New California Legislation & Ride Share Services

Gig Economy Expert Witnesses

Introduction:  On September 10, California became the first state to change its laws regarding how workers in certain service industries are legally regarded. See, e.g., Sean Symkowski, “California bill passes to classify Lyft, Uber drivers as employees,” C-Net, Sep. 11, 2019, at  The California legislation, AB 5, is reported to be a “landmark bill…that … Continued

Litigation over Vertical Mergers: 2019 Outlook

Vertical Merger Expert Witnesses

Introduction:  In June of 2018, a trial was held in which the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sued to block the acquisition of a news and entertainment company by a telecommunications entity. See, e.g., Dee Bansal et al., “Alert: Antitrust Trends in 2019: Enforcement Watch List for the Year to Come,” JDSupra, Jan. 10, 2019, … Continued

The College Scandal: Civil Fallout

College Scandal

Introduction:  In mid-March, federal prosecutors revealed that they had uncovered evidence of a massive collegiate cheating scandal, which involved some fifty people “cheating on standardized tests or bribing college coaches and school officials to accept students as college athletes — even if the student had never played that sport.” Holly Yan, “What we know so … Continued

Expert Witnesses, Required Disclosures, & Privilege

Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Expert Witnesses

Introduction:  In late January, an Ohio federal court addressed a motion to compel additional information about a testifying expert witness to be disclosed. See Acosta v. Wilmington Tr.,N.A., Case No. 1:17-CV-1755. (N.D. Ohio 2019). The court was asked to require the expert to reveal specific information pertaining to prior work he had undertaken. See id. … Continued

Biometric Privacy Litigation: An Update from Illinois

Biometric Privacy Litigation Expert Witnesss

Introduction:   Biometric privacy litigation has seen an uptick in recent years, and the media has often focused on Illinois because of a distinctive state law. See, e.g., Illinois Bar Journal (IBJ), “Illinois’ biometric privacy law back in the news,” Dec. 2017, Vol. 105, No. 12,  p. 13. A February 2019 Illinois Supreme Court decision may … Continued

A Challenge to Expert Testimony & Establishing Damages

In 2017, the Fourth Circuit heard an appeal from a trial that involved a challenge to expert witness evidence. See Bresler v. Wilmington Trust Co., 855 F.3d 178 (4th Cir. 2017). The defendant-appellant argued that the district judge “erred in admitting testimony from the plaintiffs’ expert witness,” and “the jury verdict… and…additional terms of the … Continued

Patent Litigation & the Automotive Industry: Forecasts

Automotive Industry

Introduction: Typically, the automotive industry has seen fairly little patent litigation, in stark contrast to other areas, such as the pharma and consumer electronics fields. See Michael Summersgill & Arthur Coviello, “3 Trends That Could Lead To More Patent Auto Litigation,” JDSupra, Dec. 26, 2018, at (last visited Feb. 12, 2019). Some attorneys have speculated that … Continued

The Federal Rules & Experts: Preclusion of New Testimony

FRCP Expert Witnesses

Introduction: The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) require that when attorneys plan to rely on expert witness testimony, they disclose and designate their witnesses in a timely manner. See, e.g., FRCP 26(a)(2)(D)(i); See Sirois v. USAA, Case No. 3:16-cv-1172 (MPS), (D. Conn. 2019). In a recent lawsuit, a Connecticut district court discussed the test … Continued

Arizona Woman in Long-term Care: #MeToo Implications


Introduction: On December 29, 2018, an Apache woman who had been declared comatose for over a decade gave birth. See, e.g., Amanda Sakuma, “A woman in a vegetative state suddenly gave birth. Her alleged assault is a #MeToo wake-up call.,” Vox, Jan. 7, 2019, at (last visited Jan. 21, 2019). The woman was in … Continued

Litigation & California Forest Fires: Part III: Construction Litigation

Construction Defect Expert Witnesses

Introduction: In recent years, wildfires ravaged much of California and damaged or destroyed thousands of buildings. See, e.g., James P. Koelzer, “Rebuilding from California wildfires will cause increase in construction-defect claims,” Lexology, Dec. 21, 2018, at (last visited Jan. 13, 2019). Part I of this series focused on a shareholder lawsuit regarding a decrease … Continued

A Recent Court Ruling & Expert Witness Admissibility

Expert Witness Admissibility

Introduction: On January 11, a Utah federal district court considered several motions in limine pertaining to the admissibility of expert witness testimony. See Memorandum Decision and Order and Second Amended Scheduling Order (“Memorandum”), Dutcher v. Bold Films LP, Case No. 2:15-cv-110-DB, (D. Utah, Jan. 11, 2019). The judge was faced with motions by both parties … Continued

