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Quick Tips for Preparing Courtroom Graphics and Animations

Far too often, the materials presented in court are just mediocre at best and do not pack the kind of punch required to really get a particular message across to the jury. There are a number of different aspects to preparing courtroom graphics and animations, but by just sticking with some of the more practical tips, better value will be gained from the visuals.

IRS Crackdown on Unreported Foreign Trusts Gets Big Boost

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Wealthy Americans are tempted to avoid high U.S. income taxation by moving funds offshore. But this “foreign” income is still fully taxable by the U.S. … unless the IRS never knows about it. Recent investigations have (or soon will) uncover the names and details of thousands of wealthy Americans who have engaged in illegal tax evasion. If you never gave in to the obvious temptation to have such a “tax-free” account before, you should not start one now.

DOL Issues Significant New Requirements for 401(K) Plans

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
The DOL proposed new rules that will be effective as early as January 1, 2009. Generally, the rules require additional disclosures regarding costs charged to participants, and make it easier for plan sponsors to qualify for protection from litigation. Given the shameful undisclosed marketing practices used by vendors of 401(k) plans and the costs paid by participants at many these plans, the additional disclosure will cause plan sponsors to finally pay much-needed attention to this area.

DOJ’s McNulty Memo In Evaluating Corporate Cooperation Is No Longer DOJ Policy

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Under pressure from proposed legislation that would mandate a policy change, the Department of Justice promised to retract controversial portions of current DOJ policy that allows USAAs to (i) force waiver of the attorney client privilege and (ii) prohibit payment of employees’ legal fees.

Cell Phones And Handheld Devices Provide Discovery Opportunities

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
The expanded power and intensive use of mobile devices mean that they often contain evidence that may not be anywhere else. But mobile devices provide challenges that do not exist for traditional computers.

Admissibility of Forensic Animations

Ensuring that your investment in a forensic animation gets admitted into court should be a concern for attorneys. By asking the right questions and working with a qualified forensic animator, one can avoid a costly and embarrassing situation. This article sets out a number of questions that an attorney should ask about the preparation of a forensic animation.

Deposition Translation

A professional deposition translator must be neutral and impartial. They must also have a firm understanding of the American legal system and its deposition process. The following are my views on what ought to be the appropriate protocol and critical aspects of being a deposition translator.

Exxon Punitive Damages Case Has Broader Implications

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
In deciding to limit punitive damages to no more than related compensatory damages, the U.S. Supreme Court set forth principles that go beyond maritime law.

Supreme Court Rules In Employees’ Favor On Disparate Impact Issue

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
After plaintiffs are able to “isolate and identify the specific employment practices that are allegedly responsible for the statistical disparities”, the employer has the burden of proof regarding why no discrimination is occurring. This brings the rest of the country to where the Ninth Circuit and California state law already was. Stealing a page from the plaintiffs’ play book, more employers should consider use of statistics to justify their conduct.

Exit Strategies: Planning for Managed Care Contract Termination

By their very nature, managed care contracts carry a great deal of business risk, including the insurance risk that contracted rates may not cover costs; the financial risk of being paid late, or even underpaid; and the legal risk of being contractually barred from pursuing the patient, the employer, or even the payer, under certain circumstances.

Five Mistakes Attorneys Make After Deciding To Hire An Expert

Provided by
Today, many cases are won or lost on the testimony of the expert witness. Selecting the right expert for your needs is no easy task, but diligent work with experienced trial counsel in the selection and preparation process pays invaluable dividends. For a successful selection, the author explains what should be taken into account from his expert’s point of view.

Pain and Addiction

Pain and addiction can often co-exist. Approximately 33% of the population has tried illicit drugs, and about 6.5% actively abuse illicit drugs. Pain management and prescription drug addiction is a serious health crisis facing the world today. The author examines the disadvantages of this situation.

Using Electronic Stored Information

Information technology has come a long way since the time of cuneiform tablets. Today litigators are finding that their cases---whether "computer cases'' or not---are relying increasingly on electronic stored information (ESI). This article considers two issues of ESI: data formats and encoding, and why lawyers should not fear the technology.

Bariatric Surgery – Malpractice Issues

Over the past several years, the number of bariatric surgery operations (surgery for weight loss) has grown from a handful to over 150,000 procedures per year in the USA alone, increasing faster than any other procedure. Since these procedures are complex and the patients are of high surgical risk, the number of complications and mortalities are significant. Inevitably, concerns about malpractice have followed.

Buying a Franchise: How To Evaluate Franchise Disclosure Documents and Franchise Investments

Buying a franchise represents a different approach to starting a business, a dream shared by millions. Having the independence that being your own boss brings, the security that no one can fire you, enjoying a good income - and for the most successful - the accumulation of wealth and prosperity. Unfortunately, the cards are stacked against a new small business making it big - or making it at all. An endless stream of problems makes competition from large, sophisticated chains too intense.

Cost Factors of a Forensic Animation

This article attempts to explain some of the cost factors of a forensic animation by considering and understanding the animation process.

SEC To Require Mandatory XBRL Submissions

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Starting with this calendar year, the largest public companies will have to tag their financial statements with computer code that facilitates compilation and comparison of reported data. Starting next year, all “accelerated filers” will have such reporting. We explain the background, importance, and cost of this financial reporting.

Home Equity Lines Of Credit May Be Dischargeable Even When Borrower Lies

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
A bankruptcy ruling from the Northern District of California could have enormous impact to the subprime loan crisis. Despite finding that the borrowers lied and would otherwise not be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge, the Court concluded that typical “liar loans” which underlie much of the subprime crisis are dischargeable because no lender would have reasonably relied on the representations contained in the loan application.

