Diving Vessel Fire Cause and Investigation

Fire Expert Witnesses

What areas may a fire expert consult on? Fire investigation experts examine evidence to determine the source of ignition and then analyze the possible cause, which could be natural, accidental, incendiary, or undetermined. These experts are knowledgeable on fire codes as well as building codes and consult on whether buildings or vessels are in compliance.   … Continued


What Can a Criminal Procedure Expert Cover in His Testimony?

Criminal Procedure Expert Witnesses

A man was shot and killed when a U.S. Marshal attempted to arrest him at a house in Detroit in 2015. The man’s estate and his relatives filed this action, asserting multiple claims against several Defendants. In the end, there was only one remaining claim in the case— the Estate’s excessive force claim against the federal agent.   The Estate wanted to have its criminal procedure expert testify as an expert witness at … Continued


A Pharmaceutical Companies Role in the Opioid Public  Health Crisis

Pharmaceuticals Expert Witnesses

A privately held pharmaceutical company has negotiated a multibillion-dollar settlement with lawyers for local and state governments that would resolve approximately 2,000 lawsuits against the drug maker. The company is blamed for much of the prescription opioid epidemic in the U.S. The potent opioid painkiller OxyContin was introduced in 1996 and was followed by an … Continued


Can a Nursing Home Admin Qualify as a Nursing Home Expert?

Nursing Home Expert Witnesses

In Virginia, a nursing assistant molested and raped an 85-year-old resident at a nursing home. The administrator of the resident’s estate brought suit the nursing assistant and the nursing home, and the jury returned a verdict against both defendants.   On appeal, the nursing home argued, inter alia, that the trial court made erroneous evidentiary rulings on the admissibility of expert testimony.   The trial court excluded testimony from … Continued


Was a CPA an Expert or a Lay Witness in a Lawsuit?

CPA Expert Witnesses

In a recent case concerning a hospital’s business income loss, a plaintiff insurance company sought leave to disclose a CPA as a witness to present evidence under Federal Rules of Evidence 702, 703, or 705, and at the same time to allow disclosure of his report. Defendant Hospital, Plaintiff’s insured, opposed the motion.   Plaintiff was trying to recover indemnity payments it made to the Hospital on the theory that Defendant was responsible for … Continued


Can a Party “Claw Back” Privileged Emails?

Claw Back

An Oklahoma plaintiff recently asked a federal court to preclude a defendant from “clawing back” privileged documents accidentally revealed to an expert pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(5)(B).  In March of 2017, Plaintiff discovered twelve stones in fruit pies made with black raspberries sold to it by Defendant. Plaintiff notified Defendant, which cooperated with Plaintiff in investigating the issue. Ultimately, Defendant admitted that it didn’t have the necessary insurance coverage. As a result, Plaintiff filed suit asserting … Continued


Fire and Explosions Investigations In Oil Refineries

Fire Experts

What is the role of the fire expert witness in cases involving fires and explosions? In litigation, the fire expert witness provides valuable analysis and insight to determine the cause of a fire and whether the defendant is responsible for damages. Their expertise extends to fire safety science, arson, fire investigation, chemical explosions, and more.  … Continued


How An Advertising Mistake Can Lead to Litigation

United States District Judge Jon S. Tigar signed off on a $32.5M settlement that resolves class allegations against Uber Technologies Inc. The case is Byron McNight, et al., v.  Inc., et al.  (Northern District of California, No. 14-cv-05615-JST). Law.com reported that “As part of the deal, Uber has agreed to cease charging ‘Safe Rides Fees’ and to refrain from using statements like ‘safest ride on the road’ and ‘industry-leading’ when … Continued


Can a Court Exclude a Rebuttal Expert for Late Disclosure?

Rebuttal Expert Witnesses

A plaintiff appealed a Washington State superior court’s order of on summary judgment dismissing his claims for waste, timber trespass, equitable indemnity, and contribution. He also appealed the superior court’s exclusion of his rebuttal expert’s testimony.  Plaintiff owned a lot to the east of and adjacent to Defendant’s property in Lewis County. The land near the property line between the two properties was forested. There was a 60-foot … Continued


Social Network Company’s Privacy Invasion Dispute

Privacy Expert Witnesses

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco affirmed the district court order certifying a class action against a social network company’s facial recognition technology. Plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that company illegally collected and stored biometric data for millions of users without their consent. The opinion states:  Specifically, the panel concluded that the development of a … Continued


How Much Grace Will a Judge Give to Locate an Expert?

Expert Deadline

A defendant was charged with shoplifting at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service store on Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado (the Exchange). At a jury trial before a magistrate judge, she was convicted of theft of government property. The magistrate sentenced her to concurrent sentences on each count of 30-days’ imprisonment and one year of supervised release. The … Continued


Can an Attorney Be an Insurance Expert?

Insurance Expert Witnesses

In a dispute over an insurance claim, a defendant argued that the plaintiff’s expert wasn’t qualified to offer testimony.  In 2014, Plaintiff, a Nevada LLC, contracted for the construction of a residence in Paradise Valley, Arizona. In 2016, the homeowners noticed a leak in the garage of the home. This led to the discovery of … Continued


Can Methodology Be Used in a Personal Injury Case?

