Articles by Expert Witnesses
Five Public Pension Mistakes that Increase Municipal Bankruptcy Risk
Cities and counties across the country are running headlong into the inevitable fact that previously promised pension and retiree health care benefits are insufficiently funded. The Pew Center on the States estimates that the gap between cumulative benefit levels and the funds set aside to pay for them is more than $1 trillion and growing.
How Projects Go Awry
Provided by: Chason Energy, LLC
HVAC Engineering - Over the years, we have observed many cases of building humidity gone wild, with the attendant formation of mold or other moisture damage. Condensation can be the result of actions by the various players in the construction process.
Construction …Risk, Liability and Respondeat Superior
Construction projects involve many parties, who often have competing needs and interests (e.g.: oneself vs. other stakeholders, money, time, features, spec’s, regulatory, and ethics).
Credit Card Processing, Merchant Account and Merchant Agreement Details Important in Credit Card Litigation
Former high-level banking executive, high-level banking regulator, banking consultant to over 75 banks, and renowned nationwide banking expert witness Don Coker explains some of the important nuances of banking litigation involving nationwide industry standard policies, practices and procedures for credit card and debit card processing and merchant accounts.
Bond Insurer Litigation v Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Issuers over Alleged Misrepresentation
Former high-level mortgage banking executive, high-level banking regulator, banking consultant to over 75 banks, and renowned nationwide banking expert witness Don Coker explains some of the important nuances of mortgage banking and securitization litigation involving representations and warranties, repurchase demands, and due diligence nationwide industry standard policies, practices and procedures important in bond insurer litigation.
Understanding the Problem Loan Process in Banking
Provided by: Michael F. Richards
Successful discovery and depositions require an understanding of the problem loan process in banking. Once a bank has designated a loan as a problem, it takes on a new set of regulatory and policy requirements. Problem loans are sometimes also designated as “Workout Loans.” Virtually all problem loans have an adverse classification per regulatory guidelines.
Expert Witness Assistance in Bankruptcy Preference Defense Cases Due to Ordinary Course of Business Payments
Renowned expert witness Don Coker discusses nationwide industry standard practices and procedures in bankruptcy preference defense cases due to payments made in the ordinary course of business from the viewpoint of an expert witness who is a former banker experienced at corporate finance for all types of businesses.
Do You Need a Security Check-up?
Provided by: Thomas J. Lekan Security Consulting LLC
Do You Need a Security Checkup? Properties Magazine, October 2008 - In the days and weeks following September 11, 2001, the attention paid to the security of our buildings was intense, enormous, and even frenzied at times. It seemed there was just not enough time in the day to get every building as secure as possible. Resources, both time and money, flowed into projects designed to get every owned or managed building ready to respond to an emergency or crisis or threat.
What’s it like flying a Boeing B777?
GMR Consulting - Aviation Consultants and Expert Witnesses
Creating World Certainty Via Petroleum Price Stability
The certainty created by a set price for petroleum should tend to create stability in many other sectors of the economy. Certainty in petroleum pricing should lead to certainty in the industrial sector and to a degree of certainty in the world’s financial sectors, namely less volatility for interest rates and other debt instruments. A higher level of certainty in the financial markets and the petrochemical markets should foster an arena for world growth and stability.
Inflation and the Middle Class – 2011 Onwards
Most middle class consumers are facing the concept of hard choices, something the baby boomers have not faced in almost thirty (30) years, based in good part via a combination of government entitlements, tax breaks, subsidies and deficit financing. As most of the “low hanging or easy fruit” has been picked, those who now enjoy life via consumption, namely the middle class are going to realize neither they nor any government can spend their way out difficult financial decisions.
Mortgage Securitization and Foreclosures
One never knows what is going to come out of Congress, as not even Congress truly knows what is going to come out of Congress. Hence, it was a real surprise when Congress tried to extend the concept of home ownership to the lower levels of the overall income earning segment. Subprime lending, namely the granting of mortgage loans to households wherein their total incomes did not qualify for a “standard” or “prime” single family home loan, was clearly an American made “craze”.
The Client's Guide to Law Firm Overbilling
Law firm overbilling - whether described as the euphemistic "bill padding" or simply "billing fraud" - is a serious problem that is seldom discussed and even less frequently addressed. But rare is the legal bill that does not include at least some "padding." In fact, according to the California State Bar, most bills are inflated at least 10-30 percent. This article describes three common ways legal bills are inflated and provides tips to help clients identify problematic billing practices.
