcement agency to intentionally fail to comply with the provisions of subsection (a) of Section 116” 3. A violation of this statute constitutes a Class 4 Felony for which an Illinois law enforcement official could be fined up to $25,000 and/or imprisoned for 1 to 3 years.

Many other states, including Alaska, Arkansas and South Carolina4, have similarly worded procedural codes requiring the preservation of all forensic evidence on serious crimes. However, the list of states with legislative requirements for the preservation of evidence expands to an overwhelming majority wherein specific biological or DNA evidence could be collected. While the scope of this additional legislation is not discussed within the confines of this article, it could be argued that only on the rarest of occasions, is blood or other biological material not deposited at the scene of a fatal traffic crash.

Shawn Gyorke is a Certified Accident Reconstructionist with education, training and experience in the investigation, reconstruction, and analysis of personal injury and fatal traffic crashes. His company is Crash Data Services, LLC.

March 28, 2013

Pesticide Pollution Expert Witnesses & Norovirus Disease

Pesticide pollution expert witnesses may report on pesticide products, pesticide regulations, insecticides, and associated topics. In the news, pesticide application may pose a microbiological public health risk. The consumption of fresh produce is frequently associated with outbreaks of human norovirus (hNoV) disease. Data published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology documents that noroviruses are found in water sources used to reconstitute pesticides and that fresh produce may get contaminated with infectious norovirus by pesticide application.

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March 27, 2013

Patentability Requirements Expert Witnesses

Patentability requirements expert witnesses may consult on drug patents, patent prosecution, patent infringement, computer patents, design patents, and more. At attorney Dan Tysver discusses what makes an invention patentable including the language in 35 U.S.C. 101.

Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

Mr. Tysver is a patent attorney focusing primarily on the areas of computer hardware and software, data storage, and consumer electronics.

March 26, 2013

Forensic Psychology Expert Witness Testifies For Jodi Arias

Jodi Arias' defense expert witness Richard M. Samuels has testified that Arias suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and dissociative amnesia. Arias is on trial for the murder of her boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008. Dr. Samuels, Ph.D., FACCS, ABPP, is a practicing clinical and forensic psychologist in Scottsdale, AZ. He testified that that the 2008 event was so traumatic for Arias that she cannot remember details.

March 25, 2013

Insurance Expert Witness On Recurring Insurance Litigation Themes Part 2

In Property & Casualty Insurance Procurement & Litigation (Ten Recurring Themes Every Lawyer Should Know) insurance expert witness David L. Stegall, CPCU, ARM, ARe, RPA, of Risk Consulting & Expert Services writes on ten recurring themes that often lead to litigation. Attorneys either dealing in insurance procurement litigation issues or with clients who purchase insurance may want to consider these ten themes:

Theme 2 of 10
Premium payment is the basis of which all other obligations follow. Paying premiums to an agent of an insurance company is ordinarily the same as paying the insurance company. Is the person for whom your client is buying the insurance an agent or a broker? This information is usually not on the proposal. An insurance buyer needs to be sure the premium is paid to the insurance company or the company’s authorized representative (i.e., Agent) and not to a broker, who is not an authorized representative of the insurance company. The cases of brokers taking premiums from their clients and not conveying the money to the insurance company is, unfortunately, more common than one might expect and for this reason, payment to the insurance company is preferred.

Lesson #2: Your client (the Insurance buyer) knows they have purchased insurance if they have paid for it – so the buyer needs to make sure the premiums are paid to the insurance company.

Reoccurring Conclusion: Just like poor legal advice, poor understanding of insurance procurement issues can be very expensive for your client!

David Stegall is the Principal Consultant at Risk Consulting & Expert. Mr. Stegall holds a B.A. in Communication from Auburn University and is a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter, an Associate in Risk Management and an Associate in Reinsurance, all awarded by The Institutes in Malvern. PA. He is also a Director of the Society of Risk Management Consultants.

March 24, 2013

Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness Testifies In Fatal Boating Accident Case

According to the Grand Lake News, accident reconstruction expert witness Stan Andrews testified in the criminal case against Roger Shane Carroll. Mr. Andrews testified for the state of Oklahoma that Carroll was the driver in a boating accident that killed 39 year old Monte Price. Excessive speed and alcohol use were involved in the fatal crash. Mr. Andrews leads the accident reconstruction team at the The Engineering Institute in Farmington, AR.