Expert Witness Disclosures & Deadlines: Takeaways from a Federal Court

Expert Witness Disclosure

Introduction: Last October, the federal court for the Southern District of California considered a request to modify a scheduling order that concerned expert witnesses. See Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiff’s Ex Parte Application to Modify the Scheduling Order and Issuing the Amended Scheduling Order (“Order”), Andreoli v. Youngevity, Int’l., Inc., Case … Continued

Litigation & California Forest Fires: Part I: Securities Litigation

Securities Litigation Expert Witnesses

Introduction: The 2018 wildfire season in California has been considered the deadliest by various government agencies, and the damage it caused was tremendous. See, e.g., California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, (CAL FIRE) “2018 Statewide Incidents Map,” at (last visited Jan. 3, 2019). In November of alone, about 1,500 structures were destroyed or … Continued

Cannabis & Patents: Experts Hold the Key

Cannabis Patent Expert Witnesses

Introduction: Until recently, the United States did not recognize cannabis or products derived from it as being relevant to the medical field. See, e.g., Jan Wolfe, “ANALYSIS—Patents on pot? US lawsuit puts cannabis claims to the test,” CNBC, Nov. 29. 2018, at (last visited Dec. 6, 2018). However, marijuana is at least partially legal in many … Continued

Motorized Scooter Lawsuits: Benefits & Consequences

Motorized Scooter Lawsuits: Benefits & Consequences

Introduction: A new breed of litigation is cropping up of late involving motorized scooters. See, e.g.Kirk Mitchell, “Scooter companies Bird, Lime among defendants in class action lawsuit filed in California,” The Denver Post, Oct. 23, 2018. A class action lawsuit was recently filed against two businesses that rent these vehicles. See id.The class action deals … Continued

New Florida Legislation & its Impact on Construction Litigation

Construction Litigation Expert Witnesses

In late March of this year, Florida’s governor signed a bill into law that will greatly impact construction defect lawsuits. See, e.g., Spencer Mallard & Miguel J. Chamarro, “Legislature Changes Critical Deadlines In Construction Defect Litigation,”, May 9, 2018. As several attorneys claim, the new legislation “will prevent developers and contractors from being left … Continued

A Pipeline, West Virginia & a Legal Controversy

Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) Expert Witnesses

Introduction: Construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), which was intended to deliver natural gas to West Virginia, has become steeped in litigation. See, e.g., Ken Ward Jr. & Kate Mishkin, “Despite ruling, regulators moving to ease path for Mountain Valley pipeline,” Charleston Gazette-Mail, Oct. 4, 2018. A number of parties have brought suit to … Continued

Are Credit Card Fees Unfair to Retailers?

Credit Card Fees Expert Witnesses

Introduction: In September, Visa and Mastercard reached a large settlement in a case over the fees they charge retailers to conduct credit card transactions. See, e.g., Aparajita Saxena& Brendan Pierson, “Visa, Mastercard reach $6.2 billion settlement over card-swipe fees,” Reuters, Sep. 18, 2018, at (last visited Oct. 17, 2018). The settlement was the largest antitrust cash … Continued

Proposition 65 Litigation: Trends & Experts

coffee expert

Introduction: In 1986, California residents voted for Proposition 65, a measure intended to address the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals. See, e.g., California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), “Proposition 65 in Plain Language,” Feb. 1, 2013, at Proposition 65, which is also known as the state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement … Continued

Antitrust Litigation: What to Consider

Antitrust Litigation Experts

Introduction: In September of 2017, Makan Delrahim became the top official in the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and his role as deputy assistant attorney general has generated a great deal of discussion in the antitrust community as to what direction his leadership might take. See, e.g., Dee Bansal, et al., … Continued

Hurricane Litigation: A Legal Storm is Brewing

Introduction: Katrina, Ike, Maria, Harvey: In the past several years, hurricanes have caused untold damage to entire cities and even geographic regions. The most recent such storm in the United States, Hurricane Florence, is considered extremely dangerous and is heading towards North Carolina and 300 miles of coastal areas. See, e.g., Jason Hanna, et al., … Continued

Liability for Digital Currency Theft

Bitcoin Expert

Introduction: On August 15, a major Bitcoin investor filed a lawsuit for $224 million because his cryptocurrency had been stolen, and he argued that telecommunications giant AT&T was at fault for fraud and gross negligence in connection with the theft. See, e.g., Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, “U.S. investor sues AT&T for $224 million over loss of cryptocurrency,” … Continued

Stock Option Lawsuit Sparks Controversy

Stock option expert

Introduction: On August 14, a group of Tinder founders, employees, and executives filed suit against the dating application’s parent and subsidiary companies. See, e.g., Dave Simpson, “Tinder Founders Sue Match For $2B Over Stock Options,” Law360, Aug. 14, 2018, at The case was brought in New York state court and alleges that two companies, IAC … Continued

