From the 1920s through 1993, a Defendant Oil Company engaged in oil and gas operations in New Mexico. Environmental contamination from these operations was discovered much later, and 200+ residents of the contaminated area brought a toxic tort action for personal injury damages that included systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune disorders. The Plaintiffs alleged … Continued
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
In U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney I. Schenkier heard the motion to strike the expert disclosure of the CEO of the Defendant company. The Plaintiffs argued that the expert was a “retained or specially employed” expert governed by the disclosure regulations of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(B) and improperly filed his … Continued
PASADENA, Calif. (March 30, 2016) – The readers of the National Law Journal have voted ForensisGroup as the best Expert Witness Provider in 2016. The National Law Journal is regarded as a trusted resource for attorneys and legal professionals working in the industry, making this vote one of the more prestigious honors granted within the … Continued
Should you hire an expert witness or a consulting expert? Why do some attorneys hire both a consultant and an expert witness? Distinguishing between these two types of experts at an early date in time would work as a major advantage for your case, since each individual serves a very specific function. A consulting expert … Continued
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
A patentee which was the manufacturer of loading dock devices brought suit against its competitor, alleging it infringed on its patented ornamental design of a lip and hinge plate for a dock leveler. At the center of this case was the amount of damages or lost profits suffered by the patentee. Patentee argued that the … Continued
Plaintiffs lived in Illinois, where they owned several restaurant franchises, and also bred horses. In 1985, they purchased a horse farm in Tennessee, where they entered into an oral agreement with a horse trainer to train their Tennessee Walking Horses and manage their farm. Plaintiffs founded LSA, an S-corporation, as a horse-breeding operation. By 1999, … Continued
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
Expert witnesses retained on Federal cases are required to submit a written expert report. Attorneys must be aware of the expert report requirements, as well as the deadline for the report. It is important, however, to keep in mind that requirements for expert reports may differ between each jurisdiction. Even though each jurisdiction may have … Continued
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought an action against a corporation and several of its executives—including the company’s former president—seeking injunctive and monetary equitable relief for misleading and unfair business practices surfacing from its website marketing under § 5(a) of the FTC Act. The FTC settled with two of three individual defendants, but one executive … Continued
ForensisGroup congratulates Niria Avizu, Esq. for accepting an award from the San Gabriel Valley Bar Association (SGVBA) for her excellent service during her presidency in 2015. She accepted the award at SGVBA’s Spring Meeting on March 4, 2016 at the Almansor Court in Alhambra, California. Niria Avizu, Esq., is the past president of the San Gabriel … Continued
In today’s world, there are many expert witnesses to choose from, and many techniques that attorneys adopt to draw jurors in and make their experts likable. Jim McElhaney, the Baker & Hostetler Distinguished Scholar in Trial Practice and Joseph C. Hostetler Professor Emeritus of Trial Practice and Advocacy at Case Western Reserve University’s School of … Continued
The New York Appellate Division heard an appeal by the defendant in a chiropractic malpractice lawsuit. The issue on appeal was whether an expert witness in one medical specialty may offer an opinion involving a different specialty—provided that the expert’s opinion is related solely to the issue of proximate cause within the expert’s own specialty … Continued
A car repair shop owner sued a dealership, its attorney, and law firm, asserting claims for violation of RICO and § 1981. The auto repair expert claimed that dealership allegedly threatened to prevent him from testifying as an expert witness for his customers in their action against the dealership. The dealership retaliated by refusing to … Continued
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
The Daubert standard provides a rule of evidence regarding the admissibility of expert witnesses’ testimony in federal court. The Daubert standard came about from the U.S. Supreme Court case, Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993). The Daubert is a guideline for expert admissibility for federal cases, but many states also adopted the Daubert. An Expert’s Testimony or expert’s report can be … Continued
Recently, there has been a noticeable increase in the use of expert witnesses to resolve business disputes over franchising. See, e.g., Philip F. Zeidman, “The Rise of the Expert Witness,” Franchise Times, Jan. 2016. This trend seems likely to continue, and it is one that franchisers, franchisees, and their attorneys should take note of. This … Continued
In a recent case, a plaintiff claimed that his former employer discriminated against him under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The employer required him, and all the company’s truck drivers with a body mass index (“BMI”) of 33 or above to take a sleep study in continuation to work for the company. However, the … Continued
A property owner appealed after the Department of Transportation assessed the damages at $125,000 after taking the property for automotive-related services. After a hearing, the Superior Court reassessed damages as $243,840, and the property owner appealed. The primary issue was whether the trial court erred in reevaluating the amount of damages to which Property Owner … Continued
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
A product-liability case stemmed from an accident where Plaintiff, a coal miner, sustained injuries to his left hand while using the Defendant’s equipment (a roof bolter). Plaintiff claimed that the injury occurred because he was holding onto the handle of the roof bolter which extended his hand beyond the roof and outside the protective operator … Continued
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
In a recent case in Alabama, the Defendant tried to exclude the opinion of a medical expert witness by stating that the expert cannot prove causation. The psychiatrist expert witness was able to withstand the challenge because of his qualifications, use of reliable methods, and his ability to provide sufficient evidence. The Plaintiff developed a … Continued
In a civil action following remand from the District Court of Appeal, the Circuit Court of St. Lucie County in Florida determined that the deposition responses of the defendant’s medical expert witness were inconsistent with his interrogatory answers. As a result, the Circuit Court granted the production of the expert’s financial records and business records. … Continued
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
In a recent case, Plaintiff sued a Cruise Line after sustaining head injury while swimming in a pool aboard a cruise ship. The plaintiff did not have a cruise expert witness for his case to testify on the standard of care for pool maintenance of a cruise ship. Plaintiff appealed for summary judgment in a maritime … Continued
Happy Friday! The staff at ForensisGroup would like to wish the children and families over at Hillsides a warm and happy holiday. We are extremely fortunate and grateful to be part of Hillside’s Holiday Giving bringing magic and joy to families around the holidays. ForensisGroup continues to contribute our support with Hillsides for over a … Continued
This case, stemming from an auto accident involving a country’s reserve deputy, was heard on appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals following a jury verdict against the County. The County brought five points on appeal, one of which concerned the admission of an expert witness testimony. The County’s retained expert witness was being called … Continued
A patent owner recently brought an infringement lawsuit against alleged infringers in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The claim was direct infringement of its patent for a specific method of authenticating mobile station users to access private data by sending text messages to a private server. Defendants, who were banking … Continued
A bank brought a legal malpractice claim against its former law for its representation in a negligence suit against an accounting firm (CPA) that performed auditing services. The underlying lawsuit alleged the CPA negligently audited the financial statements of one of the bank’s clients. The bank didn’t foreclose on the client’s loans based on CPA’s … Continued
The Appellate Court of Connecticut recently heard the appeal of a title insurance company against insured developers. The case involves over the insurance company’s obligations under the policy to compensate the developers for the borough’s claimed ownership of 30-foot wide discontinued road. Defendants purchased the subject property for $6 million, which had been the beachfront … Continued
ForensisGroup, Inc is proud to be the Student Sponsor at the The Trademark Trial & Appeal Board Event located at Loyola Law School on November 13th, 2015. The Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association (www.laipla.net) is the hosting the event for attorneys and law students in Southern California. The event hearing was preceded by a question-and-answer session with the esteemed panel, … Continued
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.
