Articles by Expert Witnesses
Provided by: Benjamin Institute
Few things are worse than asking a returning client how they feel after a session and having them reply: “I don’t know what you did, but my pain is much, much worse.” Every therapist I know sincerely wants to help their clients feel better, whether the treatment is geared toward relaxation or a specific injury or pain. Unfortunately, in my work as an expert witness, I have seen many cases of well-meaning therapists who have seriously injured their clients.
Provided by: David Allen Burgess
From time to time, and attorney will request cellphone activity records from a mobile operator, and those records will show text messages to and from strange numbers. There is a good chance that the person who uses the phone probably never sent or saw these messages. The resulting confusion can be a source of doubt and error, and often used as the basis of an argument, by one party or other, that the owner of the phone was distracted at some critical moment. What follows is a case study of such a message.
Provided by: Context Corporation
The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in the matter of Facebook v Duguid has been perhaps the single most anticipated in the realm of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), at least in the last decade or so, and all over a punctuation mark—a comma, to be exact. I’m not an attorney with a TCPA focus—actually, I’m not an attorney of any sort—but I know a bunch of them, have been retained by more than a few, and read a lot of their opinions, arguments and musings. Not particularly surprising to those of us who work in the TCPA domain or are impacted by it, the published articles, blogs and such are mostly, if not all, written by attorneys in the defendants’ bar. I reckon those in the plaintiffs’ bar like to keep their opinions, musings and strategies to themselves until the litigation process begins. I provided some TCPA background and context in a previous article, TCPA: Facebook v Duguid, but will repeat some of that here to refresh your memory.
Several states are taking the lead from California, Oregon and Illinois by offering state-sponsored retirement plans that encourage or require private sector employers to participate.
Provided by: Dr. Richard J. Stride, Psy.D., MBA, LPC, LMHC
From studies and news after Columbine: “Attackers were as likely to be rich as poor. They are from all ethnic and racial backgrounds (though three-fourths were white). They had intact and broken families, good and bad report cards. A few felt isolated but just as many had a lot of friends. Most were suicidal, but only a few had been diagnosed with mental disorders.” -U.S. Secret Service Study
Provided by: Ee Lin Wan, MD
While electronic medical records have made it easier for healthcare professionals (& lawyers) to review daily progress notes, certain functionality can lead inadvertently to poor care. This is especially given the "cut and paste" functionality that is prevalent in this system.
Expert Analysis of Important Financial and Insurance Issues in the Ever Given Suez Canal Blockage Litigation
Renowned Worldwide Banking and Financial Expert Witness Don Coker examines some important nuances of the litigation that will certainly follow the recent catastrophic Suez Canal blockage. Coverages including cargo insurance, protection and indemnity, business interruption, contingent business interruption, loss of hire, blocking and trapping, and parametric coverage are all issues that certainly will be a part of expert witnesses' damages analyses as insurance claims and litigation go forward.
Provided by: Trace Digital Forensics, LLC
With the recent Van Buren decision, the Supreme Court limited the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and brought it more in line with what security experts would understand to be "hacking". But, what does that mean?
There are several immigration waivers and petitions that individuals can apply for in order to become legal permanent residents in the United States. We have a detailed blog post that goes over the seven immigration cases where you might need a psychological evaluation. One of the most common petitions falls under the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA). VAWA allows a battered immigrant spouse, child, or parent of either gender to file an immigration petition without their abuser’s knowledge. If approved, a VAWA petition lets the applicant work in the United States and become a legal permanent resident (a green card holder). Although the petition includes “women” in the title, men are also able to apply for a petition under this law. The goal of this blog post is to discuss this law in more detail, answer the most common questions we are asked regarding VAWA evaluations, and explain how a VAWA evaluation can help your case.
If you are trying to get a visa or green card but are blocked due to inadmissibility, you can apply for an I-601 or I-601A waiver based on the extreme hardship that a qualified relative will experience if you are not admitted to the United States. Attorneys will often ask applicants (the qualifying relative) to meet with a psychologist for an immigration hardship evaluation. Immigration hardship evaluations document the various hardships the qualifying relative will face if you are deported or if they have to leave the country.
Provided by: Context Corporation
The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in the matter of Facebook v Duguid has been perhaps the single most anticipated in the realm of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), at least in the last decade or so, and all over a punctuation mark—a comma, to be exact. The legal battles over that comma are the stuff of legends and the implications of that decision are considerable, if not monumental. The decision leaves a lot of unanswered questions, however, and even raises a few in the mind of this consultant. I’ll explore those in another article at another time.