A Supreme Court Decision: E-commerce & Taxation


Introduction: In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court held that in order to require a business to levy a particular state’s sales tax on consumers, that business must have a “physical presence” in the state in question. See, e.g., Michael J. Bologna, “State of Wayfair: Tax Groups to Hold Huddle on High Court Ruling(1),” Bloomberg. Jul. 30, … Continued

Asbestos in Baby Powder Leads to Suit

Asbestos expert

Introduction: On July 12, a St. Louis jury awarded a group of women and their families almost $4.7 billion in damages in a product liability case. See, e.g., Associated Press, “Nearly $4.7 awarded in Johnson & Johnson baby powder lawsuit,” reprinted in Chicago Tribune, Jul. 13, 2018. The litigation involved allegations that baby powder sold … Continued

Standing in Data Breach Cases & Expert Witnesses

Data Breach Experts

Introduction: Lawsuits alleging injuries from data breaches within businesses are increasingly common in the digital age, and 2018 has seen a host of such cases. See, e.g., Joseph Lazzarotti, et al., “California May Lower The Standing Threshold in Data Breach Litigation,” Lexology, Jul. 11, 2018, at (last visited Aug. 1, 2018). Federal and state … Continued

The NFL Players Association Grievance & Expert Witnesses

Football League Experts

Introduction: On July 10, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA, Players Association) filed a grievance that challenged the League’s (NFL’s) recently-enacted policy of disallowing players from protesting the national anthem in a public manner. See, e.g., John Delcos, “NFL And Players Association Expected to Battle Over Anthem Issue,” Forbes, Jul. 10, 2018. The NFLPA … Continued

A Recent Supreme Court Ruling & the Future of Unions

Union Experts

Introduction: On June twenty-seventh, the United States Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision that affects the rights of unions and government employees, and its decision was highly controversial. See, e.g., Eli Lehrer & David Rolf, “A conservative and a liberal agree: Unions must change after Supreme Court blow on Janus,” USA Today, Jul. 3, … Continued

Copyright Law & Web Content: Protections & Guidelines

Copyright Experts

Introduction: In the digital age, everything from photographs to recipes can be found online, and people regularly download, use, and share web content. Web-based publications, such as blogs and articles often have certain intellectual property (IP) protections under federal law. See, e.g., Dr. Jean Murray, “How to Copyright a Website to Protect It,” The Balance … Continued

Mergers & Acquisitions: A Recent Ruling Demonstrates the Need for Experts

Mergers & Acquisitions Experts

Introduction: Telecommunications giant AT&T and multimedia entity Time-Warner have contemplated an $85 billion merger for some time, and the deadline for completing the merger was June twenty-first of this year. See, e.g., Marcy Gordon, “AT&T merger with Time-Warner Ok’d by judge,” Chicago Sun-Times, Jun. 12, 2018. The Department of Justice (DOJ) instituted litigation to block … Continued

Class Certification & Expert Witnesses: Recent Trends

Class Certification

In the first half of this year, countless groups have sought permission to litigate as members of a class action in legal proceedings, from product liability cases to employment discrimination claims. See, e.g., In re Tropicana Orange Juice Mktg. & Sales Practices Litig., No. 11-7382 (D.N.J., entered May 24, 2018); See, e.g., Michelle Chen, “The Supreme … Continued

Ethical Issues for Attorneys & Expert Witnesses

Attorney working in courtroom

Introduction: Expert witnesses have become indispensable to modern litigators: from providing key testimony in major cases involving mergers and acquisitions to guiding municipal regulators on environmental standards, their presence and specialization may be the key to achieving desired results. Attorneys should be familiar with professional and ethical rules that govern interactions between lawyers and experts. … Continued

Cannabis: Legalization, Legislation, & Civil Litigation

Cannabis Legalization Expert

Introduction: The potential legalization and regulation of marijuana, whether for medical or recreational purposes, has attracted substantial national attention. Nine states, as well as Washington, D.C., have legalized cannabis for recreational use, and 29 have passed laws that make medical marijuana legal. See id. A 2017 Gallup poll found that 64% of Americans approve of legalization, … Continued

Potential Changes to the Standards of Expert Testimony in Florida

Standards of Expert Witnesses

Introduction: Over the past year, a number of state supreme courts have decided to re-evaluate what evidentiary standard to apply when addressing the admissibility of expert witness evidence. See, e.g., Michelle M. Bufano & Lewis M. Russo, ”’Accutane’ Appeal Presents Opportunity For NJ To Adopt ‘Daubert,’” New Jersey Law Journal, Dec. 18, 2017, at … Continued

Immigration Litigation in California: The Issues

US passport and legal gavel on a copy of the US Constitution signifying immigration litigation