Can an expert witness be excluded for failure to submit a complete list of publications on time for the expert report? The judge says it depends on whether or not it creates potential prejudice to the other party. An animal trap manufacturer brought a declaratory judgment action against a patent holder, seeking a finding of … Continued
A DC-area concert promoter brought action under Sherman Act and the Maryland Antitrust Act, alleging that the Defendant, a global promoter, unreasonably restrained trade by exercising its market and monopoly power in the promotion and venue services markets. Defendant moved to exclude plaintiff’s expert testimony and his findings.
When the World Health Organization (WHO) released its report on Monday that cited red meats and processed meats as carcinogenic, it may not have anticipated the global response. Doctors, scientists, the meat industry, and the public have all reacted to this news in different ways. Given the WHO’s decades of research and the implications that … Continued
ForensisGroup’s President, Ms. Mercy Tolentino Steenwyk, recently participated in the Youth Business Alliance (YBA) as a Guest Speaker. She shared her valuable skills and knowledge with a group of students from Alliance Ouchi High School and Alliance Collins High School as part of the “Business & Careers” program. As the CEO of ForensisGroup, Ms. Steenwyk … Continued
New York may be one of the most difficult states for attorneys to comprehend in terms of which standard applies with respect to the admissibility of New York expert testimony. Because the federal and state circuits have separate standards in New York, practitioners may encounter confusion when engaged in litigation. This article discusses New York’s … Continued
ForensisGroup, Inc has been named THE BEST EXPERT WITNESS PROVIDER in The Recorder’s 2015 poll! We would like to thank The Recorder (http://www.therecorder.com/) and everyone who cast their vote! We work hard at providing excellent services to each of our clients and are pleased to know that our efforts have been recognized in such a great … Continued
A manufacturer appealed in a patent infringement case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania because the trial court granted a summary judgment of non-infringement and denied the plaintiff’s motion to strike the defendant’s IP expert declaration. The plaintiff did not have the chance to depose the defendant’s expert.
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
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
A fire as a result of lightning destroyed a home in Missouri. The homeowners’ insurer reimbursed them for their loss, received an assignment of their rights, and filed a diversity products liability action against a manufacturer of corrugated stainless steel tubing (“CSST”) that brought propane gas from an underground storage tank into the home. Both … Continued
The Plaintiff brought a defamation action against a Defendant for publication of numerous defamatory statements. One of the Plaintiff’s experts was the executive director of another charity.
After a public bid process, a Contractor and the City entered into an agreement for a road improvement project. The City was to have the right of way cleared and started securing the removal or relocation of utility lines that might interfere with the project. The lines were to be removed or relocated prior to … Continued
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
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
A Taiwanese auto body parts company (“Manufacturer”) was an early entrant into the U.S. market for replacement truck hoods, with very little competition from only a few other Taiwanese manufacturers. Some of whom participated in joint ventures with Manufacturer. Competitor entered the market for replacement hoods but found that it could not match the prices … Continued
A judge’s decision to delay expert testimony until the second phase of a bifurcated trial was not an abuse of discretion in a suit brought by the insured homeowners against the insurer. The insured claimed breach of contract, failure to adjust claim, bad faith refusal to pay insureds under homeowners’ policy, and violations of Tennessee … Continued
Introduction: In order to determine whether or not an expert opinion will be deemed admissible in Texas, attorneys should be guided by the Daubert-Robinson Doctrine, as well as the Texas Rules of Evidence (TRE). The Daubert-Robinson Rule combines the United States Supreme Court’s guidelines in Daubert with a broadened set of rules set out in … Continued
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
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
The Plaintiff in the following case was a Canadian dealer of a Wisconsin dairy manufacturer’s equipment for 20 years. He claimed that the Manufacturer forced him to sell his dealership to a neighboring dealer at a below-market price. The jury agreed and awarded Plaintiff $471,124 in damages and Manufacturer appealed. Dealers were assigned territories with … Continued
Introduction: 2014 was a record year for the automotive industry in terms of the number of recalls and the amount of penalties that the federal government has assessed on automakers. See, e.g., Wilson Andrews & Gregor Aisch, “A Record Year for Auto Recalls,” The New York Times, Dec. 30, 2014. However, 2015 promises to be … Continued
Slip and fall cases with an allegedly dangerous or defective surface frequently involve the surface’s coefficient of friction (COF) or “the degree of slip resistance.” The higher the COF, the less slippery the surface will be. Evidence concerning a surface’s COF is typically presented by expert witnesses. The expert will opine on the appropriate COF … Continued
The parents of a 14-year-old special needs student brought an action against a local school district, claiming it failed to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in violation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The parents claimed that the District refused to place the student (JN) in an educational program recommended by … Continued
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
A Chapter 7 debtor sought a ruling that his $260,000 in federally-guaranteed student loans were dischargeable. In his appeal, he claimed that the lower courts erred in not admitting his experts. The Debtor was 56 years old and lived with his 85-year-old mother, subsisting on her Social Security. He was divorced with no children and … Continued
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
This is what the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently held in a case where the plaintiff tried to admit his treating physician as an expert to testify regarding the specific cause of his injuries. The doctor, although a specialist in pulmonology, a subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with diseases of the lungs and … Continued
A contract dispute between a financial advisory firm and a medical device developer was submitted to an arbitration presided over by an independent International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) arbitrator. A final arbitration award was issued in favor of the medical device developer. The financial advisory firm petitioned to vacate the arbitration award and the medical … Continued
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
Introduction: The California Code of Civil Procedure (C.C.P.) provides attorneys with guidelines that establish when and how to disclose and designate expert witnesses. This article addresses proper versus improper supplemental expert witness designations and provides assistance to practitioners who wish to make a supplemental designation.