Methodology

Expert methodology was at the center of the battle of the experts in a personal injury case where the plaintiff fell from her wheelchair while disembarking Defendant Cruise Line‘s ship at a ramp within a leading into the terminal building in Miami.  Plaintiff proffered a mechanical engineer expert on the Cruise Line‘s liability for her fall. This expert was a long-time “forensic accident investigator.” He “inspected, measured, and photographed the scene of the incident,” reviewed materials from the … Continued


Defective Products Can Lead to Safety Hazards

Product Defect Expert Witnesses

Consumers who used the cooking spray Pam have sued alleging that the containers exploded and severely burned, blinded and/or disfigured them. The Cook County Circuit Court lawsuits allege that Conagra designed and manufactured cans that were defective and failed to warn consumers of the danger. Conagra responded that when the product is used correctly, it is 100% safe. The company states that the container design is no longer in production.  The Chicago Sun Times lists the lawsuits … Continued


Massive Oil Spill West of Bakersfield in Kern County

Oil Spill Expert Witnesses

Crews from an oil industry company are cleaning up a massive oil spill in California after 855,000 gallons of water and oil leaked out of the ground west of Bakersfield. The oil industry company uses steam injection to extract oil in the Cymric Oil Field. John Cox at Bakersfield.com reports: “Surface expression, as the leaking phenomenon is called, can result when high-pressure steam escapes … Continued


Can an Experts Affidavit Conform with Rule 56’s “Personal Knowledge” Requirement?

Water Treatment Expert Witnesses

A non-profit environmental organization, on behalf of its members, brought an action against Defendant water treatment plant under the citizen enforcement suit provision of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), 33 U.S.C. § 1365.   Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, the assessment of civil penalties, as well as costs and fees for alleged violations of CWA. Plaintiff … Continued


Blocking of Pipeline Construction Lifted By Ninth Circuit

Pipeline Expert Witnesses

The injunction blocking construction on the Keystone XL pipeline has been lifted by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Great Falls, MT. The judicial panel dismissed the lawsuit brought by Native American and environmental groups including the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council. This is a win for TransCanada Keystone Pipeline LP which plans to ship as much as 35M gallons … Continued


EPA Begins Environmental Remediation Project in Cleveland

Environmental Remediation Expert Witnesses

The Environmental Protection Agency has begun a $5.9M environmental remediation project at Clark Field in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. The project involves placing a two foot barrier of topsoil between the contaminated soil and what people will come into contact within the park. Contaminates in the park include lead, arsenic and other carcinogens. EPA’s Stephen Wolfe says that adding clean soil on top is far more cost effective than digging … Continued


Is an Expert Required to Prove Causation in Government Immunity Action?

Causation Expert Witnesses

The plaintiff sought review of a court of appeals decision affirming the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment dismissing his claims against the Village for negligence and private nuisance. He sued the Village after wastewater backed up into his basement.  Plaintiff claimed that the court of appeals erred in determining that the Village was immune from suit for negligence pursuant to Wis. Stat. … Continued


How are Expert Fees Paid in a § 998 Offer in California?

California Code of Civil Procedure Expert Witnesses

A law firm brought suit against a client to recover unpaid legal fees and costs. The client eventually served the law firm with an offer to compromise pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 998. The Client offered a waiver of its recovery of costs in exchange for the law firm’s dismissal of all claims against the client. Law Firm didn’t accept the offer, but more than a year later it dismissed its complaint against Client without prejudice. Because Law Firm didn’t accept the § 998 … Continued


Coke Oven Emissions Liability Lawsuit

Liability Lawsuit Expert Witnesses

On June 11, 2019, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that a multinational conglomerate company will face product liability allegations in its failure to warn of the dangers of inhaling coke oven emissions. The appellate court said that coke ovens built for steel producers to burn coal can be considered “products” and therefore are subject to product liability lawsuits. A steelworker … Continued


Can a Court Limit a Neuropsychologist’s Examination of the Plaintiff to Just Two Hours?

Neuropsychologist Expert Witnesses

Last summer, the Texas Court of Appeals heard the appeal of a Jones Act case in which injured employee sought damages for physical and psychological injuries incurred while he was employed with a fleet of inland tank barges and towing vessels. Although the injured employee‘s neuropsychologist performed a two-day examination that included a battery of tests, the trial court denied the employer’s request for its neuropsychologist … Continued


Cruise Ship Failed to Provide Safety Standards

Negligence Expert Witnesses

A Plaintiff filed a $10M negligence lawsuit against a cruise line following an accident on the ship’s trampoline bungee ride. Plaintiff fractured his pelvis when the bungee cords broke in February 2019. He was approximately twenty feet in the air and landed on the hard surface of the deck. The complaint in this case states: As … Continued


When Should You Consult With a Trade Secret Expert Witness?

Trade Secrets Expert Witnesses

When should you consult with a trade secret expert witness? Trade secret experts provide in-depth analysis in disputes alleging unfair practice, unfair competition, and violation of a trade secret. Their experience and knowledge of U.S. Patent and Trademark rules and regulations provides a powerful advantage during litigation.  The World Intellectual Property Organization defines a trade secret: Broadly speaking, any confidential business information which provides an … Continued


Will a Weather Expert Persuade the Court in a Winter Slip & Fall Case?