Provided by: Vipul Kella, MD MBA FACEP
The post-COVID could present new, unprecedented risks for healthcare providers.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 ("ARPA"), signed into law on March 11, 2021, provides two significant funding relief measures for defined benefit single employer pension plans, as outlined below.
Financially distressed multiemployer pension plans are receiving $86 billion in financial assistance as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) enacted by Congress in March 2021.
Provided by: Dr. Pia Quimson-Guevarra
During a Will contest, a forensic psychiatrist can provide valuable expertise by assessing testamentary capacity, or the testator’s ability to make his/her Will. If the testator lacked testamentary capacity, the Will could be invalidated. A Will is separate from other vehicles that individuals may use to distribute their estate on death, such as a Revocable Trust.
Provided by: DMA Economics
One of the largest employee retirement funds in the country at the time with nearly $1b in assets under management. The fund managers were alleged to have violated their fiduciary duty to maintain proper diversification in the fund by allowing one particular security to make up more than 25% of fund value and up to over 40% of fund value by mid-2015 There were also allegations against the retirement fund managers of failure to prudently divest the security when accounting irregularities became publicly known in late 2015
Provided by: DMA Economics
The issue Mascara falsely labeled as being natural Label claims “Natural” fibers on mascara are alleged and proven to be false Class action filed and DMA Economics is tasked with computing aggregate damages to the class who purchased the mascara at a premium because they believed it was natural.
Leaders in the pension and retirement industry are starting to offer “pooled employer plans” (PEP) to small and medium-sized businesses that want to offer pension benefits to employees. The PEP is a new type of multiple employer plan (MEP), which must be administered by a “pooled plan provider” (PPP).
The "Pooled Employer Plan" (PEP) is a new entrant in the pension and retirement industry. Unrelated small employers can now join with other businesses to offer defined contribution pension plans to employees who may not otherwise benefit from an employer-sponsored plan.
Economic disruption in the first two quarters of 2020, combined with future business uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic, is prompting Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) retirement plan sponsors to review their pension plan management options.
The Multiemployer Insurance Program managed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PGGC) is projected to become insolvent by 2026, according to the PBGC’s recently released 2020 Annual Report.
Provided by: Blue Ocean Global Technology
More than two-thirds of clients are willing to travel farther to reach an attorney that has a solid online reputation with excellent reviews and ratings, instead of visiting a lawyer closer to their home and more convenient to reach, but who has a poor online reputation.
Provided by: Blue Ocean Global Technology
Why does your online reputation matter? Just as most people Google the name of a company prior to doing business with it, the same is done for the individuals we do business with.
Retiree medical benefits are increasingly at risk as cities, counties, states, and corporate benefit plan sponsors seek to reduce the financial stress imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Class Action Litigation: An Expert Witness's In-Depth Analysis and Comments
Renowned Banking and Financial Expert Witness Don Coker lists some of the important nuances of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and explains how some details important in this class action litigation manage to get lost in the weeds. The Act was enacted in 2003 as a revision of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940, and has been modified numerous times since its initial enactment. For lawyers (of which I am not one), you can find the Act at 50 U.S.C. Sections 3901-4043. The Act applies to active duty military, and covers financial items such as credit card interest rates, residential leases and security deposits, mortgage interest rates and foreclosures, life and health insurance, financial contracts and respossessions, storage liens, and default judgments.
Expert Witness Assistance in Business Interruption Insurance Claims Litigation Due to COVID-19 Factors
Renowned Nationwide Banking and Financial Expert Witness for Plaintiffs and Defendants Don Coker explains some of the important nuances of Business Interruption Claims for litigation involving COVID-19 factors, which vary a great deal from case to case. The issues are compounded by many policies being tailored to individual business's needs. Another layer of complexity is added by courts in the various states adding their own varying interpretations to important terms and features of Business Interruption Insurance policies.
What every attorney needs to know about how they function, why they fail, and why someone was injured. Who is at fault, who is to blame, and what the industry standards are that affect the claim?
Expert Opinions on Variable-Rate Demand Obligation Litigation Over Collusion Allegations and Resulting Damages
Renowned Banking, Financial, and Securities expert witness Don Coker - who has served as an Expert for eighteen municipalities, states, and other taxing authorities nationwide, 115 banks, and over 1,000 other clients including the Internal Revenue Service (seven times), and as a trustee of a governmental taxing authority, and a banker and trust department executive that has bought and sold bonds of all types - explains some background and important nuances of municipal bond Variable-Rate Demand Obligations (or Variable-Rate Demand Notes) for litigation.