ForensisGroup and President & CEO Mercy T. Steenwyk were recognized and awarded the Los Angeles Business Journal Asian Business Finalist Award on Wednesday July 8th, 2015 at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles. Ms. Steenwyk and Ms. Cherry Deleon, Vice President, represented ForensisGroup at the ceremonies. Matthew A. Toledo, LABJ’s Publisher and CEO, Betty Uribe of California … Continued
A driver who suffered injuries due to an automobile accident filed a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident, as well as his employer. After a first remand resulted in a judgment in favor of the injured driver, the defendant and his employer appealed again. One of the main points of contention in this … Continued
A defendant cabaret owner moved to strike the expert witness reports and testimony of a labor economist expert witness for a class of exotic dancers who sought to recoup pay which they claimed was denied to them in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws. The plaintiffs’ labor economist created a … Continued
Various uncertainties have arisen in the legal field with respect to how and when to disclose and designate experts in California. This article addresses these matters and examines how to comply with the requirements of the California Code of Civil Procedure (C.C.P.), depending upon whether the expert witness is retained or non-retained.
An insured homeowner brought action against the property insurer seeking insurance coverage for alleged sinkhole damage to his home. The insurer was successful at trial, and the plaintiff appealed. At issue was the correct burden of proof and expert testimony evidence. The insured’s property insurance policy issued by the Insurance Co. covered the risk of … Continued
Expert testimony was at the heart of a recent appeal in the Third Circuit dealing with Rule 23(f) in an antitrust class action. At issues was whether that rule requires challenged expert testimony to be scrutinized under Daubert. The plaintiffs were purchasers of blood donation compatibility products. The defendant was one of two companies alleged to … Continued
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
In Florida, the owner of a contact lens patent brought a patent infringement lawsuit against its competitor. After jury ruled in favor for the competitor, the Plaintiff alleged that competitor’s expert witness gave false trial testimony and asked the Court to order a new trial pursuant to Rule 60(b)(2) and 60(b)(3). Judge Timothy J. Corrigan … Continued
In the state of Virginia, a law firm was hired to bring a medical malpractice action on behalf of an injured woman who was paralyzed after surgery. About 18 months after their engagement, the law firm filed its first compliant in Virginia state court, which was dismissed without prejudice for failure to correctly caption a … Continued
Missouri law states that expert testimony is required on the duty of care owed to a client in a legal malpractice claim. The Eighth Circuit’s recent decision ruled that the legal malpractice lawsuit without an expert witness is invalid. A former client brought an action alleging that his former attorney, who was convicted numerous counts … Continued
Civil litigators in California will nearly always, if not always, find themselves dealing with both friendly and adverse expert witnesses from the time a civil action is filed until a verdict has been given. This article provides a review and brief explanations of some of the most important cases that have arisen out of California … Continued
Expert witnesses play a critical role in civil litigation in California, and practitioners must not only be able to retain their own competent experts, but they must also be well-versed in how to challenge and exclude the testimony of opposing witnesses. One of the most promising tools for such exclusion is the motion in limine, … Continued
The Pasadena Bar Association will host a lunch panel on the topic of Patent Litigation. It will feature one of ForensisGroup’s experts, Mr. Hal Walbrink. ForensisGroup is one of the proud exclusive sponsors of the Pasadena Bar Association.
A participant in a doctoral program sued his university, alleging that his termination from the program was based on his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One of the issues on appeal was the exclusion of the Plaintiff’s expert witnesses as they were untimely disclosed and not … Continued
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
The above question was asked in litigation by workers who conducted restoration and removal work after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack at the World Trade Center (WTC). The workers brought claims seeking compensation for injuries incurred by inhaling toxic fumes. The workers moved to compel deposition of expert witnesses and serve amended expert disclosures. … Continued
ForensisGroup is proud to support the Pasadena Association’s (PBA) Speech Scholarship Contest 2015. PBA’s Speech Contest is open to High School students. The first round of the contest took place on Saturday, May 11th, 2015. ForensisGroup’s President & CEO, Ms. Mercy T. Steenwyk, served as one of the judges for the event. ForensisGroup donated the … Continued
According to the United States Census Bureau, Mexico is the third largest trading partner for the U.S. American businesses have strong partnerships with the manufacturers and producers in Mexico. The Mexican economy and law affect many industries here in the States. ForensisGroup celebrates Cinco de Mayo with our neighbor country on May 5th, 2015. It’s to … Continued
Expert witnesses play an integral role in every part of today’s civil litigation. While attorneys have become accustomed to using experts, there are literally thousands of suggestions in the literature on the best practices to retain and utilize expert witnesses. This article is a continuation of a discussion that provides some of the most important … Continued
The California Court of Appeals recently held that expert testimony about manufacturer’s financial condition based solely on a Dun & Bradstreet report was properly excluded as an improper conduit for hearsay.
It is a firmly established legal principle that expert witnesses are entitled to be compensated for the valuable services they provide to attorneys, judges, and juries. In fact, the Federal Register even provides for expert witness fees by statute, stating that whether an expert testifies before an administrative law judge (ALJ) or a court, that … Continued
A Senior Circuit Judge of the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals recently heard the appeal of some current and former employees of a defense contractor who brought a suit seeking relief for beryllium-related diseases. Although Beryllium is an important substance needed for manufacturing, even modest exposure can cause Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD).
