Ten years earlier she had immigrated from the Philippines. Now she’s working in Century City as a marketing executive in the building industry. During the holidays, everything changes. Mercy is fired. With two young babies at home and a Rolodex (remember those?) filled with some of the smartest construction consultants on the West Coast she hatches an idea to turn crisis into opportunity.
At the time, expert witnesses are almost exclusively on payroll at large companies with lots of pressure to increase billable hours. Mercy knows there’s a better way to help attorneys uncover the truth. A way that doesn’t pose potential business conflicts or limit who can be an expert witness. Her plan is to recruit the most knowledgeable experts in every discipline for every case. If someone connects these under-utilized experts with attorneys who need them, it could be a game changer. Maybe even a business. Mercy is sure it will work. But when she runs the idea by her industry friends, they disagree.
“You’re not a lawyer.”
“You’re not a construction engineer.”
“Nobody’s going to hire you for that.”
“You think a minority, immigrant woman with two little babies is going to reinvent an industry?”
“That’s not how things are done here.”
Good thing Mercy doesn’t listen. Using the Pasadena Public Library as her office, she researches. She makes phone calls from the dining area of her Altadena home. A week later she has her first expert witness client. The only issue is how to write the contract and get it signed. Mercy puts $3,000 on her credit card for a MacLC and a fax machine and never looks back. On April 14, 1991 (her birthday!) Mercy’s company is officially open for business.
30 years and 30,000 cases later, ForensisGroup supports attorneys and private and government agencies by providing consultants and expert witnesses in nearly every discipline. Testimony from ForensisGroup experts has helped keep lead out of drinking water. Oil out of oceans. Dangerous chemicals out of food. It has led to safer skyscrapers. More reliable power grids. And prevented intellectual property theft. ForensisGroup expert witnesses have been used in some of the largest, most complex cases including one with over $40 billion at stake.
The challenges Mercy experienced when starting ForensisGroup continue to inform the way her company does business. ForensisGroup is a dedicated supporter of causes promoting minority and women owned businesses, diversity, inclusion, social justice, and sustainability. ForensisGroup donates a portion of every expert witness engagement in our clients’ name to support these causes. Giving back helps move us forward.
It also helps inform the ForensisGroup mission: To connect attorneys with expert witnesses to help find the truth, make a difference in your case and create a more just world. Because discovering the truth is more than just a win for you and your clients. It’s a win for all of us.