Introduction: Recently, the federal government announced its intent to sue the state of California over several immigration-related bills that the United States Attorney General has claimed are unconstitutional. See, e.g., Abby Hamblin, “Jeff Sessions’ immigration lawsuit targets California: your questions answered,” San Diego Union-Tribune, Mar. 7 2018. At issue are three California laws, and California’s … Continued

Sports Betting ,The Supreme Court, & Legal Implications

Sports Betting Experts

In 2017, a New Jersey case that involved the legality of sports betting was granted certiorari by the United States Supreme Court. See, e.g., Larry Gibbs, “Odds, Integrity And Preparations for the Supreme Court To Rule On Sports Betting,” Legal Sports Report, Mar. 5, 2018, at (last visited Mar. 28, 2018). In response to … Continued

Artificial Intelligence & The Law: Pros and Cons

3d rendering artificial intelligence brain or ai brain

Introduction: Artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be cropping up at every juncture, whether it’s in the form of self-driving cars or applications that correlate customer data to improve marketing techniques. A number of AI proponents have enumerated the benefits of implementing that technology in different sectors, but others have mentioned concerns with the use of … Continued

Patent Eligibility Confusion & the Need for Experts

Intellectual Property Patented stamp illustration

Introduction: In order for the United States Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) to consider an invention legally entitled to a patent, the invention in question must be deemed “eligible” for legal protection. See, e.g., U.S. PTO, “Patent Eligible Subject Matter: Report On Views And Recommendations From The Public,” Jul. 2017, available at (last visited … Continued

California Groundwater: Regulations, Legal Issues, & Experts

Agricultural irrigation system with a well of water, for the cultivation of corn and beet during the summer.

In 2014, California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which “requires critically overdrafted groundwater basins to adopt plans by 2020 to sustainably manage their aquifers.” Matt Weiser, “As California Groundwater Regulation Unfolds, Some Feel Left Out,” News Deeply, Jan. 22, 2018. Local groundwater regulatory agencies were created and tasked with meeting this looming deadline, and many … Continued

The Florida School Shooting & 3 Potential Legal Implications

School back pack with handgun, school shooting concept

On February 14, 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was subject to a tragedy. 17 people were killed and 14 were wounded. See, e.g., NBC News, “Broward County Sherriff details timeline of Parkland Shooting,” Video, Feb. 15, 2018, at (last visited Feb. 21, 2018). The deaths and injuries occurred after a … Continued

A Guide for Bankruptcy Litigators in Using & Challenging Expert Witnesses

Bankruptcy Law Experts

Introduction: Expert witnesses are commonly used in all types of federal civil litigation, and bankruptcy court is no exception. However, according to one bankruptcy attorney, “[t]he rules and best practices applicable to expert witnesses in bankruptcy court differ in a number of respects from those in district court.” Philip Bentley, “United States: Expert Witnesses In … Continued

A History of Expert Witnesses in Federal Courts

Black and White of Expert Witness in Federal Courtroom

Introduction: Expert witnesses have been a part of litigation for longer than many people realize. In fact, the earliest time that an expert witness was known to take part in a lawsuit was in 1782, when an engineer testified in court in England. See, e.g., Yorkshire Reporter, “John Smeaton,”Jan. 22, 2014, available at, (last … Continued

Influencer Marketing, Legalities, & Expert Witnesses

Influencer Marketing Experts

Introduction: In recent years, there has been a robust and lively debate over what types of marketing are the most effective, as well as which ones may face the most significant ethical and/or legal complications. Of late, more and more companies have been utilizing a tool called “influencer marketing,” particularly on social media. In fact, … Continued

When & Why Expert Witnesses Are Needed

Expert Witnesses

Introduction: In civil litigation, expert witnesses have become a valuable and often necessary part of a case, and their opinions and testimony can pave the way to success at trial. As some legal analysts explain, “Experts may not only be critical to the introduction of evidence (i.e. testimonial experts), but may also play a key … Continued

Ethical Issues in an Attorney-Expert Witness Relationship

Introduction When retaining and working with expert witnesses, attorneys have a number of matters to consider to ensure that their interactions with such experts are ethical. This article examines some of the common ethical considerations involved in this dynamic by the American Bar Association (ABA). Discussion Engaging Expert Witnesses One ethical issue that the ABA … Continued

Defamation and Food Products: A Settlement of Note

Introduction: Within the past few weeks, a major case has been settled, one that entailed allegations by a meat producer that a major television network had made defamatory claims about its products. See, e.g., Daniel Victor, “ABC Settles With Meat Producer in ‘Pink Slime’ Defamation Case,” The New York Times, Jun. 28, 2017.  The case … Continued

Patents in the Gaming Industry & Process-Based Patents

Recently, a Texas federal court issued an opinion against a large gaming manufacturer, based on another company’s claim of patent infringement. This case was somewhat unique in that it involved an alleged patent on a process, rather than a product. This article examines the legal issues at play and discusses the future legal action contemplated … Continued