With respect to civil litigation, in many instances, expert witnesses who are retained by attorneys are required to submit written expert reports of their findings and opinions prior to being permitted to testify at trial. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure speak to the matter of written reports, although every state court has not adopted … Continued
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
A series of gas explosions occurred on the East Coast in recent months, and some resulted in severe injuries and property damages. Gas leaks are relatively common, but they should be handled with caution even though most do not result in explosions. A gas leak smells like sulfur, some describe it as “rotten eggs”. According … Continued
As consumers become more health-conscious with their food choices, it is important to note that food-safety is still a major concern. When it comes to food recalls, the best we can do is stay current and keep tabs on which products are recalled from the FDA’s website, as even the healthiest of options may fall victim … Continued
This lawsuit is one of over 800 product liability suits that were pending against the Defendant Pharmaceutical Company’s products. Its drug is used for the prevention of bone fractures in patients with hypercalcemia from cancers. All pending cases concerned the Defendant Company’s alleged failure to warn of the risk of disease of the jaw associated … Continued
The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District affirmed a circuit court’s decision that a land surveyor expert witness’s testimony should be admitted into evidence at trial for consideration in an easement case. Appellants (dominant tenement owner) appealed from the trial court’s judgment in favor of Respondent (servient tenement owner) that the easement was valid. A … Continued
Nearly every attorney whose work primarily consists of litigation is familiar with and has retained expert witnesses to help out during trial. However, there are myriad other functions of expert witnesses, all of which attorneys can take advantage of by retaining experts early and using them in various capacities. This article discusses three instances in … Continued
ForensisGroup attended LAIPLA’s Annual Judges’ Night Dinner on Feb. 24, 2015. We are proud to be one of the sponsors for the event. The keynote speaker was the Honorable Sharon Prost, Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The event took place at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los … Continued
An attorney’s worst fear may be realized in cases where a critical expert witness is disqualified from giving testimony because of a conflict of interest. Although the courts are reluctant to take such drastic measures, experts and their potential conflicts is enough of an issue to have been litigated and discussed as an important ethical … Continued
The jury awarded the plaintiff $4M in a trade secret lawsuit based on the trial court’s decisions on both parties’ expert witness reports and testimony. The parties used expert witnesses in medical device for this case. Plaintiff sued a medical company for, inter alia, trade secret misappropriation and to be named as inventor on patents … Continued
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently heard a patent appeal and decided that where an expert merely offers his client’s opinion as his own, that opinion may be excluded. Plaintiff, the assignee of an expired Japanese patent, appealed in a breach-of-contract suit claiming damages from Defendant’s failure to maintain the patent … Continued
A general contractor sued the City for breach of contract; the plaintiff seeks to recover its losses caused by City’s suspension of public highway project. The City raised several issues on appeal, among these was that the trial court erred in permitting an accountant and a civil engineer to testify as expert witnesses. Contractor won … Continued
Introduction: The first article in this series focused on the general issues of lay memory testimony and the use of expert witnesses in assessing the quality of that evidence in civil cases. This article is more specific and centers on asbestos litigation, with a discussion of how eyewitness/memory testimony has proven itself to be quite fallible and … Continued
Introduction: In the United States, eye witness and “memory” or recall testimony by lay witnesses can be challenged by expert testimony in criminal cases in 45 of the 50 states’ courts. However, recent studies have demonstrated that challenging lay witnesses who are relying on their memory of an event should not be limited to the … Continued
Under New Jersey law, the “net opinion rule” is essentially “a longstanding rule that dictates exclusion of expert testimony that contains ‘bare conclusions,’ unsupported by factual evidence.” Federal District Court in New Jersey addressed the question on “net opinion” in a premise liability case against a retail establishment. Plaintiff fell outside of Defendant’s store and … Continued
District Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania reviewed an expert’s qualification, reliability, and “fit” to determine if the expert witness can be admitted in a case. The judge was presented with motions to exclude the expert testimony of a human resources expert witness in an employment discrimination case. The judge’s analysis focused on the … Continued
Of all the types of litigation, intellectual property (IP) lawsuits deal with some of the most complex material. The factual issues are so technical and complicated that many scholars have requested “expert” judges and/or juries, where only those individuals with substantial IP knowledge would adjudicate cases. Today, those ideas are still merely suggestions, and the … Continued
Several factors are to be considered when a court determines the admissibility of an expert witness. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought action against multi-level marketing business under the Federal Trade Commission Act alleging unfair and deceptive practices for business’s alleged operation of a pyramid scheme. Part of this appeal concerned the admissibility of an … Continued
It is commonly known and accepted that attorneys frequently retain consulting or non-testifying expert witnesses to assist in trying a case. While these experts are in a somewhat different position than testifying experts, the question has arisen as to whether or not attorney-client privilege (and the issues discussed among an attorney, client, and consulting expert) … Continued
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
Of all the types of litigation, intellectual property (IP) lawsuits deal with some of the most complex material. The factual issues are so technical and complicated that many scholars have requested “expert” judges and/or juries, where only those individuals with substantial IP knowledge would adjudicate cases. Today, those ideas are still merely suggestions, and the … Continued
A contract is an instrument to bind a number of parties to an agreement, but contracts are often breached. In the event that a breach occurs, the courts provide various remedies for the non-breaching party. This article discusses myriad damages available under contract law and the role of expert witnesses in assessing damages. Discussion: The … Continued
For most attorneys, the practice of their chosen specialty only requires a law degree and bar admission. Not so for patent attorneys. The United States Patent and Trademark Office requires attorneys to pass an additional test to become a patent attorney. The prerequisites for sitting for the exam are provided in the General Requirements Bulletin … Continued
The economic loss rule, also known as the economic loss doctrine (ELD), is one of the most confusing legal doctrines to comprehend. It originated in tort law, but part of the confusion has arisen from the fact that the doctrine, which is a defense, can come into play in contract cases that also involve tort … Continued
Expert witnesses can be the key to successfully litigating a dispute. Experts are a valuable resource for attorneys and society has high expectations for them in terms of what they can do. Here are three myths about hiring an expert witness, and the truth behind those myths: Myth #1: Hiring An Expert Witness Will Help … Continued
An oil company (MAR) recently brought suit against several defendants, including another energy company, for trade secret misappropriation in violation of the Ohio Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TSA). MAR alleged that defendants improperly used its confidential and proprietary information, including seismic data, to lease land and to drill in Northwest Ohio for oil and natural … Continued
ForensisGroup’s President and CEO, Mercy Steenwyk, was one of the panelists at the Pasadena Bar Association’s Litigation Section Meeting on Oct. 30, 2014. The topic of the meeting was “The 5 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring An Expert Witness.” The event was held at Noor restaurant in Pasadena, California. Other panelists include Dr. Michel … Continued
In a recent patent infringement case, the Plaintiff Programming Company and the Defendant Software Corporation asked the U.S. District Court Judge to rule on the parties’ motions in limine; this opinion focused on Defendant’s motions in limine to exclude the questionable opinion of Plaintiff’s damages expert. In scrutinizing an expert’s principles and methodology, the judge … Continued