March 24, 2013

Forensic Toxicology Expert Witness Testifies In Head On Collision Case

Forensic toxicology expert witness Dr. Connie Luckie testified Friday in the Hampton, VA, case against Jesse Evans Jr. Evans is charged with killing two university students and injurying three others in a wrong way head on collision. Dr. Luckie testified that Evans' his blood alcohol level was 0.26, which would have taken 10 to 12 beers within an hour. Alcohol as found in both vehicles. Dr. Luckie is a forensic scientist for the state of Virginia.

March 20, 2013

International Patents Expert Witnesses & AIA

International patents expert witnesses may opine on international patents and licensing, drug patents, patent prosecution, and patent infringement. The USPTO describes the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (effective 3/16/13):

“Migration to a first-inventor-to-file system will bring greater transparency, objectivity, predictability, and simplicity to patentability determinations and is another step towards harmonizing U.S. patent law with that of other industrialized countries,” said Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO Teresa Stanek Rea.

Prior to the passage of the AIA, the USPTO was the only national patent office using a “first-to-invent” system. First-inventor-to-file complements USPTO’s existing efforts toward greater harmonization with foreign counterparts. One result of these efforts is the Cooperative Patent Classification system launched on January 1st of this year, a common classification system that will enhance the examination capabilities of both the USPTO and the European Patent Office. Another such effort is USPTO’s ongoing coordination with the world’s largest patent offices--the so-called Tegernsee Group dialogues. The USPTO currently is seeking comment on these initiatives.

USPTO press release:

March 19, 2013

Pesticides Expert Witnesses

Pesticides expert witnesses may provide reports concerning pesticide regulations, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and related matters. San Francisco Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero heard arguments Friday regarding dismissal of The Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America case against the EPA. The Center charges the EPA with failing to assess the impacts of hundreds of pesticides known to be harmful to more than 200 endangered and threatened species.

The lawsuit seeks protection from harmful pesticides for 212 endangered and threatened species throughout the United States, including Florida panthers, California condors, piping plovers, black-footed ferrets, arroyo toads, Indiana bats, bonytail chubs and Alabama sturgeon. Documents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and EPA, as well as peer-reviewed scientific studies, show that these species can be harmed by the more than 300 pesticides at issue.

March 18, 2013

License Agreement Expert Witnesses

License agreement expert witnesses may consult on patent infringement, patentability requirements, license agreement terms and associated matters. Michelle L. Briggs and Charles Krukiel discuss technology license agreements including license grants, license term, and rights to improvements in an article for the Association of Corporate Counsel. They caution that every technology license agreement is unique. "There is really no such thing as a 'standard' clause."

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March 18, 2013

Patents Expert Witnesses & "First To File"

Patents expert witnesses may consult on software patents, invention patents, and international patents, as well as related issues. The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) went into effect March 16, 2013. Patent applications will be judged by “first to file” replacing “first to invent.” The USPTO Release 13-10 USPTO Publishes Final Rules and Guidelines Governing First-Inventor-to-File states:

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today published final rules of practice implementing the first-inventor-to-file provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). The provision, one of the hallmarks of the AIA, is a major step towards harmonization of the U.S. patent system with those of the United States’ major trading partners, allowing greater consistency in the prosecution and enforcement of U.S. patents. The AIA also includes safeguards to ensure that only an original inventor or his assignee may be awarded a patent under the first-inventor-to-file system. The first-inventor-to-file provision of the AIA goes into effect on March 16, 2013, and represents the final implementation of the changes mandated by the AIA.

March 17, 2013

Checklist For Orthopedic Expert Witnesses

At orthopedic trauma surgery expert Dr. Michael Ford offers an expert witness checklist in orthopedic cases. Ford says sometimes attorneys don't know what information the expert needs for their case. He offers a checklist here:

Dr. Michael Ford is an orthopedic spine and trauma surgeon at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre who has more than 20 years of medical legal experience.

March 16, 2013

Hours Of Service Expert Witnesses

Hours of service expert witnesses may write reports and testify on trucking, the trucking industry, and trucking and transportation rules and regulations. The DOT website states that most drivers must follow the HOS Regulations if they drive a commercial motor vehicle.

The Hours of Service of Drivers Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2011. The effective date of the Final Rule is February 27, 2012, and the compliance date of selected provisions is July 1, 2013.

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March 15, 2013

Trucking Expert Witnesses & DOT Safety Records Database

Trucking expert witnesses may opine on issues involving the trucking industry, the Department of Transportation, trucking safety, truck maintenance, and trucking and transportation rules and regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains a company safety records database that is searchable by company name, USDOT number, or motor carrier number.

