October 31, 2013

Aviation Expert Witnesses & Emergency Landing in Alaska

Aviation expert witnesses may consult on aircraft design, aircraft operations, aviation maintenance, aviation safety, and more. This week a Delta Air Lines international flight made an emergency landing in Cold Bay, Alaska, after an engine warning message flashed in the cockpit. The flight left Tokyo and was bound for San Francisco.

Cold Bay is the furthermost settlement on the southern tip of the Alaska Peninsula and the beginning of the Aleutian Islands Archipelago. The Cold Bay Airport serves as an emergency runway for aircraft flying through the North Pacific. There were no injuries on the flight.

October 30, 2013

Transportation Infrastructure Expert Witnesses & Mobility 21 Summit

Transportation infrastructure expert witnesses may consult on highways, bridges, transportation engineering, and transportation funding. In Los Angeles this week, over 1,000 business, transportation, and elected leaders met at the 12th annual Mobility 21 Southern California Transportation Summit to address challenges in Southern California’s infrastructure. Along with traffic congestion problems, the Southern California Association of Governments foresees a $200B deficit for infrastructure through 2035.

Mobility 21 was formed in 2002 by the Metro and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce as well as the Automobile Club of Southern California in order to speak as an advocate for transportation issues. They may be contacted at mobility21@me.com.

October 29, 2013

Medical Toxicology Expert Witness Testifies In Utah Murder Trial

Medical toxicology expert witness Dr. Gary Dawson testified in the Provo, UT, murder trial of Martin MacNeill. MacNeill is accused of giving his wife five drugs including Valium which caused her death in 2007. Pharmacist Dawson described drugs found in Michele MacNeill's body and how they are processed in the body. The prosecution contends that MacNeill killed his wife in order to continue an affair with Gypsy Willis while the defense says Mrs. MacNeill died due to a hear condition.

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October 28, 2013

Neurology Expert Witness On Brain Injury

In Brain Injury and Concussion, neurology expert witness Dr. Richard A. Rubenstein writes:

A small percentage of concussed patients do not recover as expected. Why? Signs of pathology on imaging studies may be the answer (complicated concussion). Especially troublesome are those claimants with no loss of consciousness, a Glasgow Coma Scale Score (GCS) of 15, and little or no post-traumatic amnesia. New research may offer an answer. A small subset of claimants with MRI or CT evidence of abnormality maybe a window into brain function and sequelae of a blow to the head. This cutting edge article offers an explanation for both memory and executive function impairment after a complicated mild traumatic brain injury.

In this observational study, the clinical relevance of abnormal findings on early brain imaging after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is demonstrated. This study shows that abnormal imaging in the acute state determines prognosis in a subset of patients with prolonged symptoms after concussion (complicated concussion).

Read more: http://www.jurispro.com/RichardRubenstein

October 26, 2013

Carnival Rides Expert Witnesses & NC Fair Accident

Carnival rides expert witnesses may consult on carnival ride maintenance, amusement park safety, and carnival ride accidents. A ride new to the North Carolina State Fair malfunctioned Thursday night and injured five people. The Vortex began running as riders were exiting the carnival ride and some people were thrown to the ground. North Carolina Labor Department ride inspection chief Tom Chambers says his department is reviewing a safety switch that malfunctioned earlier in the week. Mechanical equipment and the operation of the ride will be investigated.

October 25, 2013

Document Examination Expert Witness FAQ

On her website FAQ document examination expert witness Emily J. Will, D-BFDE, answers the question:

Q. Can a document examiner work with photocopies of questioned documents?

A. This question must be answered on a case by case basis. If the copy is of good quality, and if there is enough information in the writing to allow an opinion, a copy can be sufficient. But there are some situations where the opinion rests on a subtle aspect of the writing that might only be visible on an original viewed under the microscope. In such situations, examination of the original is critical. Often the examiner's opinion must be qualified due to limitations on the examination process due to submission of non-original documents.

October 23, 2013

Photography Expert Witness On Witness Perspective Photography

In his blog Witness Perspective Photography, photography expert witness George Reis, principal at Imaging Forensics, writes:

What did the witness to a crime see from 40 feet away at 3:00 a.m.? What did the driver see when approaching the intersection at sunset? What could the injured party see in the movie theater before tripping on a stair?