The American Intellectual Property Law Association hosted the 2014 Annual Meeting at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC from Oct 22 – Oct 25. More than 1,600 IP law attorneys and professionals attended the conference to get in-depth knowledge on the recent decisions and legal landscapes in IP law. ForensisGroup exhibited at the … Continued
ForensisGroup exhibits at DRI’s 2014 Annual Meeting at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis from Oct 22-24. More than 1,100 defense attorneys from around the nation attend the event to learn from landmark cases and network with professionals in the insurance industry. The event features high profile speakers including David Drummon, Google’s chief legal officer, Chief … Continued
What happens when a defendant tries to use another parties’ expert deposition as new supporting evidence? In a recent case, the judge explains the importance of timeliness to file a motion and the criteria for “newly discovered” evidence. A shipping’s insurance company brought a breach of contract lawsuit against an international shipping company and two … Continued
What happens when a defendant tries to use another parties’ expert deposition as new supporting evidence? In a recent case, the judge explains the importance of timeliness to file a motion and the criteria for “newly discovered” evidence. A shipping’s insurance company brought a breach of contract lawsuit against an international shipping company and two … Continued
Former employees sued a food distributor to recover overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). One of the issues on appeal was the district court’s decision to exclude the employees’ expert report. The appeal court affirmed the decision to exclude the expert report. The case highlights the reasons why an expert report was … Continued
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
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
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
ForensisGroup shows support for the Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA), Los Angeles Chapter. ForensisGroup attended FEWA’s Dinner meeting on September 25th, 2014 at Guidance Software, Inc.’s headquarters in Pasadena, California. Mr. Erik Laykin from Duff & Phelps LLC moderated the panel on the topic of the role of expert witnesses in theft of trade secret … Continued
Rule 26(a)(2)(C) requires the disclosure of non-retained experts to state “the subject matter on which the witness is expected to present evidence under Federal Rule of Evidence 702, 703, or 705” and “a summary of the facts and opinions to which the expert is expected to testify.” The extent of this disclosure and the need … Continued
The Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association (LAIPLA) hosted a Trade Secret Litigation Dinner on September 23, 2014 to offer strategies and industry insight to IP law practitioners in the Los Angeles area. ForensisGroup is proud to be one of the sponsors for the trade secret panel. Tiffany Scurry, the Senior Director of Technology Rights … Continued
ForensisGroup attended the Pasadena Bar Association’s Judges Night Reception on September 19, 2014 to show our appreciation and support for the judiciary. The reception was held at the Old Mill Foundation in San Marino, California. The keynote speaker for the event was the honorable Judge Lance Ito. Attorneys and legal professionals in Pasadena and the … Continued
Earlier this year, a bank that purchased a construction loan sued the seller and its parent company for breach of contract, negligence, willful misconduct, and specific performance. The loan purchaser motioned to strike defendants’ expert’s testimony. Several issues in this case illustrate the importance of an expert witness with adequate preparation and coaching by counsel. The … Continued
It costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Medical billing experts claim that the United States government loses 30 cents out of every dollar earned from medical billing fraud. Medical Billing Fraud, also known as healthcare fraud, is a serious issue that affects American healthcare cost, taxes, and even the health of patients. What is … Continued
The differences between an expert’s methodology and an expert’s opinion were discussed in a case stemming from the conviction of a money manager whose “Ponzi scheme” bilked investors out of $162 million. The money manager ran hedge funds in Florida that collapsed in January 2009 after some investors tried to retrieve their money. Plaintiff alleged … Continued
Recent breakthroughs in monitoring the environment could offer opportunities for governments, plaintiffs, and defendants alike to efficiently and effectively investigate, analyze, and respond to environmental pollution questions. Advances made public in 2011 by Missouri University of Science and Technology brought forward the field of “phytoforensics,” giving environment experts a new set of tools. Similar to … Continued
In Utah, the trial court excluded an expert witness because the attorney missed the expert disclosure deadline in a title insurance case. As a result, the defendant won a motion for summary judgment because of failure to prosecute and the plaintiff’s inability to prove damages. The case highlights the importance of having an expert witness … Continued
According to a May 2014 report, several serious chemical spills and leaks occur in the United States every week. Furthermore, over 134 million Americans live in spill danger zones, surrounding the 3,433 facilities that use or store highly toxic chemicals. Several toxic spills have already occurred this year. One spill of note was in West … Continued
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
A dispute stems from an accident in Utah where a part of Defendant’s tractor trailer got stuck in the highway while the driver was trying to do a U-turn. Plaintiffs A and B crashed into the trailer while it was stuck and sustained injuries. As part of this litigation, a Utah District Judge of the … Continued
Litigation involving the automotive industry is on the rise, and automakers in the U.S. are facing various lawsuits. Increasingly, a product recall by an automotive manufacturer leads to a class action lawsuit. Expert witnesses seem to be the key to class action lawsuits involving the auto industry, and both sides are mapping out plans of … Continued
Perhaps second only to medical malpractice litigation, product liability suits may require the largest amount of expert testimony. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates everything from battery acid to car seats, and it has issued voluntary regulations for dozens of products. However, voluntary guidelines, while useful, do not provide a clear legal standard for … Continued
In the U.S. District Court in Colorado, a battle of the patent experts was the main event in the Colorado courtroom. The district entertained two motions to exclude expert testimony—one from each side against their opponent’s expert concerning obviousness and functionality in a patent infringement action. Plaintiff was an auto parts manufacturing company that made … Continued
In recent case in Georgia, a medical patient and spouse filed a medical malpractice action against a doctor and his cardiology practice. Plaintiffs alleged that he was badly burned by exposure to a high dose of radiation during a cardiac catheterization and intervention procedure performed by the Doctor in 2008. At trial, the jury found … Continued
ForensisGroup is proud to have made the Top 100 List of Women-Owned Businesses of 2014 in the Los Angeles Business Journal. For the last several years, ForensisGroup has been recognized in Los Angeles as one of the top companies, along with other accomplished businesses such as Forever 21 Inc., Panda Restaurant Group, Act 1, and … Continued
When an expert witness testifies and a case is lost, most people would believe, correctly, that the expert does not receive any blame, at least not in the legal sense. In fact, for years, the U.S. has followed a common law doctrine that quite simply did not allow expert witnesses to be the subject of … Continued
In a recent copyright infringement case, the defendant filed a motion to exclude the plaintiff’s expert claiming the software expert only examined 1% of the codes. Judge Ellison explained that the defendants’ argument of the plaintiff’s expert analyzed only 1% of the defendant’s code went to the weight of the report, not its admissibility. The … Continued
Before June of 2014, Florida was one of a few states that applied an older standard of review to expert witness testimony. Prior to its Perez v. Bell South decision, Florida, as well as a handful of other states, used the Frye test to whether expert testimony was scientifically reliable. After Perez, however, any claim … Continued
Like everyone else in the world, ForensisGroup has come down with a severe case of World Cup Fever. That got us thinking: many of our experts are actually involved in the world of soccer! Yes, even a professional expert witness service company like ForensisGroup gets a taste of the World Cup action. How is this … Continued
Being deemed an Expert Witness in today’s legal system is an honor not to be taken lightly. Regardless of your discipline, you have reached gold medal status among your peers. Years of education, training, skill, experience and achievement have propelled you to the forefront of your field, and legal professionals consistently rely on your expert … Continued