Gate injuries are often caused by improper design and fabrication. From the very inception of a new gate project, an improperly crafted gate is inherently the beginning of a future serious injury or even deadly claim. By Michael Panish
Michael Panish, Door & Gate Expert Witness outlines the relevance of UL 325 standards (Underwriters Laboratories) for automatic gate operators.
Injuries that result from falling magnetic lock components are common. Mike Panish, Door, Gate & Lock Expert Witness, outlines injury case examples and explains why these locks fall and cause injuries.
Elopement from Facilities - Common Elopement Cases & What Could Have Been Done to Prevent Elopement?
Legal expert, Michael Panish, explains and outlines anti elopement hardware and egress requirements for life safety of long-term care facilities, mental healthcare facilities, dementia wards, psychiatric facilities, and residential care facilities. He describes common elopement cases.
Provided by: Vipul Kella, MD MBA FACEP
The sudden increase in demand for telemedicine services has created new opportunities for fraud and abuse.
Important Industry Standards in Financial Litigation Involving Renegotiating or Modifying a Credit Agreement
Renowned Nationwide Banking and Financial Expert Witness Don Coker explains some of the important nuances of credit agreement renegotiation and modification that can become important issues in financial litigation over the status of lender claims on first-lien collateral.
Retirement plan participants are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in several ways. Last month we wrote about how ERISA retirement plan sponsors are working to maintain compliance and fiduciary obligations while protecting the future security of plan assets. This month we look at how COVID is affecting pension plan participants.
The courts recognize two types of confusion in trademark or trade dress cases: Forward Confusion and Reverse Confusion.
The concept of secondary meaning is straightforward in intellectual property matters. A secondary meaning survey typically seeks to assess whether a “significant” or “substantial part” of the customer class associates a trademark or trade dress with a single source.
§11.493 Sampling/Opinion Surveys Statistical methods can often estimate, to specified levels of accuracy, the characteristics of a “population” or “universe” of events, transactions, attitudes, or opinions by observing those characteristics in a relatively small segment, or sample, of the population.
The following factors courts often consider when determining the admissibility of a Lanham Act survey, to guide its surveys and reports. Specifically, whether the:
Not all survey expert witnesses are equal. Below are five key questions to ask before signing the letter of agreement. A valid and reliable survey can make all the difference to your case.
Experts can help throughout your entire case. Your expert witness can help in many ways, provided they have the right expertise and experience. Experts may be counted on by attorneys throughout the case process: Trial Strategy, Discovery, Depositions, Pre-Trial Preparation, and Trial.
Each of the 13 federal courts of appeal have their own test for evaluating whether a likelihood of confusion exists between two trademarks. Although the tests are not identical, most of them are substantially similar and use many of the same factors. And the factors are non-exclusive.
Is a Trademark Infringement Survey Really Necessary? Yes, according to the John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law. "Courts have continually utilized surveys to show evidence of secondary meaning, generieness, dilution, and functionality in trademark litigation." - The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law, Robert Thornberg.
The U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") recently announced its new approach for determining an Investment Advice Fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") and the Internal Revenue Code ("the Code"). This new approach, announced on June 29, 2020, follows a 2018 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that vacated the Department's 2016 fiduciary rule and its exemptions.
Alcohol-induced blackout is a topic that comes up often in the criminal justice system. It’s not unusual for defendants to have no memory of their behaviors while they were under the influence of alcohol. A common question that arises is “How could have a defendant committed a crime but have no recollection of their actions?” While it’s entirely possible for the defendant to lie about what they do or don’t remember, it’s also possible that they genuinely can’t remember what they did. The goal of this article is to discuss how alcohol can impact memory and explain why a defendant can’t recall events while they were under the influence of alcohol due to an alcohol-induced blackout.
Retirement plan sponsors are coming under increased litigation risk as the number of "excessive fee" cases spreads to smaller funds.
As coronavirus-related workforce reductions increase, employers should be mindful of their reporting obligations to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Provided by: Abed Awad, Esq.
As America marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that guaranteed women the right to vote– in practice it was primarily reserved for white women, we reflect on gender-equitable principles essential to freedom and democracy.
“Courts sometimes make standing law more complicated than it needs to be,” writes Associate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in the Supreme Court’s June 1, 2020 decision on Thole et. al. v. U.S. Bank N.A. et. al.
As employers struggle with the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, many are looking into the possibility of suspending contributions to employee retirement plans that they manage. At the same time, employees who are struggling to make ends meet may be looking into making withdrawals or taking loans from their retirement accounts.