Expertise DescriptionI have over 35 years experience in the Food and Beverage industries. My expertise includes consulting on strategy, competition, finance and valuations, mergers & acquisitions, production, and marketing & sales, as well as organization and systems, including distribution, and legislation, regulatory enforcement, antitrust and litigation. My expertise also covers international trade, legislation and regulatory matter, agricultural production, commodity trading, marketing, sales, product testing, research, ingredients, flavors, and sweeteners. My expert witness work includes contractual disputes; Lanham Act violations; identification and qualification of industry standards, customs and practices; regulatory and statutory challenges involving pricing, sales promotion and competitive policies and practices; antitrust; brand, company and asset evaluations. My expertise also includes intellectual property complaints, including patent, trademark and trade dress infringement; unfair competition; false advertising and misrepresentations; consumer injury class action suits; supplier/distributor terminations and compensation; product defects, manufacturing negligence and liability; and bankruptcy asset valuations and directed sales. I have additional experience with damage analysis, including the preparation of damage reports for court submission. I have more than 20 years expert witness experience with consultations, deposition, and courtroom testimony.
Areas of Expertise
My expert witness experience includes Intellectual property disputes; Trademarks, trade dress, and patents; Competitive and contractual disputes; Business valuation; Lost profits and damages; Class action injury; Regulatory, licensing and statutory challenges; Product liability; Fiduciary misconduct; Wrongful termination; Bankruptcy proceedings.
I do a substantial amount of brand and intellectual property work in the beverage segment. I have assisted Coca-Cola on litigation numerous times over the past 30 years. I often become involved in valuations, for both M&A and legal disputes.
I deal extensively on relationships between suppliers and distributors. As an advisor, I work on agreements with the parties, reviewing obligations and how business is actually carried out, particularly when expectations are not met and disputes arise.
I help setup distribution systems for suppliers. I have consulted with distributors. We also advise on brands and their value in the marketplace, in distribution territories. This involves the economics of both marketing and distribution, sales assets, goals and objectives, incentives, promotions, retailer relationships, performance on the street, etc. We have done this not only for brand and distribution clients in food and beverage, but also in litigation in which I have personally served as an expert witness.
I can certainly assist on what I surmise might be helpful, on issues as these: in the beverage industry, what are normal expectations regarding rights and obligations when notification of trade secrets are made; how one generally verifies trade secret claims; whether claims of secrets are enforceable and financial implications when disputed, industry practice for utilization of secrets, etc. In other words, I can offer professional analysis and opinion on industry practice and the intellectual property / contractual issues.
Just over a year ago I did an expert witness assignment on a case involving Safeway, using strong arm competitive tactics to close down a substantial independent supermarket and dominate a geographical area. I’d be happy to speak to your client, to discuss how we approach unfair competition in the supermarket industry. Coincidentally I have worked with legal counsel on an anticompetitive supermarket matter in Virginia. And, you may want to mention my having worked for the Department of Justice to advise on competitive legal matters, plus my appearance as a competition expert before the Federal Trade Commission.
One of the main areas of my practice is intellectual property, focusing on false advertising and Lanham claims. I have done numerous expert assignments for major companies as Coke, Monster, PepsiCo. I have testified as an expert in Federal Court and as mentioned earlier, have served as an expert on a matter tried in Virginia. Some of my work for the DOJ centered on advertising issues.
Awards & Affiliation
Partial List of Consulting Expert Witness Cases