Slip and Fall Expert Witnesses

Plaintiff appealed from the trial court’s grant of summary judgment for his landlord, and dismissal with prejudice of his complaint alleging negligence in failing to clear ice on a sidewalk on which Plaintiff slipped and fell at the apartment complex.   Judges Francis J. Vernoia and Scott J. Moynihan wrote in their per curiam opinion that Plaintiff alleged that he slipped and fell on an icy walkway in the apartment complex on January 18, 2015 at approximately 1:00 p.m. and … Continued


Man Dies From Asbestos Brake Dust Found in Bowling Balls

Asbestos Expert Witnesses

On April 19, 2019, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded $4,397,716 to a family after finding an American multinational conglomerate company 40% liable for the death of a family member due to mesothelioma. This family member co-owned bowling ally in Los Angeles from 1957 to 1986. He died in 2013 after years of drilling out finger holes in asbestos … Continued


Battle of Voting Experts in Gerrymandering Trial

Voting Expert Witnesses

The League of Women Voters of Michigan (“League”), its members, and several Democratic voters brought suit against the Michigan Secretary of State, alleging that the state’s current legislative apportionment plan (the “Enacted Plan”), violated the Plaintiffs’ Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights and First Amendment free speech by deliberately discriminating against Democratic voters.  Plaintiffs initially sought … Continued


Recall and False Marketing Within Toy Company

Sleepers Expert Witnesses

How does a product safety expert witness enhance your case? In the event of an injury, product safety experts analyze and provide testimony to the court on whether product design and/or manufacturing are at fault or whether injury was caused by misuse of the product. Product safety applies to virtually every product made for  business … Continued


Can a Trade Secret Damages Expert’s Testimony be Denied?

Trade Secret Expert Witnesses

An expert’s testimony was in dispute in a case concerning a logistics company that specialized in the export of forest products. It operated from the Inland Port of Virginia (VIP). Leading up to its creation, Plaintiff‘s founders conducted research about transportation inefficiencies in the forest products market. Specifically, they found that the industry’s reliance on … Continued


Expert Intervention In Bus Accident Investigation

Bus Accident Expert Witnesses

The Eighth District Court of Appeals for the State of Ohio has upheld a $30M judgment to the bus passenger against the transportation line. The Plaintiff was one of 43 passengers injured in a 2013 crash on a Pennsylvania highway. A fellow passenger died in the crash when the bus driver fell asleep at the wheel. Plaintiff … Continued


Audit Standards of Review for Attorney Fees

Attorney Fee

By Expert No. 505517, LPCS, RPA In conducting a legal fee audit, the framework of the analysis considers three basic standards: the rules of professional services provided by the California Bar, the retainer agreement and applicable court standards. Those three standards reflect a balance between the interests of the attorney’s client and the economic interests … Continued


Gender Discrimination In The Workplace

Gender Discrimination Expert Witnesses

What is the function of an expert witness in litigation?  The court system, as well as plaintiffs and defendants, rely on an expert witness’s specialized knowledge to analyze the facts of a case and offer an unbiased opinion. In gender discrimination litigation, expert witnesses educate the jury on matters of employee discrimination, employee relations, employee … Continued


Inadequate Design and Warning Labels for Medication

Product Liability Expert Witnesses

On March 25, 2019, two pharmaceutical companies entered into a $775M settlement in 25,000 lawsuits alleging patients were not adequately warned about the risks of a blood thinner product. This product is a medicine used to prevent and treat blood clots in legs or lungs and to prevent strokes in people with irregular heartbeats. Rxlist.com describes the medication and its side … Continued


Can a Plaintiff Recover Expert Fees if She Didn’t Prevail on All of Her Claims?

Disability Expert Witnesses

After a three-day trial, a jury determined that in terminating Plaintiff’s employment, the defendant employer discriminated against her because of a disability. Further, Defendant interfered with her right to take family medical leave.   The jury declined to award Plaintiff damages on the discrimination claim, but awarded her $15,000 in back pay on her family medical … 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


Can a “Hybrid” Liability Expert Testify in His Law Firm’s Own Malpractice Case?

Hybrid Liability Expert Witness

Last fall, in a lawsuit concerning a land-sale transaction, Defendants disclosed two witnesses whom they claimed would provide “hybrid” expert testimony. The defense witness at issue was the founder and managing partner of a law firm (“Partner”). Plaintiff sought to exclude him as a “Hybrid” liability expert. Plaintiff argued that he wasn’t a true “hybrid” … Continued


Economic Expert Witnesses and Patent Infringement

Patent Expert Witnesses

What is the role of an economics expert witness? These professionals are experienced in business valuation, damage calculation, profit and loss, lost earnings, and other aspects of business finance. In the realm of intellectual property patents, it is often difficult to assign a monetary value to assets. In patent infringement conflict, the determination and evaluation … 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

Introduction:  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 … Continued


Is a Nuclear Engineer Qualified to Opine on Materials Engineering in a Helicopter Crash Case?

Nuclear Engineer Expert Witnesses

A helicopter manufacturer appealed a jury verdict in a products-liability action awarding the plaintiffs $21M in damages.   The case stems from a 2013 air ambulance crash in Kentucky that claimed the lives of a three-person flight crew, including the pilot, the flight nurse, and the flight medic. The helicopter sustained a catastrophic series of events … Continued


Does a Client Who Testifies as an Expert Witness in His Own Case Waive Attorney-Client Privilege as to His Expert Testimony?

