Articles by Expert Witnesses
State Pension Plan Rates of Return under Review
More than half of state pension plans use a rate of return assumption of 8 percent, according to a 2011 PBS report. While the assumed rate of return may sound like an academic exercise, it influences billions of dollars in taxpayer expenses when applied to the future funding requirements of pensions and benefits for retired school teachers, fire fighters, police officers and other public employees.
MF Global, Securities, and Commodities Firms' Industry Standard Fiduciary Duty to Safeguard Clients' Funds
Former high-level financial executive and governmental financial institution regulator, veteran expert witness called on in over 500 cases, expert consultant to over 75 banks worldwide, and expert witness consultant in the Refco case Don Coker explains some of the important nuances of litigation involving fiduciary duties to safeguard client funds and keep them separate from the investment management firm’s operating funds.
Naked Licensing: Not as Rare as One May Think
Provided by: Antonio R. Sarabia II
Published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal November 9, 2011.
Declaring Muslim Marriage Void Will Have Ruinous Effect on Wives
New Jersey Law Journal, November 20, 2006 Dear Editor: The Appellate Division's ruling, in Yaghoubinejad v. Haghighi, 384 N.J.Super. 339 (App. Div. 2006), declaring a Muslim marriage "absolutely void" when entered into without a state marriage license, will cause inequity to women in New Jersey.
Oklahoma Amendment is Unconstitutional
The National Law Journal, November 15, 2010 On Election Day, the Oklahoma voters passed an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that provides that the "Courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the Court shall not consider International law or Sharia law," dictates the amendment.
When Custody Disputes Go Global
New Jersey Law Journal, August 7, 2000 The rapid globalization of the world economy has facilitated massive migration among nations. This flux has produced an ever-increasing number of marriages among people from different countries. One of the resulting corollaries is the transformation of otherwise simple custody disputes into jurisdictionally complex international quagmires.
Remove Remarriage Barriers for Muslim, Jewish Women
New Jersey Law Journal April 9, 2009
Religion-Based Claim in Abuse Case Wisely Pierced by Appeals Court
New Jersey Law Journal, September 20, 2010 On its face, a case working through New Jersey's courts would seem to pit a defendant's religious beliefs against the state's law against domestic violence. Fortunately, the Appellate Division has seen through that argument and reversed the denial of a restraining order.
Attorney-Client Sexual Relations - The Journal of the Legal Profession
Copyright (c) 1997 The Journal of the Legal Profession The Journal of the Legal Profession; 22 J. Legal Prof. 131 1997/1998 Attorney-Client Sexual Relations
Attorney-Client Sex Should Always Be Off Limits
New Jersey Law Journal, March 13, 2000 The issue of attorney-client sex has come under heightened scrutiny by courts and state bar associations in the past several years.
Beware of International Service of Process
If an attorney representing an American litigant seeking to institute an action against a foreign defendant is not very cautious in the method of service used to serve the foreign defendant, the result could be vacation and dismissal years after judgment.
Abu Zahar: Appellate Division Declines to Adopt a Bright-Line Rule Prohibiting Out-of-Country Visitation
Often fueled by intense parental sentiments, custody disputes rank high among the fiercest of legal battles known to jurisprudence. Corollary issues concerning parenting time and post-divorce travel abroad with a child have gained increasing judicial scrutiny in an ever-changing complex and divisive world.
Court Enforces Mahr Provision in Muslim Marriage Contract
Muslim marriage contracts include a provision called mahr, which American courts have mis-construed to be prenuptial agreements. Recently, the New Jersey Superior Court, in Odatalla v. Odatalla, Docket No. FM-16-366-01 (Ch. Div. June 24, 2002), properly used a simple contract approach to resolve a dispute over a mahr. This approach is the most consistent with the charac-ter of mahr under Islamic law and with American notions of equity and justice.
Hybrid Pension Plans Gain Popularity
An employer-sponsored retirement plan that offers the features of both a defined contribution plan and a defined benefit pension plan is known as a hybrid pension plan. This article evaluates the leading types of hybrid plans, the regulatory basis for pension plans, common concerns, and the future outlook for hybrid plans.
Can Real Estate Agents Explain the Contract?
Unfortunately for most, the answer is no.
The Petroleum Matter or Mess?
Will the elevated cost of petroleum will turn out to be a blessing or a curse for the United States, especially the nations middle class? Its effects can be broken down into three major categories: direct, indirect and subsequential...
Six Expert Witnesses Banned from Testifying
Provided by: Advise & Consult, Inc.