ForensisGroup attended the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association’s (LAIPLA) Spring Seminar 2014 as one of the gold sponsors at the event. The seminar was held at the beautiful Ojai Valley Inn in Ojai, CA from June 6th to 8th 2014. The seminar featured panels on patent law, copyright law, trademark law, FRAND, PTAB developments, … Continued
The court can preclude an expert witness or expert report for failure to comply with discovery deadline, but the rule is not absolute. A recent case in Puerto Rico federal court explains how the court must analyze the situation. District Court Judge Daniel R. Dominguez for the District of Puerto Rico was asked to hear … Continued
Forensic accounting is one of the most in-demand expert witness disciplines. A forensic accountant is much more than fact witnesses such as a bookkeeper, the tax preparer, or even the CPA. The forensic accounting expert is a linguist of numbers and narratives. Recent news brings us a portal into the secret world of Swiss bank … Continued
We specialize in finding very hard-to-find experts for patent litigation, product liability, premises liability, and other complex lawsuits. Check out five of our interesting expert requests this month. At ForensisGroup, we are the Expert of Experts. 1. Turbo Charger Expert An attorney wants a highly qualified mechanical engineering expert for a complex product liability case. … Continued
The educational background of an expert witness is one of the considerations involved in the expert selection process. There is a distinction between the quality of education versus the quantity of degrees. While the number of degrees possessed by an expert can certainly be of value, understanding the quality of such degrees is of equal … Continued
The break-up of a small business led to plenty of litigation over a number of issues. The California Court of Appeal reviewed the trial court’s decision to disqualify an attorney because the opposing party claimed to have conveyed confidential information to his expert witness on a prior matter. Dispute arose between a seafood business (“Seafood … Continued
Navigating through the abundance of information contained within an expert’s CV, can be both a difficult and time-consuming process. In addition to prior experience and level or degree of education, there are a variety of other factors that can greatly contribute to the overall level of expertise, such as certifications, licenses, publications, memberships, affiliations, awards, … Continued
The prior work experience of a potential expert witness is perhaps one of the most crucial of considerations. Similar to other assessment processes associated with the selection of an expert, it is necessary to consider prior experience in conjunction with other credentials. Litigators should examine the relevance between an expert witness’ prior experience and the needs presented … Continued
ForensisGroup participates in Flintridge Prep’s Junior Internship Program on May 19, 2014. Two student interns from the local high school shadowed Mercy Steenwyk, President and CEO, and various executives at ForensisGroup. The students gained first hand experience on the daily operations within the best expert witness service company. The interns gained knowledge and experience on … Continued
ForensisGroup attended West Coast Casualty’s Construction Defect Conference (WCCCD) as an exhibitor at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California on May 15th and 16th, 2014,. ForensisGroup is a proud supporter of the Comfort For Charity program at WCCCD. Attendees who contributed to the charity wore sneakers at the event for the cause. The conference covered … Continued
The Illinois Court of Appeals recently reviewed a case on whether or not a fire science expert witness usurped the role of the jury and prejudiced the Plaintiff at trial. This case of potential “jury invasion” stems from a residential fire claim. The Defendant Contractor installed flooring in the insured’s home, which included applying floor … Continued
For people and companies whose values go up and down in tides of public opinion, an expert witness in public relations can be a partner to both the legal team and the crisis management team. Among other things, a public relations expert witness is the behind-the-scenes surveyor of the publicity surrounding cases who assists trial … Continued
ForensisGroup’s President and CEO, Ms. Mercy Steenwyk, was named by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the top five finalists for the CEO of the Year Award at the Women Making a Difference Conference. The Los Angeles Business Journal hosted the event on May 8th, 2014 at the JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE. … Continued
Litigators might use an out-of-state expert witness if there is a lack of local experts available or if they require an expert with specialized expertise to support their case. However, attorneys should be mindful of the state licensure requirements relevant to the expert’s practice. Licensure became an issue in a recent case where the trial … Continued
American parents are turning to the courts to try to secure education reform via lawsuits. Innovative claims are emerging against Common Core, Individualized Education Programs, and even tenure – all in the name of damages caused by public education. Education experts have created the possibility for the claims. As school budgets soared and federal and … Continued
ForensisGroup, the nation’s premier expert witness referral company, is proud to announce its Law Student Essay Competition. This competition is intended to encourage new ideas around issues related to expert witnesses. Participants will write an essay exploring original use-cases about how expert witnesses can help jurors to understand technical issues in complex cases or explore … Continued
This is the fourth and final post in my blog series on challenges with expert witnesses faced by trial lawyers. I saved the best for last. What happens when the opposing party has more money to spend on experts? A series of recent headlines implied the notion that spending more on expert witness fees equates … Continued
This is the third part of a four-part series on challenges we face as trial lawyers working with expert witnesses. The blog series started with measuring the impact of expert witness testimony, then covered eliciting persuasive expert witness testimony. Here is the installment on checking for conflicts with an expert. There are several important factors … Continued
This is the second part of the four-part series on the challenges that trial lawyers face relative to expert witness testimony. Part One was written to help our understanding the impact of expert witness testimony. Part Two will discuss how to define and elicit persuasive testimony. Part Three will look into the conducting conflict check … Continued
The defendants in a recent case were hit with numerous discovery sanctions by the district court, which led to a $413M default judgment based on an expert’s damages calculation. Here’s how it happened: KBP was a Polish company that was going to develop a business park in Poland. The plaintiffs were shareholders in KBP, and … Continued
As a trial lawyer, I spend time reflecting on expert witnesses from various subject matter disciplines to trends to core strategies. For this four-part series, I thought I would share some thoughts about the tougher challenges litigation attorneys face in the presentation of expert witnesses at trial. This blog post, Part One, considers the impact … Continued
ForensisGroup, the nation’s leading expert witness and consulting services company, was featured on the television program Viewpoints with Terry Bradshaw on May 15th, 2013. The segment was broadcast nationally on Discovery Channel Transponder as well as broadcast on several regional cable networks. During the feature, ForensisGroup CEO Mercy Tolentino Steenwyk shed light on the importance … Continued
A well driller brought suit against the defendants to recover money for his well drilling services. The defendants counterclaimed, alleging the plaintiff violated the Idaho Consumer Protection Act (ICPA). One of the defendants met with the plaintiff in June 2007 to discuss drilling a well. At the meeting, they discussed the well location and conditions … Continued
What happens when an amateur nature photographer captures photographic evidence of a biohazard near the water? While the government response is likely to involve panoply of people – and experts in their field – what about the role of an environmental pollution expert witness on site for local residents and environmentalists? Not every circumstance that … Continued
In the book, Provenance, by Laney Salisbury and Aly Suj, the story is a fascinating account of an elaborate art forgery scheme, compiled from various trial archives and witness interviews. It raises some interesting questions around how much of the art in museums and collections is real or fake. How do experts prove authenticity and … Continued
American Jurisprudence states that it is common to use expert witness testimony at zoning board of appeals hearings, and courts have held that an administrative agency such as a zoning board of appeals can’t disregard competent expert testimony and rely on its own knowledge on issues which the board members have no expertise. However, representations of lay witnesses don’t necessarily have to be accepted.