Attorney-Client Privilege

The Texas Supreme Court recently heard a mandamus petition concerning expert testimony and attorney-client privilege. The City purchased a commercial windstorm policy from the client insurance company. In the underlying litigation, the City alleged that the client hadn’t paid all it owed under the policy for property damage caused by Hurricane Ike. The dispute here … Continued


Multinational Automaker Under Investigation For Mechanical Defect

Automobile Defect Expert Witnesses

An automobile company recalled nearly 1.5M trucks that could downshift without warning and cause owners to crash. The February 13, 2019, announcement includes 2011-13 vehicleswith 6-speed automatic transmission. The automobile company states that one of their vehicles could experience a problem when sending a signal from the transmission speed sensor. MotorTrend.com describes the problem: The automobile company is … 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 https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/3-trends-that-could-lead-to-more-auto-48832/ (last visited Feb. 12, 2019). Some attorneys have speculated that … Continued


Attorneys as Expert Witnesses: Fifth Circuit Perspectives

Attorney Expert Witnesses

Introduction: The qualifications of witnesses designated as experts are often in question, and in federal court, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) and Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) address these requirements. See, e.g., Kelley v. Smitty’s Supply, Inc., Civil Action No. 17-4711§S(3), (E.D. La. 2019). When the expert is an attorney, there may be an … Continued


Torts & Product Liability: Consolidated Litigation Trends

Torts Expert Witnesses

Introduction: In the last few years, a number of torts, particularly in the product liability field, have arisen as consolidated cases with multiple plaintiffs as parties to one lawsuit  See, e.g., Andrew D. Kaplan, “Crowell & Moring’s Litigation Forecast 2019,” Crowell & Moring, Jan. 9, 2019, at https://www.crowell.com/NewsEvents/Litigation-Forecast/2019/Articles/Torts-Watching-the-Growing-Multi-Plaintiff-Challenge (last visited Feb. 6, 2019). A great … Continued


Product Liability Experts Judgement on Causation Analysis

Product Liability Expert Witnesses

When should you confer with a product liability expert witness? Product failure may be due to a mechanical breakdown, design defect, improper maintenance or other factors. It is often necessary to consult with an experienced product liability expert to determine how an accident occurred and who or what was at fault. On February 7, 2019, … Continued


Can a Construction Cost Expert Testify to Facts He Observed While Working?

Construction Cost Expert Witness

A judge in the Southern District of Florida was asked to hear a plaintiff’s motion in limine to exclude the opinion testimony of Defendant’s construction costs expert in a breach of contract case. This case involved work Plaintiff performed at an apartment complex under two subcontracts with Defendant (“Projects”). Defendant entered into the contracts with Plaintiff … 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


Unfair Business Practices and Civil Penalties

Privacy Expert Witnesses

The City of Los Angeles has sued to stop the operator of The Weather Channel’s mobile phone application from allegedly profiting from customer location data. On behalf of California residents, L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer has charged TWC with unfair business practices including unfair competition and violation of privacy. The complaint alleges that TWC uses … Continued


Can an Environmental Expert Testify on TCLP in a Sewage Discharge Case?

Environmental Expert Witnesses

A property owner appealed the district court’s summary judgments in favor of defendants dismissing its claims that arose from an alleged discharge of sewage contamination. A pond on Plaintiff’s property received runoff from a drainage ditch located on Defendants’ adjacent apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Plaintiff saw that the pond was bright green and cloudy, … Continued


Failure Analysis Litigation Regarding Tire Failure

Tire Failure Expert Witnesses

Plaintiffs have filed more than forty lawsuits against a tire manufacturer accusing the company of selling defective tires. The tire manufacturer has facilities worldwide and annual sales of more than $15B. The lawsuits are a result of the manufacturer’s tires that burst on the highway. The tires were marketed to recreational motorhome manufacturers even though … Continued


Arizona Woman in Long-term Care: #MeToo Implications

#MeToo

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 https://www.vox.com/2019/1/7/18171012/arizona-woman-birth-coma-sexual-assault-metoo (last visited Jan. 21, 2019). The woman was in … Continued


Patent Licensing Between Various Telecommunication Equipment Companies

Licensing Expert Witnesses

The Federal Trade Commission v. Qualcomm Incorporated bench trial will begin January 14, 2019, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California with Judge Lucy H. Koh presiding. Qualcomm is a multinational semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company that designs and markets wireless telecommunications products and services. It derives most of its revenue from chip making and the bulk of … 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 https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=09ac5e97-1bba-478a-81c5-698482734950 (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


The Role of Unfair Competition Experts in False Advertising

Unfair Competition Expert Witnesses

Amarin Pharma, Inc. sued Coromega Health Inc. for unfair competition and false advertising in the U.S.District Court, Southern District of California. Case 3:18-cv-02481-CAB-MSB was filed October 29, 2018, and centers around allegations of Coromega falsely advertising its fish oil supplement products as equivalent to Amarin Pharma Inc.’s prescription drug Vascepa. On November 10, 2018, Amarin … Continued


Expert Witnesses Role in Appraising Intangible Assets

Appraisal Expert Witnesses

How does an expert witness enhance your case?  Experts help the jury determine the facts of a case, particularly in complex litigation such as lawsuits involving the value of intangible property. While a tangible asset has a physical form, an intangible asset lacks physical substance and is usually very hard to evaluate. Examples of intangible assets include patents, copyrights, franchises, … 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 http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_stats (last visited Jan. 3, 2019). In November of alone, about 1,500 structures were destroyed or … Continued


Can an Arborist Expert Opine on Soil Compounds?

Arborist Expert Witnesses

Defendants appealed the trial court’s decision for Plaintiffs awarding them damages after Defendant destroyed 31 trees on Plaintiff’s property. Defendant argued that the maintenance of a lime pile uphill from Plaintiff’s property line and trees wasn’t the direct cause of the destruction of the trees and that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting … Continued


On What Issues is an Urogynecologist Allowed to Testify in Surgical Mesh Litigation?

