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Articles by Expert Witnesses


ERISA Plan Sponsors Are Advised of Increased Penalties

Employers who sponsor pension and benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act will soon be subject to an increase in penalty fees for certain reporting violations.
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Removal of a Normal Kidney Can Be Deemed "Standard-of-Care"

Medical malpractice is defined by Merriam-Webster as careless, wrong, or illegal actions by a doctor who is performing a professional duty. Most medical-legal cases are settled for a variety of reasons, however, those cases that make it to a court of law rely on experts to teach, train, and educate the jury. The importance of choosing the right medical-legal expert can turn a sure victory for the plaintiff into a common sense verdict for the provider.

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Proposes Merger Rule for Multiemployer Pension Plans

The MPRA of 2014 may be changed under a proposal by the PBGC to allow for plan mergers and transfers between multiemployer plans. The proposed changes fall under title IV of the ERISA of 1974.

Retiree Health Care Benefits Continue to Decline

According to recent industry reports, employer-based retirement health care insurance benefits continue to decline. It is becoming less common for retirees on Medicare to be able to rely on private employer-based retirement health care benefits for supplemental health coverage.

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. Changes ERISA 4010 Reporting Requirements

Under a new final rule issued by the PBGC, a greater number of benefit plan sponsors may have to perform Section 4010 reporting, which requires certain underfunded plans to report identifying, financial and actuarial information, because they no longer qualify for reporting waivers.

Stick to the Basics: First, Do No Harm

I was recently involved in a medical malpractice case that went against the physician. In this particular case, however, lack of communication and common sense led to a favorable plaintiff’s verdict.

A Review of Oil and Gas Pipelines Corrosion Risk Assessment

Pipelines are among the most common means used for transporting hazardous gases and liquids in the United States. However, underground pipelines are aging and are at risk of corrosion failure due to coating degradation/disbondment, pitting corrosion and stress corrosion cracking.

Banking and Financial Expert Witness’s Insights on Systemically Important Financial Institution Litigation

Provided by: Don Coker
Renowned banking and finance expert witness consultant Don Coker calls on his experiences as a consultant and expert witness in high-stakes banking and financial institution litigation for over twenty years for clients including the U.S. Government, the IRS, financial services companies including over 105 banks, and others as he defines and explains some of the factors and important nuances that will be important in financial litigation that results from the recent MetLife SIFI court decision.

The Value Of A Security Consultant

Provided by: Special Service
A security consultant can make an objective evaluation of an organization's security environment, even - and perhaps especially - when the organization already has an established security program. An independent evaluation will assure that the forest is not being overshadowed by the trees.

Legal Translation and Communicating Occupational Hazards to Foreign Language Speakers

Legal document translation, deposition translators, and legal interpreting play an important role in the cases dealing with employees who speak a foreign language and the various situations that arise in a multi-linguistic workplace.

Expert Witness in Personal Injury Cases

Provided by HG.org
Many personal injury attorneys retain the services of an expert witness. These witnesses can provide detailed information that may help prove their side of the case. However, accident victims must determine whether the additional cost of hiring an expert will be justified.

Multiemployer Pension Plans Get IRS Guidance on Suspension of Benefits

The IRS issued a proposed ruling titled, “Additional Limitation on Suspension of Benefits Applicable to Certain Pension Plans under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014,” on February 11, 2016. The MPRA relates to multiemployer defined benefit pension plans.

Why Legal Translations of Multilingual Contracts Are Important for Businesses

Without proper legal document translations and certified translation services businesses that don’t follow foreign language contract translation laws can run into legal woes. It is very important for businesses to use professional interpreting and translation services when dealing with foreign language speaking consumers, especially when contracts are involved.

What Attorneys Need to Know About Legal Translators and Legal Interpreters

Case law, court and public may use the words “translator” and “interpreter” interchangeably. But savvy attorneys who understand that these words refer to the members of two different professions, would be able to work with translators and interpreters more effectively.

Legal Translation Services for Language Accommodation in Workplace

Company Ordered to Pay $20,000 in Medical Bills in Worker’s Compensation Claim for Minor Muscle Strain Treated as a Heart Attack Due to Lack of an Interpreter. And while it is important to accommodate foreign language speakers in the workplace this case contains important lessons for the attorneys regarding the use of professional legal translators and interpreters to shield the employer from liability in similar cases.

Low Energy Door Systems - A Basic Primer for Your Next Door Injury Case

Provided by: Michael Panish
How low energy doors work. Low energy doors vs high energy doors. Intended Usage.

Commercial Overhead Doors - Worker Injury Claims

Provided by: Michael Panish
A worker is performing a duty near the ceiling within the path of travel of an automatic door. Without warning, the door begins to move and the top edge of the door collides with the worker or what he is standing on, causing the worker to fall to the ground. This article addresses many case scenarios and responsibility.