Learn About My World of Forensic Investigations
Handwriting and document forensics have been my specialty and passion for 20 years. I continue to be fascinated by this work…no two cases are ever alike! Forensics can be used to help people protect their assets, their reputation, and their peace of mind. My consultations combine handwriting expertise and forensic science in order to find the truth about who wrote, or who didn’t write something suspicious, malicious, libelous or otherwise disturbing.
Public Companies Ask Congress for Pension Funding Relief
Low interest rates mean trouble for savers, especially institutional savers like pension plans. Federal Reserve Board efforts to maintain a low interest rate environment, which are expected to persist through 2014, present a problem for pension plan sponsors who need to fund future health and retirement benefits.
When is a Broker a Common Carrier?
Provided by: David G. Dwinell
Forty percent (40%) of trucking business is brokered (about $300 Billion in 2007). The liability of the broker is in question. One motor carrier hiring another motor carrier is brokering and by far is the majority of the billions of the percentage figure quoted above. Both of these carriers are 100% liable for loss, one to the other.
Preventing complications in patients receiving opioids
Unrecognized respiratory depression on the general medical units, culminating in respiratory arrest or “code blue” is a nightly occurrence at hospitals across the U.S.. A significant portion of these respiratory arrests occur in postoperative patients receiving opioid analgesics and sedatives, which contribute to respiratory depression. Failure to recognize respiratory depression and institute timely resuscitation has led to cardiopulmonary arrest, resulting in anoxic brain injuries and deaths.
Thermonics and Groundwater Exploration
Provided by: Dr. William M. Turner
Traditional methods of groundwater exploration only detect properties of the earth through which water flows. Only Thermonic methods actually measure a property of the water as it exists in the subsurface. Thermonics is the name of a geophysical method of groundwater exploration.
Foreseeability in Premises Security Liability Cases
Provided by: Special Service
The underlying concept in most premises security liability cases is foreseeability. But that concept is not always fully understood. As relates to adequacy and sufficiency of security – the standard by which a business’s security will be measured – foreseeability as defined by most courts in the U.S. (with only a few minor exceptions, most notably Michigan) is a broad concept which is usually determined by a formal assessment of 4 distinct criteria:
Water Rights - What Are They?
Provided by: Dr. William M. Turner
In most states, one cannot divert and use either surface water or ground water without the legal permission to do so. The legal authority to divert and capture water is called a water right. Within the United States it is generally necessary to have the legal right to divert and capture either surface or ground water. The legal right to divert and capture water is called a water right.
Restaurant Sector: Expected 2012 Themes
Provided by: Pacific Management Consulting Group
The Restaurant space can expect an exciting, challenging year. What will be driving influences? US restaurant inventory won’t decline, despite the compelling need for that to happen. Almost 1 million US food and beverage venues mean you can get something to eat almost anywhere. This industry is based on growth, and in the US that is difficult. We don’t feel flat inventory expectations to be a positive driver of same store sales as some have hoped.
Notification of Change or Claims - What it is and Why it is Important
Provided by: William Prettitore, P.E.
In a recent construction dispute between a Developer of upscale urban properties and its General Contractor (GC), I was engaged to provide expert services for a forensic schedule delay analysis resulting in a presentation of the GC’s claims before a contractually-mandated dispute review board (“DRB”). There was approximately $14 million in claims and counterclaims at stake.
Stay Strong: Research Shows Strengthening Equine Core Helps Back Problems
Provided by: Riverbend Equine Services
Imagine a 200-lb man twisting about on the back of a galloping pony and swinging a mallet at a polo ball. The strike is solid and the ball soars down field. He kicks his horse up a gear to keep a claim on it, an impulse bested by the pony who has already hit high drive. The movement may be repeated hundreds of times over a season.It’s a thrill to watch such an athletic partnership but sometimes the thrill is followed by an impulse to call a physical therapist for both horse and rider.
Quality Fade in China
Provided by: Blue Silk Consulting
Quality Fade is the single biggest issue in Chinese manufacturing. Quality Fade, the process of quality degradation over time, is the single biggest issue in low cost manufacturing countries. It happens frequently in China where manufacturing processes are immature and competitive pricing drives the profits to extremely low levels. It also happens in Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh and other low-cost countries.