I was very concerned and shocked today, when I read that on August 23, 2011 the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an earlier decision striking six experts from testifying at trial. After all, my livelihood is based upon the fact that I write expert reports and testify in court.
An Expert Witness Is Above All, Objective
Provided by: Advise & Consult, Inc.
The credibility of an expert witness’ testimony is largely based on their ability to have an objective opinion. Objective: not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.
Electrocution on an Amusement Park Ride
Provided by: David N. Kobernuss, B.S., M.S., P.E.
A maintenance man was killed when he came in contact with an ungrounded and energized car on an amusement park ride.
Electrocution on a Paper Cutting Press Due to Poor Grounding
Provided by: David N. Kobernuss, B.S., M.S., P.E.
This happened during a maintenance operation. Deceased was replacing the dies on a paper cutting machine, a “Press” in this case. The press was designed to cut heavy paperboard into the proper shapes for further processing. He reached into the press below the die area for a dropped screw or nut with his left hand when his right calf came into contact with the exit conveyor frame. Evidently there was a source of voltage that had energized the conveyor frame, thus causing his death.
An Easy Assist for an Overlooked but Tough Group
There are few groups more reliable than the United States military. One could change all of their mottoes to “Again and again - no questions asked.” Those who have served in the military have done so at a solid financial cost. Despite this, the years of the 1950s, 1960s and even into the 1970s were periods with high savings rates, rates that today appear almost unachievable. How did they save so much, seek to enjoy life so fully and raise another generation, the Baby Boomers?
Litigation Forcing Diversity
Provided by: M2 Resource Group, Inc
Diversity in the Fire Service is a challenge to all leadership. It appears that we have not moved very far in removing the discriminatory practices in our entry testing and promotions related to women and minorities. Litigation is forcing the fire service to adopt hiring practices that levels the playing field. If we are not careful, lawyers and judges will be hiring your next generation of firefighters.
Liability-Driven Investing for Pension Plans
Pension plan administrators with responsibility for defined benefit plans are reducing their exposure to the equity markets by using more predictable investments, such as bonds, to fund future obligations. An increasingly popular investment technique to match plan assets with liabilities is known as “liability-driven investing” or LDI. This article provides an overview of liability-driven investing.
Bank Corporate and Municipal Bond Trustee, Registrar, and Stock Transfer Agent Fiduciary Duty Litigation
The author, renowned nationwide expert witness Don Coker, explains some of the important nuances of banking litigation involving bank trust departments acting in various capacities for several different types of securities.
Participate in a 419 or 412i Plan or Other Abusive Tax Shelter You Could Be Fined $200000 Per Year
Did you get a letter from the IRS threatening to impose this fine?
General Motors Joins Yogi Berra
Even with creative financing, accounting techniques and decreased profit margins, the American automobile industry appears unable to sustain itself and has suffered significant losses, especially in recent years. Given these realities, it would seem prudent to rely upon baseball and the one special feature they have enjoyed via compliments of a United States Supreme Court Decision in 1922, namely exemption under the Antitrust Laws, basically Sherman and Clayton Acts.
The “Real” Real Estate Situation
While it is true that the National Housing Act of 1930 and other acts and organizations sought to both foster and insulate housing from the overall financial marketplaces, such separation is not limitless. No matter how many special authorities, administrative agencies, or segregated financial institutions are created, in order to supply adequate shelter, the financial instrumentation utilized in the housing market is still an integral part of the overall financial marketplace.
Should You File, and Then Opt out?
Announced February 8, 2011, the IRS 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) program is a welcome but conditional amnesty allowing taxpayers with foreign accounts to come clean and get into compliance with the IRS. The program runs through Sept. 9, 2011.
Elder Financial Abuse Litigation Claims Against Banks and Mortgage Lenders
The author, renowned nationwide banking expert witness Don Coker, explains some of the important nuances of banking litigation involving claims of Elder Financial Abuse.
IRS Audits 419, 412i, Captive Insurance Plans With Life Insurance, and Section 79 Scams
The IRS started auditing 419 plans in the ‘90s, and then continued going after 412i and other plans that they considered abusive, listed, or reportable transactions. Listed designated as listed in published IRS material available to the general public or transactions that are substantially similar to the specific listed transactions. A reportable transaction is defined simply as one that has the potential for tax avoidance or evasion.
Sexual Assault of Adults and the Importance of Competencies versus IQ
Sexually assaulted mentally-defective adults in New Jersey have protections under the law similar to minors.