Witness perspective photography involves returning to the scene under similar lighting conditions, observing the scene, and photographically recording it so that the trier of fact can see the lighting conditions, perspective, size of objects, etc. from the witness’ point of view. As the photographer, I document, in detail, what I can can see – how much detail there is, what objects are too dark to discern, which are too light, etc.Then I photograph the scene to represent what I could see. I make prints that represent what I was able to see at the scene, under the given lighting conditions, using the proper focal length, print size, and print viewing distance so that the viewer will see all objects at the same size, brightness, contrast, and color as I did when at the scene.

Read more: George Reis.

October 22, 2013

High Speed Rail Expert Witnesses & CA Bullet Train

High speed rail transit expert witnesses may consult on railroad grade crossings, bullet trains, and railroad operating practices. Construction has begun on the high speed train connecting northern and southern California. $10B was approved by voters but recent projections put the price at $68B. In addition, the economic downturn has resulted in new plans that include the bullet trains sharing tracks and having to reduce speed. Even Quentin Kopp, past chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, has dropped support for the project. The BART advocate and former California senator describes the project as "no longer a genuine high speed rail system."

October 21, 2013

Fire Expert Witnesses To Testify In Arson Case

Fire expert witnesses may provide reports concerning arson detection, arson investigators standards of care, fire equipment, and fire origin and cause. Fire expert witnesses will testify in the Gatesville, TX, case against David K. Allen. Allen is charged with murder in the 2011 death of his wife Paula Allen. Fire investigators will testify as to whether the fire was intentionally set. Allen was charged in 2012 with using an accelerant to start the fire.

October 20, 2013

Veterinary Expert Witness Testifies Re: Stray Voltage

Veterinary expert witnesses may consult on livestock, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions and diseases of animals, and related matters. Veterinarian Dr. Andrew Keeter testified last week in the Millard County, UT, Gunn Hill Dairy case as to whether dairy cows were being affected by stray voltage. Voltage exposure causes lower milk production and a higher death rate in dairy cows.

Keeter testified that milk production in Millard County dairy farms has dropped compared to the national average as well as in comparison to other dairy farms in Utah.

October 19, 2013

Railroad Expert Witnesses & Fuel Derailment

Railroad expert witnesses may give opinions regarding railroad accident investigation, train wrecks, railroad safety, and railroad operating practices. Canadian National Railway Co. rail cars carrying propane and oil derailed Saturday near Edmonton while on their way from Vancouver. The Canadian Department of Transportation has issued new regulations this week which on the importing or transporting of crude oil.

The Canadian DOT offers information on rail investigations,including the 9/11/13 Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, accident on their website: http://www.bst-tsb.gc.ca/eng/enquetes-investigations/rail/index.aspforcing the evacuation of a small town.

October 17, 2013

Accident Reconstruction Expert Witnesses

Accident reconstruction expert witnesses may advise regarding collision analysis, crash worthiness, traffic accident reconstruction, and injury reconstruction issues. Middlesex County, NJ, authorities are investigating a fatal automobile accident that has been classified as a suicide-homicide. A 15 year old driver crossed over into oncoming traffic and killed two passengers in a second car. An eye witness said the driver was speeding and authorities report a lack of skid marks which indicate he did not try to stop.

October 16, 2013

New Features On Fastcase

In Fastcase Offers New Features and Services, Internet For Lawyers principal Carole Levitt writes:

On a recent visit to Fastcase, I noticed a number of new features and services available for users.
Alerts

The first was something new on the search results page—an Add Alert option. When you click the Add Alert button, you are saving your search and asking Fastcase to alert you by email whenever new documents are added to Fastcase that match your search terms. To cancel your alert, go to Options | Manage Alerts.

Fastcase’s libraries include primary law from all 50 states, as well as deep federal coverage going back to 1 U.S. 1, 1 F.2d 1, 1 F.Supp. 1, and 1 B.R. 1. The Fastcase collection includes cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions. Fastcase also provides access to a newspaper archive, legal forms, and a one-stop PACER search of federal filings through our content partners.

Internet For Lawyers principals Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch have been selected as 2013 Fastcase 50 award recipients. The peer-nominated award recognizes "50 of the smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law."

October 15, 2013

False Claims Act Expert Witness Tesfies in Legal Malpractice Lawsuit

False Claims ACT expert witness Dr. Ronald H. Clark H testified in the Davenport, IA, legal malpractice case against attorney Michael Walker and his law firm Hopkins & Huebner, P.C. Walker is accused of committing malpractice in the False Claims Act case filed by former firefighter Timothy Schultheis. Dr. Clark accused the attorney of not filing motions to dismiss and heading into mediation without knowing the facts of the case. The city of Clinton paid Schultheis and the Department of Justice $4.5M in 2010. Walker is now accused of settling the 2010 lawsuit too quickly and for too much.