The Landscape of Broker-Dealer Compliance and Exception Reporting Systems
Provided by: Tilkin Group
The landscape of compliance and exception reporting has changed significantly since 2002. Many brokerage firms were resistant to advancing their compliance and supervision efforts for years based on two factors: that the regulatory “bar” would be raised for firms using advanced compliance systems, and that the data, notes and documentation of the system would be discoverable. As it turns out, both of these facts have come to pass.
Pensions May Take a Hit from National Mortgage Settlement
Pension investors and bond fund managers have expressed some concern about the $26 billion mortgage settlement announced by the U.S. Government and state Attorneys Generals on Thursday, February 8, 2012. The settlement "is cheap for the loan servicers while costly for bond investors including pension funds," according to Pacific Investment Management Co.'s ("PIMCO") Scott Simon as first reported by Bloomberg Business Week.
Police Leaders must Walk the Walk (Police Pursuit Driving)
Published in the Orlando Sentinel "My Word" Column on February 19,2012. Police policies lay the groundwork for the culture of a police department. Police executives must be sure that they are reinforcing the agencies polices and not substituting an underground culture. Police pursuits and police driving in general is dangerous to the public and the police officers. Police leaders must not only examine their policies on a routine basis but should reexamine the practices and customs as well.
Protection Failure Analysis of an Armored Toyota SUV
Provided by: James M. Gannalo - Stria Consulting Group
Using practical shooting reconstruction techniques, the authors successfully determined the cause of a shooting injury in an armored civilian vehicle in Iraq. Determining the reason for the vehicle’s armor failure was considered paramount to address safety concerns for allied military personnel. This information was used to improve safety in vehicles destined for military and civilian service in Iraq and the Afghanistan theatre.
Injury from an Explosion of a Steel Reheat Furnace
A worker was injured when a gas fired furnace exploded. Expert’s Job Assignment: To assist with the case by the plaintiff against any third party equipment suppliers and various contractors.
Death on an Electric Arc Furnace
A welder was killed while doing maintenance on an electrode arm on an electric arc furnace. Expert’s Job Assignment: To assist with the case by the plaintiff widow against a third party industrial company and various contractors.
Injury on a Fork Truck
A worker was injured while working from the uplifted forks of a fork truck. Expert’s Job Assignment: Analyze the accident cause for the insurance company.
Electrocution in a Backyard
A renter was killed when he stepped on a 120 volt supply line feeding a garage. Expert’s Job Assignment: To act on behalf of the widow’s lawsuit.
419 Insurance Welfare Benefit Plans Continue to Get Accountants in Trouble
Popular so-called "419 Insurance Welfare Benefit Plans," sold by most insurance professionals, are getting accountants and their clients into more and more trouble. A CPA who is approached by a client about one of the abusive arrangements and/or situations to be described and discussed in this article must exercise the utmost degree of caution, not only on behalf of the client, but for his/her own good as well.
Abusive Insurance, Welfare Benefit and Retirement Plans
The IRS has various task forces auditing all section 419, section 412(i), and other plans that tend to be abusive. These plans are sold by most insurance agents. The IRS is looking to raise money and is not looking to correct plans or help taxpayers.
Tax Avoidance can Lurk in Employee Benefit Plans
As the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues to crack down on abusive retirement and employee benefit plans, many accountants will almost certainly, though inadvertently, land their clients and themselves in trouble. Two particular types of arrangements top the IRS list of abusive plans: the so-called 419 insurance welfare benefit plan and the 412(i) defined benefit retirement plan.
Corporate Governance Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
Provided by: Moat Associates
SOX: Creating the Public Accounting Oversight Board & Increased Corporate Responsibility- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“the Act”) was passed in July 2002 in response to the rash of real and perceived failures in corporate governance and financial disclosure. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act , also known as Sarbox or SOX, was passed in July 2002 in response to the rash of real and perceived failures in corporate governance and financial disclosure.
Repurchase & Buyback Demands, Representations and Warranties Claims in Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities
Former high-level banking executive, high-level banking regulator, consultant to over 75 banks, and renowned nationwide banking expert witness Don Coker explains some important factors in banking, mortgage banking, and mortgage-backed securities litigation involving repurchase and buyback demands based upon alleged breach of representation and warranty claims contained in the documents creating the business relationship between the mortgage loan originator and the purchasing lender or investor.