Music Law Litigation and Expert Witnesses

Music Law Experts

When Billboard enumerated its picks for the top music lawyers in the industry, it also provided an illuminating look at the various legal issues music attorneys tackle. See Billboard Staff, “Billboard’s 2017 Top Music Lawyers Revealed, Led By Joel Katz,” Billboard Magazine, Jul. 17, 2017. This article examines some of those issues and addresses how … Continued

Expert Witness Fees: Billing Increments

When determining how to document the work they have done and the amount of time each task has taken, expert witnesses, like attorneys, have certain options available. In cases where an expert is paid on an hourly basis, there are different methods that are used to calculate and bill for the proper amount. This article … Continued

Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies: Legal Issues & Expert Witnesses

Introduction: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular over the past few years, which has been caused, in part, by two factors: many legitimate large businesses have begun to accept them as payment options, and the value of Bitcoin, in particular, has substantially increased. Because these cryptocurrencies have evolved so quickly, there are a … Continued

Litigation Trends in the ADA and Web Content

Introduction: 2016 saw a very large number of lawsuits, particularly class actions, which pertained to alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and whether certain companies’ web content was accessible to disabled people in a way that comports with the Act’s requirements. See, e.g., Lewis Wiener & Alexander Fuchs, “Trending: ADA Website Accessibility … Continued

Litigation in the Medical Device Industry

Modern monitoring equipment in hospital

Medical devices, which are regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and governed by the US Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), are often the subject of various types of lawsuits. This article examines some of the more common types of litigation that arise in the medical device industry and discusses what … Continued

E-Cigarette Litigation and Expert Witnesses

e-cigarette expert witness

  Cases against the e-cigarette industry are piling up, and this trend is likely to continue, as more consumers are attracted to the products in that market. The cases are largely product liability cases, but other types also exist, and there are a number of implications for this explosion of cases. Discussion: As the National … Continued

Construction Litigation: Managing Risks and Investigations

Introduction: Whenever commercial construction takes place, the risk of an accident exists. With respect to accidents, investigations must occur, and “[d]evelopers, owners, tenants, general contractors, construction managers, subcontractors, and even insurance brokers and carriers each have a significant financial stake in the aftermath of a construction accident.” John Sparling, “Managing Risk in Construction Accidents: Why … Continued

Litigation Trends with the SEC and for Investors

Introduction: In the past year, several different issues have emerged as being noteworthy in the investment field, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC “held its annual SEC Speaks conference in Washington, DC on February 24 and 25, 2017, and provided an update on recent litigation trends, the current enforcement initiatives in … Continued

Patent Evaluation Just Got More Advanced

Introduction: The world of intellectual property litigation and patent valuation can be a murky one—it is hard for the law to keep up with technology, and many issues arise when trying to determine damages and what profit formulas are appropriate. One law professor has just developed a new system for evaluating patents and their value, … Continued

Patent Litigation Trends and Expert Witnesses

Introduction: In December of 2016, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that is “a challenge…to venue rules for patent cases [that] has the potential to upend patent litigation as we know it.” Ryan Davis, “Patent Litigation Trends to Watch In 2017,” Law 360, Jan. 2, 2017 at (last visited Apr. … Continued

A Novel Climate Litigation Theory and its Impact

Global Warming and Pollution Concept - Sustainability (Elements of this image furnished by NASA)

Introduction: Environmental litigation is fairly common in many cases. A particular phenomenon brought about by fossil fuels or greenhouse gases is alleged to have caused a certain type of injury and damages are sought. Many companies have been the targets of such lawsuits. Some states have even been defendants. What was unchartered territory, until recently, … Continued

2017 Workplace Litigation Trends

Introduction: Workplace litigation has changed and been molded by the U.S. Supreme Court during 2016 and 2017. In fact, “[t]he environment for employment litigation has more than ever been shaped by Supreme Court judges and settlements for wage and hour class actions rose in 2016 while those for other employment-related claims fell, according to a … Continued

Workers’ Compensation Claims For NFL Players

American football game

Introduction: On both a statewide and national level, the National Football League (NFL) has been inundated with workers’ compensation claims by professional athletes who sustain serious injuries from play. See, e.g.,  Kiannah Sepeda-Miller, “Illinois bill would rein in pro athletes’ worker comp claims,” The State Journal Register, Feb, 20, 2017. In Illinois, for example, the … Continued

Cybersecurity and Legal Protection

Cyber security concept

Introduction: It’s something that is on nearly everyone’s minds these days, something that has affected everything from credit cards to political conventions: cyber attacks. Quite simply, people are rightfully concerned about how and when their own and government data will be hacked and misused, and the law must play some role in helping. Three bills … Continued