Dr. Clark has litigated FCA/Qui Tam cases as an assistant US attorney, a trial attorney and senior trial counsel at the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, and for 14 years as a defense counsel.

Text of 31 USC § 3729 - False claims:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/31/3729

October 14, 2013

Child Psychology Expert Witness On Child Trauma

Child psychology expert witness Dr. Bruce D. Perry spoke October 7, 2013, at the annual conference of the Stanislaus County (CA) Family and Domestic Violence Council. Dr. Perry is the Senior Fellow of The Child Trauma Academy in Houston and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University in Chicago. He spoke on the psychological effects of violence on children and said counselors who work with abused children need to understand that violence changes how the brain develops and functions.

Dr. Perry has served as a consultant and/or expert witness on the Oklahoma City bombing, the Waco siege, the YFZ Ranch custody cases, and the Columbine High School massacre.

October 13, 2013

Expert Witness Marketing Authority Rosalie Hamilton On Self-Promotion

In Is Self-Promotion “Bragging? Rosalie Hamilton, the leading authority on expert witness marketing and founder of Expert Communications,writes:

Does the thought of reciting your achievements and credentials make you cringe?
You're not alone. Many experts are hesitant to 'promote' themselves. I want to share with you an email exchange I had with one of our readers on this subject.

The expert inquired:

I've never been all that good at self-promotion. It makes me feel uncomfortable, like I'm bragging or something. My grandfather used to tell me that it's not bragging if it's true, but I have a hard time with that.

I have been selected to give a presentation at a national trade conference and I want to put out an email to all my clients informing them of my good fortune. Part of me says go for it; part of me – the bashful side, I suppose - says to be more restrained. What do you say?

Is it in bad taste to announce this type of an honor? Guess I'm looking for solid validity, and seeing as how I love your newsletter I thought I'd run my predicament by you.

I responded with the following:

I understand your feelings. It is how were reared - to let someone else brag on us and not do it ourselves.

Business, however, is a different matter. Keeping in touch with your clients/prospects/possible referral sources such as business associates, vendors, etc., is a necessary part of doing business. People are so busy and over-communicated that if you don't make yourself come up on their personal radar screen 2-4 times a year, business that should have gone to you will go to others simply because they didn't think about you.

Being asked to speak is a good excuse to send what I call a Howdy card (and/or, now, an email). In my book, I listed 50 excuses for sending an announcement, and they are exactly that - excuses; the real objective is to simply remind people of your existence and, in a professional way, to remind them of your credentials. Be sure to state succinctly but completely what you do, which is the real reason for sending the announcement. Plus, the very fact that you were invited to speak demonstrates your stature in your field, which indicates your credibility to your attorney prospect.

Keeping a somewhat formal tone may make you feel more comfortable and less like you are bragging. It is, after all, a business matter, not a personal matter, even though it is an honor to have been asked.

I hope this helps you bridge that uneasiness in being upfront about the skills and accomplishments you bring to the table. How else will your prospects know how wonderful you are?

Best of success,
Rosalie

Ms. Hamilton provides customized marketing plans and consulting and coaching to individual experts and firms. Her Happy Clients (many of whom have made boatloads of money) are her credentials. She consults and coaches and provides full-service marketing for experts, including web site development. She is the author of *The Expert Witness Marketing Book* http://www.expertcommunications.com

October 11, 2013

General Surgery Expert Witness Testifies In Head Injury Case

General surgery expert witness Dr. James Stone testified for the defense in the Morton County, IA, case against Colten Towry. Towry was found not guilty of manslaughter and negligent homicide in the death of Derek Oshkeshequoam. Dr. Stone is a general surgeon at the CRHC Surgery Center, Clarinda, IA, who specializes in critical care medicine and surgery. He testified that Oshkeshequoam’s head injuries were not the result of one or two punches but more likely from the injury he sustained when his head hit the concrete ground and then not being taken to the hospital until the next day. The jury did find the defendant guilty of aggravated assault.

October 9, 2013

Civil Engineering Expert Testifies Re: Macondo Blowout

Civil engineering expert witness and UC Berkeley engineering professor Robert Bea testified October 1, 2013, that British Petroleum had not developed technology to handle a deep water blowout at the time of the Macondo massive oil spill. Dr. Bea described their policy as a "think about it when it happens plan." Company executive James Dupree admitted that BP engineers didn’t have the equipment they needed to attack the Macondo well. New Orleans district judge Carl Barbier is considering if BP's actions reached the level of "gross negligence."