Urogynecology Expert Witnesses

United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin was asked to decide Plaintiff’s Motion to Exclude or Otherwise Limit the Opinions and Testimony of the Defense’s Expert in Multidistrict Litigation concerning the use of transvaginal surgical mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse (“POP”) and stress urinary incontinence (“SUI”). In the seven MDLs, there are more than … 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 https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/29/reuters-america-analysis-patents-on-pot-us-lawsuit-puts-cannabis-claims-to-the-test.html (last visited Dec. 6, 2018). However, marijuana is at least partially legal in many … Continued


Are Sanctions Appropriate When a Party Fails to Disclose an Expert?

Washington Expert Witnesses

A U.S. Magistrate recently denied Plaintiff’s motion to declare documents admissible or re-open discovery for a limited purpose and granted in part Plaintiff’s motion for redesignation of documents and to compel production of documents. Plaintiff objected. In April 2016, Defendants provided their initial disclosures to Plaintiff concerning the computation of damages but had done nothing … Continued


Ride-Hailing App Company Sues Former Employees for Taking Confidential Records After Leaving the Company

Contract Dispute Expert Witnesses

A ride-hailing app company has sued four former employees on the company’s corporate intelligence team accusing them of improperly taking confidential records when they left the company. The company alleges that the defendants held onto company hard drives and laptops. Former employee Richard Jacobs argues that the former company team stole trade secrets. In Uber Technologies Inc. … Continued


Las Vegas Hotel Negligence Lawsuit

Personal Injury Expert Witnesses

Glenn Richardson sued MGM Resorts International for $35M in a negligence lawsuit following his injuries at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in 2015. Richardson turned down the $2.5M settlement offer from MGM before the case went to trial. At trial, plaintiff’s attorney Adam Breeden argued that Richardson suffered a traumatic brain injury which impacted … 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


Wind Farm Noise Pollution Litigation and the Use of Acoustical Engineering Expert Witnesses

Acoustical Engineering Expert Witnesses

Do you need an acoustical engineering expert witness for cases involving noise pollution? Noise pollution conflicts arise in environmental, aerospace, residential, and industrial contexts.  Because acoustical engineers have expertise in how noise and sound are utilized and controlled, they are a critical aspect in noise pollution litigation. These experts understand the dynamics of sound as well … Continued


Can a Court Consider a City Engineering Expert’s Formula for the Cost of a Public Improvement When It’s Not Disclosed Pre-Trial?

Iowa Expert Witnesses

The Iowa Court of Appeals heard a case on a city’s special assessment of certain property owners for the costs of road and storm sewer improvements made in the city’s industrial-business district. The City specially assessed the property owners abutting the roadway at a rate of $55 per linear foot of property running along the … Continued


Can an Expert Contradict Himself When Testifying?

New York Expert Witnesses

During a prolonged surgery, a plaintiff suffered an injury that left him with nerve damage and limited use of his right hand. He files suit against the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the surgical nurse, and the surgeon’s practice for medical malpractice. Plaintiff underwent a surgical procedure known as a robotic‑assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (“RALP”) performed by Dr. … Continued


When Should You Consult With a Product Liability Expert Witness?

Product Liability Expert Witnesses

When should you consult with a product liability expert witness? In the U.S., defective or dangerous products are the cause of thousands of injuries every year. When a product displays an unexpected defect or danger, the product cannot be said to meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer. Flaws in the way a product is marketed, … Continued


New Florida Legislation & its Impact on Construction Litigation

Construction Litigation Expert Witnesses

Introduction: 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,” Law.com, May 9, 2018, at https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2018/05/09/legislature-changes-critical-deadlines-in-construction-defect-litigation/?slreturn=20180910140853 (last visited Oct. 12, 2018). As several attorneys claim, the new legislation … 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 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-creditcards/visa-mastercard-reach-6-2-billion-settlement-over-card-swipe-fees-idUSKCN1LY1PQ (last visited Oct. 17, 2018). The settlement was the largest antitrust cash … Continued


Jury Instruction on Testimony Explained by WI Court

contract dispute expert

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently heard a contract dispute involving a sales representative and two manufacturers, in which the appellant sales rep contended that the Appellees owed it approximately $1.2 million in commissions. Appellant claimed that it fulfilled its contractual obligation to assist Appellees in securing a deal to sell an architectural feature for … Continued


Copyright Infringement for Popular Video Game?

copyright infringement expert

Court proceedings have begun in the copyright infringement lawsuit PUBG Corporation et al v. NetEase, Inc. et al. The U.S. District Court, California Northern District case 4:18-CV-02010 is assigned to Judge Jeffrey White in Oakland. Headquartered in Korea, PUBG is a privately held company founded in 2009. PUBG alleges that the defendant copied ideas from the … Continued


Could a Hoyer Lift Prevent Accidents?

Hoyer Lift Expert

A health care worker appealed summary judgment for Defendants Mother and Father in her action against them for damages for a permanent and disabling back injury she allegedly sustained while caring for their disabled teenage daughter (CZ) in their home. Plaintiff worked in Defendants’ home for seven weeks as a pediatric home health nurse for … Continued


Could a Hoyer Lift Help Prevent Accidents?

A health care worker appealed summary judgment for Defendants Mother and Father in her action against them for damages for a permanent and disabling back injury she allegedly sustained while caring for their disabled teenage daughter (CZ) in their home. Plaintiff worked in Defendants’ home for seven weeks as a pediatric home health nurse for … 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 https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/general-info/proposition-65-plain-language. Proposition 65, which is also known as the state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement … Continued


Did a Failed Inspection Cause Roller Coaster Derailment?