Popular Social Security Loopholes Closed in Recent Budget Act

Known as “unintended loopholes,” Social Security claims strategies, that gained popularity among married couples, are being eliminated under the recent Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

Are E-books Ruining Your Sleep?

With the holiday season behind us, hopefully you are all using those fun and interesting electronic gifts you received. One of those gifts might be a tablet or e-reader, but beware it could have an adverse effect on your sleep cycle. Specifically, backlit e-readers and tablets should not be used before going to sleep, says a new study from the Cambridge, Massachusetts based Harvard Medical School.

Single Employer Pension Fees to Increase Following 2015 Budget Act

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was signed into law on November 1, 2015. The primary intent of the law was to increase federal spending limits and raise the debt ceiling, but the BBA also included two other important pension provisions.

Two Fortune 500 Companies to Freeze Pensions

Two Fortune 500 companies recently announced that they would halt their defined benefit pension programs in favor of moving toward defined contribution plans to reduce corporate liability and cut down on costs.

Strong Debate Surrounds Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) in April 2015 released a revision to its fiduciary rules intended to close a perceived loophole that allows for potential conflicts of interest between a retirement investment adviser and plan participants.

Multiemployer Pension Plan Benefit Reductions to be Reviewed

In part of the effort of the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 that was enacted last year, The U.S. Department of Treasury recently designated a Special Master to head an effort to review distressed multiemployer pension plans that are facing funding shortfalls.

Central States Multiemployer Pension Plan Seeks Benefit Reductions

The Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA) was signed into law December 2014. A key component of this legislation allows multiemployer pension plans that are in “critical and declining status” to apply for a temporary or permanent reduction of benefits to prevent plan insolvency.

Will Fitbit and Crowdsourcing Change Personal Injury Cases?

One of the main items taken into account when considering how to price a settlement for a personal injury case is: what is the economic value of loss of ability to work or lead a normal life? In many cases it’s based on conjecture. In terms of working it can be a simple calculation of dollars per hour of work missed sometimes a little extra, but how can you quantify compensation for someone who seems relatively normal?

Filmmaker Malpractice Insurance

Errors and Omissions Insurance (also known as E&O Insurance) is malpractice insurance for filmmakers. These policies protect against claims of defamation, invasion of privacy, infringement of the right of publicity, idea and story theft, copyright infringement, plagiarism, piracy, and the unauthorized use of names and trademarks. Some policies cover unfair competition and failure to provide screen credit.

Chain of Title

Many filmmakers have a vague understanding of the term “Chain of Title.” Often they don’t focus on this phrase until production has been completed and a distributor expresses interest in their film. They quickly discover that they must secure E&O insurance in order to make delivery to the distributor, and they cannot obtain such insurance without having a clean chain of title. So, what exactly is chain of title?

Goodbye Google Glass, We Never Knew You

It looks like the new and highly publicized Google Glass wearable device is sliding down into the depths of failed technology. It joins these other failed products like the Segway, which failed due to low consumer demand and the Hewlett Packard TouchPad which failed due to incompatibility.

Retiree Medical Benefits Face Changes Due to De-Risking and Cost Control Efforts

A recent mortality study conducted by the non-profit Society of Actuaries indicates that life expectancies for both women and men have increased by roughly two years since 2000. To be precise, the study showed that the average 65-year-old woman in the U.S. is expected to live 88.8 years, up from 86.4 in 2000. Life expectancy for the average U.S. man age 65 is now 86.6 years, up from 84.6 in 2000.

Data Breaches & Education Are Increasing

The Ponemon Institute, headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, recently released their data breach survey which surveyed over 500 executives in the United States about how they think their company would respond to a breach. Last year when they completed this survey, about 61 percent of companies said they had data breach response plans in place for such an event. This year that percentage has increased to 73 percent.

Social Media Forensics Expert Witness: Anonymous Facebook Usage

Facebook has become a veritable giant in the world of social media. Although they have not been quite as successful with their recent IPO as originally planned, they still raked in over $3 billion in revenue this past year, not bad for a website. Now they are taking their service one step further in an unprecedented move to an anonymous social media.

FINRA Code of Arbitration and Discovery Guidelines

FINRA encourages and emphasizes cooperation from both parties at all times regarding discovery requests.

Trees Damaging Los Angeles Infrastructure, Who Is Responsible for Liability and Repairs?

The City of Los Angeles estimates there are over ten thousand miles of damaged sidewalks within the city limits, 40% of the damage caused by street trees. Many of the tree were planted in city parkways. After generations of neglect, the mounting number of complaints and payouts for litigation has forced the City to address the problem. Who is responsible for repair and maintenance caused by the trees and how will the City proceed?

