Child Welfare Expert Witness A. Monique Burns, PhD, ACSW, LCSW opines on when Expert Witnesses should be retained:

“Over the years I have been retained on numerous legal matters on issues related to child welfare. I have learned in several of these cases, that mention was made early on to request the assistance of a legal expert. However, the decision was delayed thinking the case would be settled or the services of a legal expert simply were not needed, only to discover down the road that in-fact, a legal expert was needed. This creates a difficult situation for all parties involved and is not in anyone’s best interest.

It is crucial to bring experts on board as early in the process as possible – well in advance of needing an expert report, depositions or testimony. When the need for an expert is recognized, don’t wait, go ahead and begin the search immediately and determine who may best meet the needs of the case.

Plaintiff sued defendant after a fire in his home alleging it was caused by material manufactured by defendant.  Plaintiff hired a materials engineering expert witness to prove his case.  Defendant filed a motion to exclude, which was denied by the court.  The appeals court affirmed the opinion.

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Plaintiff sued defendants in this medical malpractice case, stating that the defendants did not properly treat the defendant while in the emergency room.  The plaintiff hired three expert witnesses and the defendant filed motions to exclude.  The court granted one motion and denied two.

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Plaintiff filed suit against the defendant on a claim of trade dress infringement related to a French press coffeemaker.  Plaintiff hired an industrial design expert witness and marketing expert witness to provide testimony on its behalf.  The defendant filed motions to exclude, which were denied by the court.

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Plaintiff sued defendant after they terminated a management services contract between the two parties.  The plaintiff hired a business valuation expert witness to provide testimony in this case.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude this testimony.  the court denied the motion.

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Plumbing and HVAC Expert Witness Russell Keeler of Chason Energy commented on an assignment involving PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) tubing:

“PEX was installed in a residence, and when the water was turned on, it was found that the domestic water was unusable, as the water was blue, caustic and toxic.  My investigation disclosed that the cause of the problem was a combination of brass fittings (an alloy of copper and zinc) and water with a high pH.  The high pH caused the zinc to go into solution as zinc hydroxide.  While the pH does not directly attack the copper, some copper goes into solution and creates copper hydroxide.  Copper hydroxide is blue, caustic and toxic.  The solution to the problem was to treat the incoming water, as it was too expensive to replace the fittings.”

Plaintiff filed suit against defendant for non-payment of overtime wages.  Defendant hired two forensic accounting expert witnesses to provide testimony.  The plaintiff filed motions to exclude, one of which was granted in its entirety and one of which was granted in part.

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Plaintiff sued defendants after a physical altercation on plaintiff’s property.  The plaintiffs hired a crime scene analysis expert witness and police procedures expert witness to assist in their case.  The defendants filed two motions to exclude, which the court granted in part and denied in part.

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