Roller Coaster Expert

The June 14, 2018, Sand Blaster roller coaster derailment sent two people seventeen feet down to the ground and left other riders dangling or stuck on the roller coaster until they were rescued by firefighters. Florida inspectors and independent engineers reported that excessive speed and damage to the track and axle systems were the chief … 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


Handwriting Expert Critical in Dispute

Handwriting Expert

A handwriting expert was a crucial witness in an action brought by the personal representative of the estate who sought to set aside a deed purportedly signed by her deceased father. The deed purported to convey property from the decedent to his son, the defendant. The decedent’s daughter, the plaintiff, claimed that the son forged … 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


Accounting Expert in Case Against Gift Card Company

Accounting Expert

A plaintiff and the State of Delaware brought suit under the state’s False Claims and Reporting Act, alleging that the defendant gift card services company, its successor-in-interest, and several retailer parties entered into a contractual scheme designed to deprive Delaware of millions of dollars in unclaimed gift card balances to which it was lawfully entitled under … Continued


A Truck Accident Calls Training Into Question

Truck accident expert

An Upshur County, TX, jury awarded $101M to Joshua Patterson as a result of being hit from behind by an FTS International Manufacturing truck. The semi-truck driver, Bill Acker, was found to be under the influence of marijuana and methamphetamines while driving the FTS truck. Acker was also on probation with the trucking company for being involved in … 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 … Continued


Power Line Injury Sparks Expert Dilemma

Power Line expert

A defendant, an underground power line locator company, brought a motion to exclude a plaintiff’s rebuttal expert in a negligence action where plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to locate and mark an underground power line. Plaintiff struck the unmarked power line with a shovel and suffered injuries. Defendant argued Plaintiff’s rebuttal expert should have … 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 https://www.law360.com/articles/1073180/tinder-founders-sue-match-for-2b-over-stock-options. The case was brought in New York state court and alleges that two companies, IAC … Continued


A Supreme Court Decision: E-commerce & Taxation

E-commerce

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


Lack of Warning Label Leads to Crane Accident

Crane Accident

A crane accident in Mississippi left an operator physically and mentally incapacitated. His wife sued the crane manufacturer under Mississippi’s products liability statute. After a lengthy trial, a jury found that the manufacturer failed to warn crane operators that if the crane tips over, large weights stacked on the rear of the crane can slide … 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 https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=2bbb37f5-2c8e-4d01-ae4a-2301c1ca3447 (last visited Aug. 1, 2018). Federal and state … Continued


Duck Boat Tragedy in Missouri

Duck Boat

The National Transportation Safety Board and Coast Guard are investigating the duck boat tragedy that claimed seventeen liveson Table Rock Lake in Missouri. The Ride the Ducks craft capsized and sank in a storm on July 19, 2018. Investigators are looking into what caused the accident, including the weather, life jackets, as well as the mechanics … 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


Diner Contracts Salmonella

Salmonella expert

New Hampshire’s Supreme Court has upheld a $750K jury award for restaurant patron Brandon Stachulski who got sick after eating a hamburger at an Applebee’s restaurant and contracted salmonella. Stachulski’s complaint described him as incurring permanent gastrointestinal problems. Apple New England, which owns the restaurant, filed an appeal in 2017 saying there was insufficient evidence … Continued


An Oil Spill in Iowa Due to Train Derailment

Oil Spill

On June 22, 2018, 32 oil tanker train cars from Alberta, Canada, derailed in the northwest corner of Iowa and dumped an estimated 230,000 gallons of crude oil into floodwaters. The train was carrying ConocoPhillips oil to Oklahoma. No one was hurt in the accident. The new and retrofitted oil tanker cars were designed to … Continued


Judge Rules on Experts in Roundup Cancer Case

Admissibility Experts

Judge Vince Chhabria recently rendered a ruling on the admissibility of expert witnesses in the products liability cases against Monsanto, the makers of Roundup®, which the plaintiffs claim can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The lawsuits allege that glyphosate, the herbicide in Roundup, can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and that Monsanto failed to warn consumers or regulators about … 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


Warehouse Workers Strike Against Low Wages

Minimum Wage

Trucking, warehousing, and logistics company California Cartage LLC Company will pay up to $1.9M as a result of wage and hour violations at the company’s Los Angeles storage facility. Warehouse workers filed a lawsuit in 2014 and 2016 alleging that California Cartage violated the state’s minimum wage law, the city’s “living wage” statute and retaliation for … Continued


Trademark Infringement Case: A Battle for “Sports Fuel”

Trademark Infringement Experts

Chicago U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly has ruled that Gatorade did not engage in trademark infringement against SportFuel. SportFuel.com describes the company as “an integrative nutrition consulting firm based in the Chicagoland area.” The company name was registered with the USPTO in 2008. SportFuel sought to stop Gatorade from using the “Sports Fuel” name as … 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

Introduction: 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 … Continued


Safety Concerns Ignored in Helicopter Crash

Cockpit helicopter - Instruments panel. Interior of helicopter control dashboard, Heli on the ground.