Navigating Workers' Compensation Insurance Premium Disputes
Provided by: Arthur J. Levine, Ph.D., J.D., CPCU, ARM
Summary - Workers comp premium disputes can be complex, expensive, protracted, and divisive. They may require the involvement of several administrative and adjudicative bodies, including a rating bureau, one or more state agencies, and courts. Premium disputes also frequently impair or disrupt otherwise desirable business relationships among insurers, brokers, and policyholders. Increased mediation and arbitration to resolve premium disputes would reduce costs and preserve relationships.
Small Business Retirement Plans Fuel Litigation
Small businesses facing audits and potentially huge tax penalties over certain types of retirement plans are filing lawsuits against those who marketed, designed and sold the plans. The 412(i) and 419(e) plans were marketed in the past several years as a way for small business owners to set up retirement or welfare benefits plans while leveraging huge tax savings, but the IRS put them on a list of abusive tax shelters and has more recently focused audits on them.
Don’t Give the IRS Every Last Drop
The chances of an individual being audited have approximately doubled since 2000. So you need to be careful with your tax return. Have you seen the commercials where certain companies advertise that they can settle an IRS debt for “pennies on the dollar?" Usually the offer is too good to be true. Besides, you never want to have the problem in the first place.
Protecting Clients from Fraud, Incompetence, and Scams
This is a story about Bruce Hink and how the IRS fined him $200,000 a year for being in what they called a “listed transaction." Excerpts have been taken from this book about: Bruce Hink, who has given me permission to utilize his name and circumstances, is a perfect example of what the IRS is doing to unsuspecting business owners. What follows is a story about Bruce Hink and how the IRS fined him $200,000 a year for being in what they called a “listed transaction."
Subordination Agreement Nationwide Industry Standard Practices and Procedures Important in Banking Litigation
Former high-level banking executive, high-level banking regulator, banking consultant to over 75 banks worldwide, and renowned nationwide banking expert witness Don Coker explains some of the important nuances of banking nationwide industry standards and practices involving subordination agreements and related litigation.
Municipal Pension Holders at Risk as Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Filings Increase
Jefferson County, Alabama filed the biggest Chapter 9 bankruptcy in United States history on November 9, 2011. The $4 billion filing covering the city of Birmingham and 658,000 county residents far surpassed Orange County, California, the previous record holder, which filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 1994 with $1.7 in debt.
Get Your Tree off My Property
Provided by: Rappoport Development Consulting Services LLC
Jeremy Rappoport, President of Rappoport Development Consulting Services LLC discusses his most frequent tree consulting issues, tree root and canopy encroaching neighboring properties. The article examines tree selection and why property line encroachment and tree risk assessment are becoming increasingly frequent legal issues.
Forensic Handwriting Examination - Selecting Your Expert
Provided by: Global Forensic Services, LLC
Forensic handwriting examiners or questioned document examiners are typically sought by investigators or private citizens when a question arises regarding the authenticity of a particular writing. They can also be sought out by attorneys preparing cases for settlement or trials. How should you address the level of competence of a forensic handwriting examiner before asking for their assistance? Once a request is made for an examiner to begin analysis, it is too late to rethink the submission.
In the Trenches…The Producers Part 2 – The Shifting Landscape
Continuing the dialogue with producers Jonathan Dana and Cindy Cowan, let’s take a look at the shifting landscape of film financing and distribution.
In the Trenches…The Producers Part 1 – Independent Film Production
I often receive inquiries from around the world on how best to go about obtaining film financing. Projects come in all shapes and sizes – a wide array of genres, varying budgets and an assortment of experience levels. In every case, the biggest questions are: How do I put together financing for a movie? What elements need to be attached? Where does the money come from?
What the AMR Bankruptcy Means to American Airlines Pension Plans
American Airlines employees could lose a billion dollars in pension benefits if American terminates their pension plans as a result of the company’s November 29, 2011 bankruptcy filing, based on estimates by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
Writers, Producers, Directors — The DEAL
In addition to film financing, the writer, producer and director deals are a major factor in getting films produced − each deal differs depending on the experience and clout of the players involved. These deals will in turn have a huge impact on back end money that may or may not be available for the producer.
Economic Damage Claims in the Entertainment Industry – Speculative or Beyond a Reasonable Certainty
The large majority of lawsuits that involve individuals in the entertainment industry revolve around lost wages or fees. These claims often allege millions of dollars in lost earnings depending on the role the person plays within the industry. Given the exorbitant amount that some actors, writers, directors and producers earn, it’s easy to understand how often these claims get made. However, the operative word in this scenario is some.