Penalties for Airbags Defect and Fraud

One of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive safety-related equipment, agreed to plead guilty to fraud and pay a total of $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from the company’s fraudulent conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators. An indictment was also unsealed charging three Takata executives with fraud and conspiracy in relation … Continued

The Role of Experts in Defining “Waters of the United States”

Introduction: In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final statement that defined the term “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). See, e.g., Environmental Protection Agency, “Clean Water Rule Litigation Statement,” Oct. 123, 2016, at (last visited Jan. 18, 2017). This definition was intended to pertain to the Clean Water Act (CWA), and … Continued

Drones & Privacy Litigation: The Battle Has Begun

Since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently loosened regulations for the commercial use of drones, a host of legal questions have arisen. See C. Ryan Barber, “The New Drone Regulations: Three Things Companies Need to Know,”, Aug. 29, 2016.  Almost as soon as the FAA’s ruling was issued, an organization supporting electronic privacy filed … Continued

Fracking Expert Witnesses Will Stay Busy in 2017

Fracking Expert Witnesses

The environmental impacts of fracking have been an issue and legal controversy for years. However, two new developments indicate that fracking litigation is not only likely to increase, but these developments call into question how such cases will be resolved. Specifically, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a statement that fracking contaminates drinking water. … Continued

Expert Witness Fees in Civil Cases

Expert Witness Fees

In civil litigation, many lay people are unaware of the fees that the average expert witness charges to work on a specific case. Moreover, prevailing litigants often wonder whether they can recover such fees from their opponents. This article examines the range of expert witness fees for civil litigation and addresses the issue of whether … Continued

Deceptive Advertising Experts Review Major Fast Food Menu

Deceptive Advertising Expert

Recently, a group of individuals filed a class action lawsuit against a large fast food chain, alleging that they were injured by a pattern of deceptive advertising. See, e.g., Tribune Media Wire & Chris Wolfe, “Los Angeles-Area Customers Sue Chipotle Over ‘300-Calorie’ Chorizo Burrito,”, Nov. 22, 2016. According to the plaintiffs, the food retailer … Continued

Human Microbiome Research & Expert Witnesses

Human Microbiome Research

In 2007, the National Institute of Health (NIH) started the Human Microbiome Project in order “to utilize technological advances to characterize the microbial communities that inhabit the human body and explore the relationships between the microbiota and their human hosts, including the effect that they may have on human health and disease, development, physiology, immunity, … Continued

The Role of Expert Witnesses in Class Certification

Class Certification

In cases that involve large numbers of plaintiffs and similar allegations, many attorneys attempt to certify multiple plaintiffs as a group or “class,” and in so doing, the litigation is consolidated and handled in a more uniform manner than if each case were tried individually. Expert witnesses play a vital role in helping a court … Continued

Tort Expert Witnesses Face Off

Tort Expert

In 2015, the plaintiffs in product liability litigation against the manufacturer of Accutane were dealt a stunning blow when the presiding judge rejected much of their tort expert witness testimony on causation issues. See, e.g., Sindhu Sundar (1),[1]  “Accutane Ruling Blocking Expert Testimony Kills 2K Suits,” Law360, May 11, 2015. Concluding that the plaintiffs’ experts … Continued

Pokémon No? Augmented Reality and Litigation

Augmented Reality

When Pokémon Go, a Nintendo-based augmented reality (AR) gaming application was released, it took both the nation and the world by storm, “with estimated downloads of the digital game topping more than 75 million since the program became available on July 6. Apple has confirmed that it was the most downloaded app ever in its … Continued

Medical Fraud Expert Witnesses Are Busy in 2016

Medical Fraud Expert

Despite the fact that nearly six months remain, 2016 has already proven itself to be a record year with respect to the number of health insurance fraud claims filed. In 2015, the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) charged some 243 defendants with insurance fraud, claiming it had lost $712 million from those crimes. See Joshua … Continued

Expert Deposition: A Preparation Guideline

Expert Deposition

In today’s world, it should be no surprise that many cases are won or lost on the basis of expert witness testimony. See, e.g., Matthew D. Taggart, “How to Prepare for and Manage the Depositions of Expert Witnesses,” Los Angeles Lawyer, Jul.-Aug. 2012. One of the biggest challenges for litigators may be how to best … Continued

The Dangers of Accident Reconstruction Experts Over-relying on Technology


Introduction: In the December 2015 Verbatim short, “Expert Witness,” director Brett Weiner makes an important point about expert witnesses in the context of accident reconstruction litigation.  “Verbartim” short films use actual courtroom transcripts to make certain arguements.  See Brett Weiner, “Verbatim: Expert Witness,” The New York Times, (2015)[1]; This article addresses accident reconstruction cases and … Continued