Presumptive and Confirmatory Forensic Testing on Controlled Substances
Objectives: Differentiate Preliminary and Certified Weight; Define Presumptive Colorimetric Analysis; Define Screening Procedures for Biological Specimens for Controlled Substances; Discuss Confirmatory Testing Procedures for Controlled Substances; Explain and Define Areas of Concern for Presumptive and Confirmatory Testing Procedures as they Relate to Controlled Substances; Recognize Necessary Documents for Argument on Controlled Substance Analysis.
FBAR Offshore Bank Accounts and Foreign Income Attacked by IRS
You may want to think about participation in the IRS’ offshore tax amnesty program (called the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative). Do you want to play audit roulette with the IRS? Some clients think they are too small to be prosecuted. They are wrong.
As an engineering expert witness I am called upon to explain what happened in an accident, including the cause or causes ('Accident Reconstruction'.)
Two Faces Of Product Liability
The author, an engineer, has rendered opinions in cases with each face of product liability.
It is customary to provide an instruction document with an electric tool or appliance and to include a variety of safety warnings in the document. Typically a circular in small print. How many real people read safety warnings if they can just plug in the device and use it?
The author, a licensed professional engineer, is an expert witness in factory accident and other industrial accident and product liability cases.
Don’t Get Stuck With a Foreign Bank Account
Have A Foreign Bank Account? FBAR Deadline is here. Filing deadline for the IRS’s offshore tax amnesty (called the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative).
Protect Your Horse Against the Heat
The heat of summer can pose a severe health hazard to your horse. Heat can cause your horse to dehydrate, stop sweating, colic, poor exercise tolerance and even heatstroke.
Choosing a Horse Trainer That is Right for You
A professional riding instructor is the person who will make sure you and your horse stay on the right track and help you whenever you want to improve your horsemanship, riding skills or improve your horse. The following are several factors you will want to consider in choosing the trainer that best suits your needs.
Law Change in California Affects How You Buy and Sell a Horse
Open-ended horse deals are quickly coming to an end. Florida has a statute (Section 535.16 of the Florida Statutes) and the California Legislature recently amended a similar one that now requires written documentation for horse sales. This change affects buyers and sellers whether as a private individual or as a business.
The Texas House and Senate Pass Equine Dentistry Bill
On May 30, 2011, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners became one step away from having the authority to regulate non-veterinarian equine dentists.
How Tree Selection and Location Influences Tree Risk Assessment in the Urban Area
Provided by: Rappoport Development Consulting Services LLC
Jeremy Rappoport is a certified arborist and tree risk assessor. In the article, Mr. Rappoport discusses the importance of understanding the cultural characteristics as they relate to tree size, location and use. Find out how a good tree sited in a poor location can affect the health and safety of the tree and how tree risk assessment is the current standard of care in determining the tree hazards and attendant risk.
Don't Become a Material Adviser
Accountants, insurance professionals and others need to be careful that they don’t become what the IRS calls material advisors. If they sell or give advice, or sign tax returns for abusive, listed or similar plans; they risk a minimum $100,000 fine. Their client will then probably sue them after having dealt with the IRS.
Pension Options: A Look at Individual Account Balance Plans
Individual account balance plans or defined contribution plans are types of retirement plans that provide an individual account for each plan participant. Benefits in these plans are based solely upon the amount contributed to the account, plus or minus any income, expenses, gain, and losses allocated to the account. The employee or the employer (or both) contribute to the account under the plan, sometimes at a set rate. This article explores different plan types.
Forensic Accountants: Why, When and How to Hire Them
Provided by: Arrowfish Consulting
Due to their unique blend of education and experience, forensic accountants are able to apply accounting, financial analysis and investigative skills to uncover truth, assist in financial investigations and ultimately provide credible analyses that may be relied upon in court or mediation. This article discusses who can benefit from their services, when in the process to hire them and what to look for.
Assessing Emotional Damages in Multi-Plaintiff Litigation
FPAMED's approach to assessing a population for emotional damages in mass tort litigation.
Lost Production in Manufacturing
Provided by: Frederick (Fritz) Kucklick
Automotive and other manufacturers rely on integrated production lines, tooling and other assets to produce products to sell. This article addresses some of the issues that may affect the ability of assets to perform.
A Comparison of Self-Funded and Insured Health and Welfare Plans
Employee welfare benefit plans can be either fully insured, or self-funded. This article explains and compares the differences between the two types.
Accountants Business Owners and Others Face Large IRS Fines
Since the late nineties, unsuspecting business owners and professionals have purchased retirement plans and other plans from insurance professionals. The IRS has organized task forces to go after the abusive plans.