Expert witness Professor Bea has over 48 years of experience in engineering and management of design, construction, maintenance, operation, and decommissioning marine systems including offshore platforms, pipelines, and floating facilities.

October 8, 2013

Internet Expert Witnesses & Silk Road Charges

Internet expert witnesses may provide reports regarding electronic mail, online chat, social media, and internet marketing. This week the FBI shut down the internet marketplace Silk Road and arrested owner Ross William Ulbricht. Ulbricht is charged with narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering. FBI agent Christopher Tarbell said the site was used by "several thousand drug dealers" to sell "hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs."

Charges include offering tutorials on contact lists for black market connections and counterfeiters, hacking ATM machines, and guns and hit men for sale. An FBI pilot program targeting internet crime was recently launched by the Internet Crime Complaint Center and the state of Utah. The IC3 reports that in 2012 alone, victims reported more than $500 million in losses due to crimes like fraudulent auto sales, intimidation/extortion scams, online dating fraud, scareware and ransomware, auction fraud, charity fraud, and computer intrusions.

October 7, 2013

Bus Accident Expert Witnesses & Tennessee Crash

Bus accident expert witnesses may consult regarding transportation accidents, bus accidents, motor carriers, and bus safety. In the news, National Transportation Safety Board investigators were not sent to the eastern Tennessee crash scene of a church bus with an passenger vehicle and tractor-trailer due to the federal government shutdown. The Tennessee Highway Patrol says a front tire on the bus malfunctioned caused the bus to cross the highway. Fatalities included six bus passengers, the truck driver and one of the people in the SUV.

The NTSB usually begins an investigation of a major accident with their "Go Team" which is comprised of three or four to more than a dozen specialists from the Board's headquarters staff in Washington, D.C. The specialists at a highway crash include a truck or bus mechanical expert and a highway engineer.

October 4, 2013

Finance Expert Witness & Michael Jackson $1.5B Trial

A Los Angeles jury reached a decision that AEG Live was not responsible for Michael Jackson's death. Jackson's family was seeking $1.5B in economic damages during the five month lawsuit. AEG Live's finance expert witness estimated that Michael Jackson would have earned $21M if he had completed a worldwide tour and a Las Vegas show. AEG's lead attorney Marvin S. Putman is a partner in O’Melveny & Myers LLP's Century City office and a member of the Business Trial and Litigation Practice. He described Michael Jackson as making "some bad choices." "It was Mr. Jackson, not AEG Live, that chose Conrad Murray."

October 3, 2013

Medical Expert Witness Testifies In Insulin Case

Medical expert witness Dr. Vincent Marks testified for the defense in the New Hampshire murder trial against Jodi LaClaire. LaClaire is accused of injecting Nita Lowery with insulin resulting in a coma. Lowrey was not diabetic and died after nine days in a coma. Dr. Marks testified that he has no idea what killed Nita Lowery in 2009 and believes that no one else knows. He describes the lack of medical information compiled before her death to be “appalling.”

Dr. Marks is a professor of biochemistry and has spent much of his career researching hypoglycemia. An expert in diabetes and the effects of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, he co-authored Insulin Murders with Caroline Richmond.

October 2, 2013

Gangs Expert Witness Testifies In CA Murder Trial

Gangs expert witnesses may advise regarding gang activity, gang crimes, and gang education. Author and gangs expert witness Jesse De La Cruz testified in the Modesto, CA, murder trial of three young men charged in the death of Chaz Bettencourt. De La Cruz opined that the shooting was not associated with gang activity while the prosecution says the defendants acted as members of the Norteño street gang.

De La Cruz's book Detoured chronicles his life of gangs, substance abuse, and crime and goes on to detail his release from prison and journey to receive a Masters of Social Work. He now offers attorneys, prosecutors, judges, and juries insight into the secretive world of gangs.

Read more: http://jsdconsultations.com/


October 1, 2013

Expert Witnesses In Slip & Fall Cases Part 7

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:
• How obvious is liability? If you know you have them dead to rights, you can wait as close to trial as your personality allows.
• How big of a case is it? If you have a big damages case, you can’t afford to wait and miss something because you didn’t hire an expert at the beginning. And if you have a big damages case, you need
to be ready to spend the money to do it right.
• How well do you know the expert you might hire? If you have a good relationship, you might be able to kick the case around a bit early on and formally retain the expert later.
• What issue will the expert address?
Liability experts are needed much earlier than human factors or biomechanical experts.

(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.