Helmets and Head Injury Protection

A forensic examination of a collision-involved helmet is an important part of many biomechanical head injury investigations. The most common helmets encountered in forensic investigations are motorcycle, bicycle and sport helmets. The following is a brief primer on some of the relevant issues for head injury and helmet investigations.

Ninth Circuit Invites More Qui Tam Cases

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has opened the door significantly wider for those who wish to pursue qui tam False Claims Act suits by reversing a dismissal of two such matters. Ruling en banc in United States ex rel. Hartpence v. Kinetic Concepts, Inc., the Ninth Circuit has removed a prior restriction that any prior public disclosure must have originated from the whistleblower as well.

Cell Phone Triangulation – The Basics

Cell phones have an amazing amount of data on them:pictures, call logs, contacts, text messages, etc. One of the things that most modern cell phones have is GPS (Global Positioning System) data. GPS information allows one (or anyone else for that matter) to find out where you are in the world. But what if you don’t have GPS? Your phone still knows where you are, albeit only roughly.

Worry About IT Personnel First, Then Worry About Hackers

In late 2014, the Municipal Bond Insurance Association experienced a breach in security when a large amount of customer data was found through a Google search. The UCLA Health System had a similar issue which involved patient communication records. The Pentagon Defense Information Systems Agency had a database with contractor data which was exposed.

Banking and Mortgage Industry Standard and Practices Useful in Loan Index Change Litigation

Provided by: Don Coker
A look at some of the important nuances of banking and mortgage banking litigation involving the mechanics of loan index changes.

Decoding SWIFT, Fedwire & CHIPS Wire Transfer Messages for Banking Funds Transfer Litigation

Provided by: Don Coker
Many banking and financial lawsuits hinge on what is stated in Fedwire, SWIFT, and CHIPS wire transfer messages moving funds into and out of bank accounts.

Department of Labor Issues Proposed Fiduciary Rule on Investment Advice

Americans’ retirement savings in both traditional defined benefit pension plans and individual account balance plans, such as 401(k) programs have been protected by the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) since 1974.

Industry Standards for Loan Participation Litigation

Provided by: Don Coker
As a lender that has sold and bought many loan participations, and as a banking regulator that has had the job of making sense of and straightening out many loan participations that have gone bad, I have experienced just about everything that exists involving loan participations.

Bank Trustee Fiduciary Duties in Securities and Mortgage Litigation Cases

Provided by: Don Coker
An example and discussion of a report for a recent Bank Trustee fiduciary duty case involving complex mortgage and securities issues.

Four Common Computer Security Myths

We’ve all heard them, those little snippets of information that you heard from a friend who got it from a friend of a friend of a friend.Let us separate a little fact from fiction once and for all.

Why Should I be Concerned About Cyber Security?

In an increasingly cyber-world, many experts believe that the United States is not prepared for a sophisticated cyber-attack. Every day we get closer to a potential cyber disaster.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Drone Practice Groups Popping up Across the Country

While Amazon is working to develop “Prime Air”, the FAA and other groups battle over the use of Drones. Prime Air’s goal is to deliver products to Amazon’s customers within 30 minutes of the product being ordered. Meanwhile,the Federal Aviation Administration is not expected to establish final rules for commercial drone use until late 2015.

Apple Has a Kill Command, Soon Google & Microsoft Will

California is putting pressure on cell phone manufacturers to integrate a “Kill” function into their cell phone operating systems (OS). It appears that the pressure from State and Federal law enforcement officials is working on Google and Microsoft.

Using Captive Insurance Companies for Savings

Small companies have been copying a method to control insurance costs and reduce taxes that used to be the domain of large businesses: setting up their own insurance companies to provide coverage when they think that outside insurers are charging too much.

The IRS has Turned your Accountant into their Policeman

Every business owner thinks he pays too much in taxes, and in reality, most actually do. These days your accountant has to "play it safe". This is not reducing your tax bill.

Large Pension Funds Increase Bond Investments

Defined-benefit pension plan sponsors struggled to fund their pension obligations in the wake of stock market declines after the Great Recession of 2008. Recently, a trend toward bond investments is emerging as major U.S. employers seek to reduce volatility and the associated vulnerability to market swings.

IRS Criminal Investigation Department Audits Section 79, Captive Insurance, 412i and 419 Scams

IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) has developed a nationally coordinated program to combat these abusive tax schemes. CI's primary focus is on the identification and investigation of the tax scheme promoters as well as those who play a substantial or integral role in facilitating, aiding, assisting, or furthering the abusive tax scheme, such as accountants or lawyers. Just as important is the investigation of investors who knowingly participate in abusive tax schemes.


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