The Expert Witness Credibility Model: How Juries Perceive Expert Witnesses

Expert Witness Credibility Model ForensisGroup Blog

Undoubtedly, the knowledge that an expert witness has and conveys during testimony has a direct relationship to an expert’s credibility with juries. However, an expert’s level of knowledge does not, in itself, necessarily correlate with credibility. In fact, some jurors have reported feeling alienated by some experts who seem to be so-called “hired guns.” This … Continued

Federal Expert Witness Deposition Fees: FAQ

Federal Level Deposition Billing Blog

Introduction: Determining who pays for an expert witness’s deposition in federal court can be baffling. While some jurisdictions, like California, set out specific rules for such matters, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) are much more vague on this issue. Accordingly, questions may routinely arise. This article addresses frequently asked questions regarding payment for … Continued

Expert Witness Deposition Fees in California

Deposition Billing for Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses have become an indispensable part of litigation. In California, it can be confusing to determine which party is responsible for paying an expert witness’s fees when a deposition is taken. This article answers frequently asked questions about billing for expert depositions and who handles the costs. The following FAQs are answered below with … Continued

Food Safety Expert Witnesses: Emerging Trends

Food Safety Law: Major Corporations Food safety litigation is on the rise, with some major corporations being potentially held accountable in ways that were previously unheard of. This article examines the trends in food safety litigation, in terms of the direction it is headed and what kinds of experts may be needed to address new … Continued

Illinois Supreme Court: Using Expert Witnesses to Challenge Eye Witness

Part I: Illinois Supreme Court paves the way to Challenge Eyewitness Identification with Experts: Implications for Civil Litigation In January, the Illinois Supreme Court took a monumental step forward in allowing expert witness evidence to be considered a viable challenge to eyewitness identification. See, e.g., Karen Daniel, “Illinois embraces eyewitness expert testimony,” Center on Wrongful Convictions, Bluhm Law Clinic, Northwestern … Continued

Direct Examination of Your Experts: How to Come out Ahead

When attorneys retain an expert witness, many factors must be considered to ensure that the expert’s abilities are maximized before a court. The direct examination of retained experts provides lawyers with a critical opportunity to make their experts’ qualifications clear to a jury. This article discusses some techniques that practitioners may wish to use during … Continued

Using Cross Examination to Uncover Expert Witness Bias

Utilizing expert witnesses, as well as challenging the opinions of opposing experts, is one of the essential functions of today’s litigator. This article addresses the issue of uncovering expert witness bias using different techniques that are base upon theories of varying degrees of truthfulness. As skilled practitioners have noted, it is important for attorneys to … Continued

Direct Examination of Experts: How to Come out Ahead

When attorneys retain an expert witness, many factors must be considered to ensure that the expert’s abilities are maximized before a court. The direct examination of friendly experts provides lawyers with a critical opportunity to make their experts’ qualifications clear to a jury. This article discusses some techniques that practitioners may wish to use during … Continued

Challenging Expert Testimony in Federal Court

Expert Testimony

Expert witnesses play an indispensable role in litigation, regardless of what side a party is on. Accordingly, it is important to know the ins and outs of challenging expert testimony. This article answers basic questions and provides practitioners with a guide on how to best challenge expert testimony in federal court.

Questions over Drug Pricing emphasize the need for Pharmaceutical Expert Witnesses

In September, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, led by two government officials, began investigating one pharmaceutical company’s drug pricing policies. The investigation has led to requests to subpoena the company’s CEO and to force that person to testify before the government about allegedly significant price increases in two drugs that are commonly used … Continued

Agricultural and Economic Expert Witnesses become Vital as GMO Corn Litigation Proceeds

Agricultural experts

Recently, litigation against a manufacturer of genetically-modified corn has been drawing nationwide attention. Over 20 states are already involved in lawsuits, and industry estimates place plaintiff damages at $2.9 billion. Tim Landis, “Lawsuits pile up nationwide in case of genetically modified corn,” The State Journal-Register, Sep. 21, 2015. This article explores the litigation and emphasizes … Continued

Arctic Drilling & Legal Issues: The Risks, Benefits, & the Oil and Gas Expert Witnesses: Part II: The Consequences of Drilling

Oil and gas fields

Introduction: Recently, the Obama Administration seemed to give unconditional approval to one oil company’s request to drill in the Arctic region, with exploratory operations originally scheduled to begin this summer. However, as many experts from members of regulatory agencies to oil and gas expert witnesses in the industry have pointed out, any company that wishes … Continued

Arctic Drilling & Legal Issues: The Risks, Benefits, & the Expert Witnesses: Part I: Can Drilling Operations Begin?