March 14, 2013

Insurance Expert Witnesses & Claims Adjusters

Insurance expert witnesses may advise on issues involving insurance claims, insurance adjusters, insurance agencies, and insurance fraud. The Insurance Claims And Issues blog entry A SHORT VISIT TO THE ADJUSTMENT OF CLAIMS discusses adjusters and independent adjusters.

Adjusting insurance claims sometimes seems like the opposite of what Mark Twain said about the weather: 'Everybody is doing something about it, but nobody talks about it.' This article will focus on that issue.

Claims are adjusted by an adjuster who is someone in the employ of the insurance company, or specially retained by it for a given claim or set of claims.

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March 13, 2013

Internet Expert Witnesses & Google Street View Cars

Internet expert witnesses may consult on social media, internet browsers, internet security, and related matters. In the news, Google Inc. will pay $7M to 38 states over its collection of personal data from 2008 to May 2010. Google Street View cars drove down public streets and gathered WiFi network information for their geolocation services. Google Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker signed an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance on March 8, 2013.

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March 12, 2013

Selecting The Expert Witness

In The Expert Witness: Selecting and Managing A Vital Resource, attorney Dennis Wall, Insurance Claims and Issues Group, Inc., writes on managing expert witnesses. In the article he discusses the “gatekeeper” model for the admission of expert opinion testimony as well as admissible testimony. Mr. Wall is the author of Litigation and Prevention of Insurer Bad Faith and co-author of CAT Claims: Insurance Coverage for Natural and Man-Made Disasters.

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March 11, 2013

Engineering Expert Witness On Deepwater Safety Tests

Engineering expert witness Richard Heenan testified last week before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier that British Petroleum and Transocean Ltd. officials mishandles safety tests on the Deepwater Horizon. Pressure tests were misread before the rig exploded and killed eleven people. Heenan is with Canadian Engineering Petroleum, Inc., and has supervised projects both onshore and offshore.

Bloomberg reports more:

March 7, 2013

Software Expert Witnesses & Microsoft $731M Fine

Software expert witnesses may opine on application software, business software, computer software, and associated matters. In the news, the LA Times reports that European Union antitrust officials fined Microsoft Corp. $731M for failing give a browser choice in Windows. Microsoft had agreed to include a browser selection in Windows 7 but did not for 14 months starting in February 2011 with Windows 7 Service pack 1. Microsoft reported the option was still there and sited technical errors.

March 6, 2013

Geology Expert Witness Testfies Re: Deepwater Horizon Location

Geology expert witness Andrew Hurst testified that British Petroleum drilled the Deepwater Horizon well in an area weakened by a 2006 earthquake. The expert described the ocean floor as likely weakened by the earthquake and says there is evidence BP knew about the earthquake at the start of drilling. Professor Hurst is Chair of Production Geoscience, University of Aberdeen. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier will decide if BP acted with gross negligence.

More info:;_ylt=AwrNUbDDSzZRuRUAcazQtDMD.

March 5, 2013

Legal Nurse Consultant Expert Witnesses & Medical Mass Tort Cases Part 2

Legal nurse consultant expert witnesses may testify on palliative care, forensic nursing, medical record review, and legal nurse certification, as well as related issues. In 5 ways Legal Nurse Consultants Assist with Medical Mass Torts, Mednick Associates writes:

2) Defense assistance: LNCs act as a siphoning agent for defense attorneys. As they review the records they are able to answer specific questions the defense may present, thus making an argument to dismiss a potential plaintiff. For example, they may scan the records to determine if the plaintiff is a smoker or obese, factors that may exclude them or provide an argument for their dismissal.

3) Plaintiff assistance: For the prosecution, the LNC performs a vital function of reviewing the records for specific patterns or ailments that may result from a particular drug, medical device or treatment. These trends are what increase the population of plaintiffs, thus making the case stronger, more difficult to refute and easier to obtain a medical expert witness.


March 4, 2013

Securities Expert Witness On Due Diligence Part 2

In DUE DILIGENCE: SECURITIES APPLICATIONS AND REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS, 2011, securities expert witness Douglas J. Schulz writes:

What are the accepted or appropriate definitions of the term "due
diligence"? As in almost all regulatory or litigation situations, it depends on which side of the fence you are on. If you are on the defense side and you are being accused by either a regulator or an investor/claimant that you failed to perform proper due diligence, your definition may be amorphous and narrow. You might claim the term is synonymous with such words as inquiry, investigation, research or review. On the other hand, if you are the investor/claimant, your definition will be more encompassing and will include such words as systematic, methodical, meticulous, scrupulous, detailed, and comprehensive.

Mr. Schulz has been in the securities business professionally for 33 years and has been hired over 1,100 times as a securities expert.

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