KOMO-TV, Helicopters Inc, and the estate of the Seattle’s television station’s late pilot will pay $40M to two men who were injured when a news helicopter plummeted off the station’s rooftop in 2014 and crashed into the plaintiff’s cars. Guillermo Sanchez and Richard Newman alleged that KOMO and Helicopters Inc. ignored safety concerns about landing … 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


Court Considers Reasonableness of Expert Fees in Workers’ Compensation Case

Expert Fees

U.S. District Judge David C. Norton recently heard a Plaintiff Insurance Company’s motion to compel Defendant to pay expert witness fees. This action arose out of an insurance coverage dispute between the insurer and its insured regarding certain alleged misrepresentations in Defendant’s application for workers’ compensation insurance. Defendant was a medium-sized construction company that specialized … 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 https://www.law.com/njlawjournal/sites/njlawjournal/2017/12/08/accutane-appeal-presents-opportunity-for-nj-to-adopt-daubert/ … Continued


Federal Judge Asked to Dismiss Copyright Infringement Case

Copyright Infringement Experts

Microsoft has asked a judge to dismiss an infringement suit targeting their Cortana digital assistant products, capitalizing on an earlier ruling that invalidated three patents at the center of the case. Microsoft’s attorneys argued that the March 31st ruling from U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews of the District of Delaware destroyed the case from IPA Technologies Inc., as the American … Continued


Federal Preemption Raised in Admission of Railroad Liability Expert’s Opinion on “Spillover Electricity”

Railroad with electric power

A railroad conductor appealed the order of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas granting his employer, a local transportation authority’s motion for a new trial. The main point of the appeal was the admissibility of his liability expert. On the night of his injury, Plaintiff stood in the vestibule of a railroad car holding … Continued


Can an Environmental Engineer be a Non-Reporting Expert on Some Issues and a Reporting Expert on Others?

Judge gavel with Justice lawyers, Businessman in suit or lawyer working on a documents. Legal law, advice and justice concept

The Plaintiffs in a recent Mississippi federal case moved to strike the expert designation of Defendant’s witness, a Technical Environmental Engineer. In support of their motion to strike, Plaintiffs argued that he was a non-specially retained/ non-reporting expert as to all matters addressed in his designation. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jane M. Virden wrote in her … Continued


Pharmacology Experts Vital in Johnson & Johnson Talc Lawsuit

Talcum powder on hand

Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $37M in the case of a New Jersey man who claimed he got mesothelioma from J&J’s talcum powder. Stephen Lanzo III used J&J’s product for over thirty years and believes they contained talc laced with asbestos. The New Brunswick, NJ, jury agreed with him. They found … 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


Increasing UAV Accidents Call For Drones Expert Witnesses

Drone is taking off from man hands. Young man releasing aerial copter to fly with small digital camera.

The market for drones is expanding. During the 2017 Christmas season, U.S. shoppers bought nearly 1.6 million drones, up 31% from Christmas 2016.  Drones are complicated electronic devices and their safety is highly debated. Yorkdispatch.com tells us that during Christmas 2017 “social-media platforms were filled with tales of drones that crashed into trees, windows, and people … 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 https://www.legalsportsreport.com/18925/sports-betting-odds-in-scotus-and-future/ (last visited Mar. 28, 2018). In response to … Continued


Accident Reconstruction Expert’s Opinion on Driver’s Habits at Issue in Florida Case

An overturned truck on an highway in an accident.

A former employee of the City of Tampa filed an action for unlawful retaliation in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Florida Civil Rights Act (“FCRA”). Plaintiff was employed as a City Solid Waste Collection Driver. At some time during his employment, he was diagnosed with a medical condition that allegedly … 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


Military Expert’s Opinion Scrutinized in Cases Concerning Bolivian Conflict

operator stands with arms and looks forward

U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn recently heard arguments on a defendants’ motion to exclude the testimony of a plaintiffs’ military analyst with expertise in investigating and analyzing military structures in the context of violence against civilians during armed conflict. This military expert had nearly two decades of experience investigating international criminal law and human … 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 https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/101-Report_FINAL.pdf (last visited … Continued


Can an Expert be Replaced if He’s Unavailable for Trial?

Two Forensic Pathology Experts Having Meeting In Hospital Reception Area

Defendants in a recent federal California case filed an administrative motion to modify the court’s case management to let them supplement their expert disclosures by replacing Dr. A, previously disclosed as a forensic pathologist expert, with another forensic pathologist expert because he wasn’t available for trial. The plaintiffs said that they would stipulate to the replacement … Continued


Maryland Court of Appeals Explains “Disclosure” under Rule 5-703(b)

Inside Court of Appeals with a Lawyer

The Maryland Court of Appeals recently held that trial court didn’t err in admitting Petitioner’s post-accident medical treatment records under Maryland Rule 5-703. The Court concluded that “disclosed” under Maryland Rule 5-703(b) means that evidence is admissible if it satisfies four elements set forth in the rule. Such evidence may, in trial court’s discretion, be … 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


Computer Forensics Expert Critical to Waymo’s Settlement

Hands on Computer Analyzing Computer Data

A computer forensics expert testified in the U.S. Northern District of California trade secret lawsuit filed by Waymo against Uber. These experts investigate different types of digital data found on computers or other electronic devices in order to locate and identify different forms of evidence. In the Waymo case, the computer forensics expert analyzed the … 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 https://www.nbcnews.com/video/florida-school-shooting-timeline-detailed-by-sheriff-1162718787706 (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


Election Expert’s Testimony Admitted in Voting Case

Election or referendum in United States. Election expert witness holds envelope in hand above ballot. USA flags in background.