Introduction: When the Obama Administration recently gave its approval for a round of drilling by a petroleum company in the Arctic region, many members of the media thought that the results would be a foregone conclusion. Upon further review, however, this hardly seems the case, and the legal issues and hurdles that drilling in the … Continued

The Admissibility of Expert Witness Testimony in Texas: A Guide for Attorneys: Part I: Assisting the Trier of Fact

Expert Testimony

Introduction: Although the landmark United States Supreme Court case of Daubert v. Merell Dow Pharmaceuticals created a set of guidelines for when and how to admit expert testimony in many cases, standards for admissibility vary from state to state. See generally Daubert, 509 U.S. 579 (1993). In Texas, practitioners should be guided by the Texas … Continued

California Litigators: To Daubert or not to Daubert?


Introduction: Until a few years ago, the California Supreme Court made it clear that in cases involving questions about an expert witness’s credibility, the federal rule articulated in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) was not followed in California. However, after its recent decision in Sargon Enterprises, Inc. v. University of Southern California, 55 Cal. … Continued

Blast Off: A Rocket Crash & the Potential Legal Implications for the Aviation Expert Witnesses and Aerospace Industries

Introduction: In October of 2014, a co-pilot’s mistake led to the crash of a tourist space plane, which the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) subsequently investigated. Recently, the results of those investigations were made public, causing much speculation among aerospace and aviation expert witnesses, as well as giving rise to … Continued

Exchanging Expert Witness Information in California

Introduction: According to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP), certain procedures exist for the exchange of expert witness information during a lawsuit. See CCP §§ 2034.010-2034.730. This article discusses those procedures and offers guidance to attorneys, supplied by the Continuing Education of the Bar California organization (CEB). CEB, “How to Guide: How to Exchange … Continued

Litigation over Toxic Fumes & the Airline Industry: What the Toxicity Expert Has to Say

Introduction: Last month, a number of flight attendants filed suit against an airline manufacturer, alleging that toxic fumes from the plane’s exhaust air-conditioning system were released and caused each of the litigants to experience immediate and longer-term health problems. In the midst of this litigation, various toxicity experts have begun to weigh in on the … Continued

Retained and Non-retained Expert Witnesses: What Attorneys in California Should Know

When litigation involves expert witnesses, perhaps no distinction has proven itself more confusing than the California Code of Civil Procedure (C.C.P.) policy regarding retained versus non-retained expert witnesses. Practitioners in California must be aware of which category their own (and their opponents’) experts should fall into, and litigators must also know how to challenge and … Continued

The California Evidence Code: Expert Testimony and Hearsay

Civil litigators in California and their California expert witnesses are bound by the California Evidence Code. One of the most difficult matters to understand pertains to hearsay evidence, particularly in the context of expert testimony. This article examines the permissibility of hearsay evidence by expert witnesses in the California courts, using the California Evidence Code … Continued

An Attorney’s Guide to Effectively Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses at a Deposition

Countless scholarly articles have been written to address the art of cross-examining expert witnesses during trial. However, less attention has been paid to strategies for cross-examining an expert during a deposition. It is of equal, if not greater import, to have a masterful cross-examination during the deposition of an opposing expert for many reasons. This … Continued

Florida and Daubert a Year Later: How Expectations for Expert Witnesses Have Changed

In 2013, the Florida legislature adopted the standard outlined in Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals (509 U.S. 579) as the requirement that expert witnesses must meet in order to provide testimony in court. A little over a year later, the implications of that legislative decision are many, with numerous issues arising that pertain to expert witnesses. This article discusses the … Continued

Premises Liability Part III: General Trends in California and the Role Experts Play

Previous articles in this series have dealt primarily with premises liability in the context of sporting events or recreational facilities. This part addresses the general principles of premises liability in California, according to judicial rulings and statute, and seeks to describe the vital role that expert witnesses play in helping judges and juries resolve such cases. Other states … Continued

Premises Liability Part II: Spectator Injuries Resulting from Playing Sports and Expert Witnesses

Part I of this series discussed California’s recreational use statute in premises liability claims. Rather than dealing with injured sports participants, as the first article did, this part addresses spectator injuries when those injuries occur in sports and/or recreational facilities. This issue is far from settled; in fact, courts often find themselves taking into account … Continued

Premises Liability Part I: Recreational Immunity and Expert Witnesses in California

In general, premises liability law covers determining whether or not a landowner (or possessor) is legally responsible for injuries sustained by individuals while on the particular premises. The laws and judicial rules covering premises liability are myriad, varying from state to state and from case to case.  Many states, like California, have “recreational use” statutes, which … Continued

Financial Expert Witnesses: Economists, Accountants, Appraisers and the Daubert Challenge

Introduction: Since 2008, litigation concerning the securities industry and financial sector has been on the rise. Because of increased regulation and enforcement, in addition to record numbers of corporate bankruptcies and restructurings, this litigation is expected to continually soar. Along with such litigation comes a demand for financial services experts. The questions pertain to the … Continued