Forensic, General & Medical
Expert Witnesses

Articles by Expert Witnesses


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.

Abusive Tax Shelters again on the IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for the 2015 Filing Season

"The IRS is committed to stopping complex tax avoidance schemes and the people who create and sell them," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "The vast majority of taxpayers pay their fair share, and we are warning everyone to watch out for people peddling tax shelters that sound too good to be true.”

Delaware Adopts Law Allowing Social Media Accounts to be Inherited

Recently, Delaware became the first state to enact a law that ensures families’ rights to access the digital assets of loved ones during incapacitation or after death.

Why Electronic Medical Records are Attractive to Hackers

Part of our Forensics practice at Evidence Solutions,Inc. includes Electronic Medical Record (EMR) / Electronic Health Record (EHR) forensics. We take special interest in finding out about hacking events that affect Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Systems.

Ten Ways to Effectively Manage Outside Counsel Spending

Even though the post-recession darkness has been illuminated by the Dow-Jones surpassing 18,000, the pressure on in-house counsel to manage and control the efficiency, predictability and cost effectiveness in the delivery of legal services has not lessened. The good news for in-house counsel is that over the past seven years or so there has been a dramatic shift in the relationship from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market and there is now a fiercely competitive market for legal services.

Three Big Data Breaches Announced

These three significant breaches highlight just how vulnerable U.S. private networks are to black hat hacker threats. The massive data breach of Target in the last quarter of 2013 generated tremendous concern for PII. Despite all the attention and concern generated by the massive data breaches of the last year, many companies still appear unprepared to detect and mitigate network intrusions.

Copy-and-Paste Creates Inaccurate Electronic Medical Records (EMR)

Federal officials say the copy-and-paste features common to computers which are used to enter Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) invite fraud. Merely copying and pasting another patient’s clinical notes can be considered fraud. The Federal Government believes there is a need to reduce the healthcare provider’s ability to duplicate notes.

Five Questions You Should Always Ask Any Financial Advisor

The vast majority of the world's liquid investable wealth is in the hands of investment fiduciaries, and the success or failure of investment fiduciaries can have a material impact on the fiscal health of any country.

7 More Travel Scams to be Aware Of

As you travel keep the following scams in mind:

Due Diligence and Merger & Acquisition Litigation

An insider's understanding of the processes and objectives of the initial due diligence communications between the parties can help unravel later disputes in business transactions.

Preparation and Growth are Keys in New Corporate Finance Deals

Companies seeking to close new transactions with commercial banks, private equity firms, hedge funds, or investment banks will do well to consider advance preparation in a few key areas.

Beware of these 7 Travel Scams

As you travel keep the following scams in mind:

Structured Finance and Commercial Banks as Conduits

Over the past ten to fifteen years, the role of commercial banks has shifted dramatically where they have migrated into collateralized 'structured finance' loan portfolio products, including home mortgage loans, for sale into the securities markets. This article addresses this market phenomenon.

Codes and Standards Related to Safe Stairway Design

According to the National Safety Council statistics, falls are the second leading cause of accidents in the U.S., second only to motor vehicle accidents. While many falls occur as the result of a “slippery” floor, many falls also occur on stairways, both within the home and in commercial locations.

How to Beef Up Your Travel Security and Stay Safe This Summer

One of our experts was notified by a friend that her laptop had disappeared at an airport security screening checkpoint. Never to be seen again. Yikes! It is a good reminder we need to be extra vigilant while traveling.

Trends in Technology 2014

2014 was certainly a year to be remembered, from politics to the people who were born and died, it will be a difficult year to forget. From a technology standpoint, it is also nothing to shake a stick at. The ever anticipated 2014 Internet Trends report from Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers (KPCB) a venture capital firm located in Menlo Park, California in Silicon Valley, was released in late May of 2014.

Pension Annuitization Continues in De-Risking Trend

Pension de-risking through annuitization continues to be a desirable option for plan sponsors looking to reduce or eliminate their risk for current and future liabilities. Kimberly-Clark Corp., the latest in a string of companies taking this approach, plans to reduce its projected pension benefit obligation by transferring payment responsibility for retirement pension benefits to two U.S. insurers.

Mission, Methodology & Ethical Duty of Independent Forensic Psychiatric Experts Contrast with Treating Doctors

The mission of the forensic psychiatric expert is not the alleviation of suffering but rather the determination, as accurately as possible, of what is objectively true, assuming a professionally skeptical point of view and seeking firm evidence to support any conclusions while always considering alternative hypotheses.

Treating Clinician v. Independent Forensic Psychiatric Expert: Wearing Two Hats?

The opinions of a forensic psychiatrist must be firmly grounded in thorough clinical training combined with substantial experience. Nevertheless, the roles of psychiatric clinicians and forensic psychiatric experts are widely disparate.

What is the Duty and Standard of Care for Landscape and Tree Care Contractors

Landscape and tree contractors may not realize their potential liability for work performed for a client. A particular problem is ignoring field conditions. Perhaps the contractor is unaware of their duty of care to avoid acts or omissions that would be likely to harm others. This article examines the duty of care for landscape, maintenance and tree care contractors and how they can satisfy the industry standard of care for field issues and repairs.

Data Breach Laws Across the United States & its Territories

Shortly after Target’s massive data breach in December of 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement encouraging the United States Congress to pass a federal law which would become the standard for data breach notification. "This would empower the American people to protect themselves if they are at risk of identity theft," Holder said in the statement.

The Use of Forensic Psychiatry in Catastrophic Injury and Multi-Party Litigation

Catastrophic events will not cause the same emotional response or injury to occur among all persons who experience the same or similar events. Forensic psychiatric examinations including psychological testing early in the process can help validate or disprove plaintiffs’ claims.

Cheerleading Uniforms and Copyright Separability

The application of copyrights to clothing.

P.F. Changs: "Credit Cards Stolen"

On June 13, 2014, P.F. Changs, based in Phoenix Arizona, released a statement saying they had experienced a breach involving data from their customers credit and debit cards used at their 403 location in the U.S. (including P.F. Changs and Pei Wei). he statement said the time frame in which credit card information was stolen was between March and May of 2014.

U.S. Supreme Court Directs Lower Court to Revisit M&G Polymers Case Terminating Free Retiree Health Benefits

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court appears to have sided with a chemical company in a case where union retirees were fighting to keep their health benefits. By their ruling, the justices reversed an earlier appeals court decision which favored employees and said the benefits had vested for life.


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