The Virginia Department of Elections brought a motion to exclude the testimony of a proposed election expert witness for the plaintiffs—three individuals and two voluntary associations affiliated with the Republican Party of Virginia. The lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of the Incumbent Protection Act, which provides certain elected officials with the power to choose the method … Continued


Former White Sox Player Sues Team for Negligence

Closeup low section of a baseball player injured

Former Chicago White Sox player Dustin Fowler is suing the team and the agency that manages Guaranteed Rate Field for negligence following his knee injury in June 2017. Fowler ran after a foul ball and collided with an electrical box at knee level. He suffered a rupture of the patella tendon in his right knee … Continued


CPA Not an “Expert” in Financial Fraud Case

A jury convicted the Defendant in Indiana of 15 counts of wire fraud, four counts of money laundering, and one count of securities fraud for his participation in a fraudulent investment scheme. In 2009, a self-described financial advisor began creating financial investment business entities and soliciting startup capital from family and friends. He directed individuals … Continued


Largest and Most Complex Automotive Recall in U.S. History

Car Recall Maintenance. Automotive Recall Concept. Technician Preparing Vehicle For the Repair.

On January 4, 2018, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Shannon in Wilmington, DE, gave auto supplier Takata’s creditors the green light to vote on the bankrupt company’s Chapter 11 plan. Takata filed for bankruptcy in June 2017 during a massive recall of its defective airbags. The company manufactures and sells motor vehicle seat belts, airbags, steering … Continued


Medical Negligence Case: Patient Receives Infection After Oral Surgery

Oral Surgery Experts

Oral surgery expert witnesses are knowledgeable in surgery complications following tooth removal, rehabilitative dentistry, restorative implants, endodontics, periodontics, and additional oral surgery procedures. Oral surgery litigation may result from alleged surgery errors, unforeseen side effects, prescribing the wrong post-surgery medication, or other unexpected problems occurring before, during, or after surgery. In Augusta, Maine, jurors found … Continued


Drone Incidents and Near-Misses at Airports

Drone equipped with camera flying in the air

The market for remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems, commonly known as drones, is expanding. The three main segments of the industry are consumer drones, enterprise drones, and government drones. As a result of this growth, RPA manufacturers and operators are seeking greater access to airspace. The International Air Transport Association, Airports Council International, and the … Continued


The Digital Pill Presents Privacy Issues

Chip on pill with medicine box.

In November, the FDA approved Abilify MyCite, a pill with a sensor that digitally monitors whether a patient has taken his or her medication. It’s a significant advance in the growing field of digital devices designed to monitor medicine-taking and to address the expensive, longstanding problem of patients failing to take their meds as prescribed. … Continued


Arizona Supreme Court Explains Application of Rule of Evidence 615 to Expert Witnesses in Med Mal Case

Rule of evidence 615 experts

Arizona Rule of Evidence 615 (“the Rule”) provides that a trial court, at a party’s request, “must order witnesses excluded so that they cannot hear other witnesses’ testimony.” That rule was called into question recently when a patient sued her doctor of chiropractic for medical malpractice. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant negligently performed a chiropractic adjustment … 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 http://yorkshirereporter.co.uk/john-smeaton/, (last … Continued


Pharmaceutical Industry Regulatory Expert Disqualified due to Confidential Information

Pharmaceutical industry regulatory expert witnesses

In 2014, a federal magistrate issued a preliminary injunction in a suit in which the State of New York alleged the pharmaceutical manufacturer (“Manufacturer “) attempted to effectuate a “hard switch” from a twice-daily drug that treats moderate-to-severe stages of Alzheimer’s disease to a pharmacologically identical drug only taken once a day. The State alleged … 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


Poor Product Factors That Lead to Product Safety Lawsuits

Product safety lawsuits involving personal injury may allege poor product design or manufacturing, as well as human factors and misuse of the product. In the news, Ikea relaunched a recall on approximately 17.3 million chests and dressers in the U.S. Ikea.com states, “The recalled chests and dressers are unstable if they are not properly anchored to … 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


Wastewater Contamination Calls for Environmental Engineering Expert

In Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Tropical Audubon Society Incorporated v. Florida Power & Light Company, the power company was charged with violating the Clean Water Act. Florida Power & Light’s nuclear power reactors at Turkey Point are allegedly leaking polluted water into Biscayne Bay. Plaintiffs state that FPL has created a large saltwater … Continued


Ninth Circuit Reverses Decision to Exclude Police Practices Expert Testimony

The Ninth Circuit recently heard an appeal of a Plaintiff who alleged that his constitutional rights were violated when he was arrested while volunteering to observe an interagency government operation to herd buffalo into Yellowstone National Park. Among the issues on appeal was the district court’s exclusion of his expert witness. During the incident, Plaintiff … 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


New Class Action Litigation Involving a Nutrition Company

Class Action Expert Witnesses

A nutrition company (Defendant) based in Los Angeles may have thought that the $200 million settlement with the government would end all the nutrition-shake company’s fraudulent business practices, but a new Miami class action claims more illegalities. The company’s settlement with the FTC last year prohibited the company from engaging in certain business practices, such … 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


Contract Disputes: Lawsuit Between State and Global Security Company

Contract Disputes Experts

Northrop Grumman filed a lawsuit against the state of Virginia in May over contractual disagreements. The state countersued in June. Virginia Information Technologies alleges the global security company is responsible for delays and costs in canceling a $2.4B contract. The VITA countersuit cites “inadequate knowledge transfer” and “NG’s refusal to perform necessary transition activities, and … Continued