New York District Court looks into the issue of whether or not the plaintiff’s expert witness can testify on lost profits for a new business in a recent case. A new distributor of health supplements and its parent company filed an action in 2009 alleging (1) breach of contract; (2) violation of the Lanham Act … Continued
“FAPE” stands for “Free Appropriate Public Education.” FAPE requires school districts to provide access to general education and to specialized educational services, free of charge, to students with disabilities. Part of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (1990, amended 2004), FAPE provisions give parents and educators a structure to approach modifications and accommodations in … Continued
Imagine that you’re walking through a parking garage and you hear a crack and have only a split second to respond. The sound you hear could be warning sound of 10-ton concrete ceiling panels becoming detached and dropping down on you. This scenario is a real personal injury case. If the victim hires your law … Continued
Circuit Judge N. Randy Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit wrote the opinion of the court and bemoaned the fact that this case required the appellate court to “once again consider the district court’s admission of expert testimony at trial.” The plaintiff worked at a paper mill from … Continued
Certain careers have a title that sounds like an expert – medical doctor, physicist, chemist, and biomedical engineer. By the sounds of it, you know it involves advanced degrees, research, and precision. The biomedical engineer expert witness may be called to consult on products liability cases, particularly those involving medical devices. In these cases, the … Continued
The purpose of the free initial discussion is to determine if and how an expert witness can help you in clarifying the technical and scientific issues, thus giving you the advantage for your case. The initial conversation with experts can help you determine if you have the right expert discipline in mind. The attorney can benefit by gaining better technical knowledge or clarification on the case without obligation.
The length of the initial discussion varies greatly depending on the expert and the type of case involved. Some experts limit the initial phone conversation to 30 minutes while others are more flexible. For example, medical doctors might limit the initial phone call to 15 minutes with an attorney on a personal injury matter. On the other hand, a software engineer expert witness might spend over an hour on the phone with the patent attorney for a major patent infringement case.
An attorney complied with Federal Rules of Evidence, gave disclosure of his expert witness, including any required written report or statement in lieu of a written report, and the case is moving towards a trial date certain.
Unfortunately, his expert witness unexpected passed away. Such a statistically improbable event can, and does, happen. An example is the high profile patent infringement case, Apple v. Samsung, where Apple’s initial damage expert witness passed away.
According to data provided in PWC’s 2012 Patent Litigation Study, there was a decline in median damage award amounts of more than 50% in patent infringement disputes from the period between 2001 to 2005 and the period between 2006 to 2011—from $8.7 million to $4 million, respectively. What is most intriguing about this data is that there has been neither a decline in patent litigation, nor a decline in patent applicants. In fact, both have increased at a substantially similar rate.
A computation of damages by an expert witness that yields a high number might dazzle your client, it might impress the jurors, and it might even become the verdict. But, what if the expert witness testimony doesn’t survive the appeal because it bears no foundation relative to the facts of the case? There are multiple … Continued
Can you tell when the jury is convinced by your argument? According to jury members in the recent Apple v. Samsung trial, it was Apple’s damages expert witness who provided the testimony that put the jury on track to award $290 million in damages in favor of Apple. The jury deliberated for two days before … Continued
Damages for reasonable royalties, in comparison to damages for lost profits, generally correspond to an assumption based upon what the parties would have agreed upon if they had negotiated a royalty amount prior to an infringement. This concept is referred to generally as ‘hypothetical negotiation.’ There are several techniques, both using the hypothetical negotiation approach, as well as other more analytical based approaches, that have been used in prior cases for the calculation of reasonable royalty damages in patent infringement matters, including the 25 percent rule of thumb, Georgia-Pacific factors, and the Nash Bargaining Solution. In recent years, however, the techniques employed by experts in the calculation of royalty damages in patent infringement disputes, have been subject to heightened judicial scrutiny.
Trial preparation materials prepared by or provided to expert were not protected by the work product doctrine according to a recent decision of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Republic of Ecuador filed a petition for subpoenas seeking discovery from an oil company’s environmental expert to defend a judgment in Ecuadorian court. Since the early 1990s, … Continued
As one of the top expert witness services in the nation, ForensisGroup remains committed to monitoring trends in litigation, as well as ensuring that support is available in high-demand areas of expertise. Our leading role as a premier expert witness search firm is directly related to our ability to recruit experts in some of the … Continued
Dec. 12th – Dec 13th, 2013
Compensatory damages in patent infringement cases are generally based upon reasonable royalties, lost profits, price erosion, and in some cases, a combination. Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 284, which provides in part, “Upon finding for the claimant the court shall award the claimant damages adequate to compensate for the infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for the use made of the invention by the infringer, together with interest and costs as fixed by the court.” As such, in cases where a claimant can prove, or elects to prove lost profits, this method will be applied. However, in matters where a claimant cannot prove, or elects not to prove lost profits, compensatory damages can be assessed based upon reasonable royalties.
For more than half a century, the U.S. patent system has been the subject of very little congressional reform. However, with the rise in patent litigation over recent years, the need for system improvement, restructuring, and modification was addressed by Congress in 2011 with the enactment of the Leahy Smith America Invents Act (AIA). Notably absent from such reform, though, was the presence of directorial principles to address issues concerning damage calculations in patent infringement disputes.
When litigating any case requiring the assistance of an expert, it is important to find the right expert as early in the case as possible. The expert will need to prepare for discovery and depositions, and can help the attorney prepare his or her discovery requests and questions for opposing witnesses. In complex cases, sometimes it is a good idea to retain an expert to act not as a witness, but as a consultant to help prepare the case, in addition to hiring an expert witness.
When handling a medical malpractice (or “MedMal”) case, finding the right medical expert should be an attorney’s top priority. Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider is negligent, whether by act or omission, in the provision of treatment or care to a patient. The treatment is considered negligent when it falls below the standard of care that would be exercised by a reasonably prudent medical professional and results in injury or death to the patient. Identifying the standard of care is critical in these cases, so a qualified medical expert witness is the key to proving a medical malpractice case. In fact, some states even require that legal counsel provide a statement of merit before filing a medical malpractice claim on behalf of a client. For these reasons, finding the right medical expert witness should be the first step for a MedMal attorney when taking on a new case.
Land surveyors are licensed in all 50 states in the U.S., but not all states require a survey prior to real estate transactions. Land surveyors work with algebra, calculus, geometry, and trigonometry. An attorney will probably need a land surveyor expert witness in a property dispute case. Land surveyors are required to know the laws … Continued
Nearly every state has provisions included within their Rules of Professional Conduct, which expressly prohibit the use of contingency fees for experts. Even in jurisdictions that have not fully addressed the issue within their Rules of Professional Conduct, implications derived from the Rules of Evidence and Rules of Civil Procedure clearly support an argument against the use of such fees for experts. In addition, case law has long provided that contingency fee agreements for witnesses are against public policy.
With the significant impact an expert witness can have on a case, it is imperative to run a conflict check before an attorney hires an expert witness. The purpose of a conflict check is to ensure that an expert witness can serve a client free from any conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest can prevent an expert witness from committing to a client at all, or could lead to the expert being distracted by another interest or commitment to someone else. Indeed, an expert witness can be disqualified by the court or another party due to a conflict of interest, so conflict checks are crucial before an attorney selects an expert witness for the case.
Expert witnesses spend years acquiring the knowledge, expertise, and skills that make them experts in their fields. As such, it is not surprising that expert witnesses expect to be compensated for their time and knowledge. Some expert witnesses request a retainer or an upfront monetary deposit (sometimes non-refundable) in order to secure their services.
For litigations, a party may obtain discovery by demanding that all parties exchange information about each other’s expert witnesses after the parties in a case set the initial trial date. Designation is essentially naming the expert witness by the retaining party in the case. But, what happens if the case settles shortly after paying the retainer and before the expert has done any work? Is it appropriate for the expert to ask for a designation fee? Is it appropriate to request such fee in the first place? What are the standard practices related to designation fees? Following is an analysis of the pro’s and con’s of expert witness designation fees, as well as a brief overview of common practices related to these fees.
Since the onset of our nation’s mortgage crisis, there has undoubtedly been a rise in securities related litigation involving claims of discriminatory practices in mortgage lending and underwriting based upon misuse of discretionary pricing authority, specifically in the wholesale mortgage market. Many of these actions have been brought forth in the form of class actions. This article explores recent decisions occurring at the class certification stage, and the profound implications such rulings have, and will continue to have, on the manner in which similarly situated class actions are litigated.
On August 23, 2013, ForensisGroup’s CEO Mercy Tolentino Steenwyk was interviewed on Moving America Forward with William Shatner, an in depth television program that airs nationally on television. Expert Witness Referral Firm ForensisGroup featured on Moving America Forward with William Shatner Transcript follows: William Shatner: Welcome to our series Moving America Forward. Each week, we … Continued
Expert Witnesses are the small percentage of individuals who are the best of the best in their respective industries. Under the best of circumstances, a good expert witness can be hard to find, and if a case teeters on that expert witness’ opinion, only the best will do. But for non-continental states like Hawaii and Alaska, finding an expert witness that is both qualified and free of conflicts can be a nearly impossible task given the small populations and geographical isolation.
The founding principles of the Unites States Civil Justice System are grounded upon resolving matters in an efficient manner, while also safeguarding the legally bestowed right in having access to courts through fair and just determinations. Few deny the validity of the notion that there is clearly room for improvement in our judicial system. This topic has been the subject of several studies. This article explores the recommendations of a recent study examining the role of financial experts in civil disputes, through the eyes of those most directly involved.
Being an expert witness requires knowledge, skills, education, experience, and training. Thus, expert witnesses are not always available in the exact location an attorney needs them to be. As a result, attorneys are often forced to hire out-of-state expert witnesses. But, many attorneys are unsure how to compensate such an expert witness for travel expenses.
Generally, the topic of expert witness compensation is a sensitive topic and rarely discussed. There do exist a number of guidelines issued by various professional organizations to which experts belong, but often these are completely voluntary standards. The standards usually are little more specific than what the expert should bill ethically and in a manner that does not jeopardize his or her ability to remain objective, such as having a stake in the outcome of the case. Indeed, many experts are, themselves, reluctant to discuss compensation for what are, perhaps, obvious reasons.
Expert witnesses involvement in litigation is becoming more and more prevalent, while the legal standards for evaluating the admissibility of the science upon which that testimony is based is still as vague as ever. Experts need to understand what goes on in the courtroom, the possible implications of their testimony, and the professional standards to which they are likely to be held. This guide is designed as a brief overview of some concepts the legal professional should follow in order to adequately train and evaluate a potential expert witness.
The goal on cross-examination of the opposing expert witness is not just to ask questions; it is to weaken credibility, reliability, and weight. Many litigators engage in cross-examination with an expert witness. Also note that even if an attorney is proficient in this approach, it may not be the most strategic one.
There are five key questions applicable to any expert witness and reasons why you should ask the opposing expert witness:
1. What materials did you review to form your opinion?
There are two goals in asking this question. First, to challenge whether the expert witness prepared using all available materials, whether supportive or contradictory to his theory of the case. Second, to find out if there were more materials available than was provided to you through discovery. Ideally, the response of the expert witness amounts to as much information in the same format as you were provided. This would put the two of you on an equal footing.
The U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) is being sued to issue the long-delayed rule requiring rear view cameras as a standard feature in new cars. According to Bloomberg, three advocacy groups and two parents are pushing for DOT to enforce the rear-view mirror requirement. The rule was supposed to be issued by the department 2 1/2 … Continued