SEC Investigators Are Themselves Investigated By Whistleblower

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Last week, a federal Court ordered the SEC to produce thousands of pages of potentially damaging documents involving insider trading that the SEC did not pursue. Both the Senate and the Court are critical of the SEC’s lack of action. We summarize this interesting case.

Special Masters And Court-Appointed Experts Save Electronic Discovery Costs

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
When databases, computer forensics, or other large collections of electronic information are at issue, discovery challenges can be best handled with hands-on assistance from a neutral party. Courts lack the time and technical capabilities to cost-effectively get the job done. We summarize the reasons why special masters can save money, and summarize the authority for their appointment.

Review of the Medical Record for Medical Malpractice

Review for Merit & Causation: The review of a patient’s medical record can be a complicated and daunting task. The documents are different from institution to institution.

IRS Loses Another Case Involving Auditor Work Papers

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Taxpayers won again in the ongoing dispute over whether tax accrual work papers are privileged. The case arguable applies regardless of which of the split in authority one adopts as the starting point. All of this is important because accounting requirements (FIN 48) would otherwise make accountants’ tax accrual work papers an IRS treasure trove. The case might also have applicability in battles over other types of work papers in which legal contingencies are at issue.

Study Addresses Electronic Storage Best Practices

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
The prestigious Advanced Practices Council just released a study that was not intended for lawyers, but which litigators and in-house lawyers should understand. We summarize the recommended best practices, explain why most Information Lifecycle Management applications fall short, and tell you why many lawyers should care.

Photogrammetry in Forensics Introduction

When one tries to imagine how many digital images are captured each day around the world to preserve some type of visual data for accident or crime scenes, it quickly becomes apparent that there are practical uses for photogrammetry in forensics and reconstruction. Historically, the Remote Sensing and Mapping industries have been the largest users of photogrammetry; however, there has been an adoption of this technology in areas such as architecture, forensics, archeology and film.

Introduction to Forensic Animation Technology

In the legal industry forensic animations have seen a growing use by lawyers and courts since the early 1990’s. Even so, there are still numerous people who have avoided this technology simply because of a lack of understanding. Yet, time and time again, forensic animations have proven to be advantageous in deciding settlements or trials simply because they are one of the best communication tools available to lawyers and accident reconstructionists today.

CPR (Cooperative Project Recovery) - Reviving the Drowning Large-Scale IT Project (V2.0)

This article introduces my tested and proven four-tier, 13 step model which focuses on the actions that must be taken to turn around, overcome, and compensate for deficiencies in project management, methodology, technology, and people in live, ongoing projects — before you scrap the project, fire your staff, and/or move to litigation!

Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD) - Mission Accomplished?

Franchise Disclosure Documents are a good concept in theory. Unfortunately, reality plays a more important role and reveals an entirely different picture. Here are some of my observations, based on twenty-eight plus years of experience in the franchise industry as a franchise attorney, franchise expert and former franchise owner. During this time, I’ve drafted, reviewed and negotiated over 500 Franchise Disclosure Documents.

How To Franchise A Business - Strategic Planning & Management of Franchise Systems

A company planning to franchise a business must realize it is entering a new business, offering an entirely different service (training & support) to entirely new customers (business owner-operators). This new business requires different skills, abilities and expertise. In the new business of franchising, it is critical to develop effective evaluation, documentation, training and consulting skills.

Franchise Attorneys and Franchise Consultants - Critical Evaluation Questions To Ask

Evaluating franchise attorneys and evaluating franchise consultants can seem a daunting task. But the firm a company selects to assist its entry into franchising (or refining existing franchise efforts) will have profound consequences. While you can always ask for a list of "references" (and when is anyone ever dumb enough to provide a bad reference?) there are more objective criteria that are not dependent on selectively disseminated information.

ERISA: The Distinction between Settlor, Fiduciary and Corporate Functions

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that establishes legal and operational guidelines for private pension and employee benefit plans. Not all decisions directly involving a plan, even when made by a fiduciary, are subject to ERISA’s fiduciary rules. These decisions are business judgment type decisions and are commonly called “settlor” functions.

The Source and Creation of ERISA Fiduciary Obligations

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that establishes legal and operational guidelines for private pension and employee benefit plans. The law requires that plan sponsors must provide participants with specific information about plan features and funding. ERISA also establishes certain fiduciary responsibilities for those who manage the plan, which is what will be discussed in this article.

Plumbing to Prevent Domestic Hot Water Scalds

There are two types of hazards from domestic hot water systems: scalding and thermal shock. In the last few decades, the plumbing industry has come a long way in protecting people from these hazards.

Admissible Evidence

Computer forensic techniques must ensure that data collected during electronic discovery can be used as evidence in a court of law.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

The "bible" of diagnoses, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-Text Revision, known as the DSM-IV-TR and published by the American Psychiatric Association is extensively used by psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and most other mental health professionals in the U.S., Canada and abroad to provide a common nomenclature for diagnostic purposes and for communicating about mental disorders.

Forensic Psychological Assessment

Psychological assessment is an invaluable and inestimable tool in the understanding of individual uniqueness. A comprehensive assessment helps explain the connection between psychological functioning and behavior. To be comprehensive, an assessment needs to examine a range of psychological factors.

The Role of the Mental Health Child Custody Evaluator

Guardians ad litem originate from a practice in the English Court of Chancery when the King, under his parens patriae powers, would appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the interests of the infant. Today, the court appoints child custody evaluators, (GALs) whenever it believes it necessary to protect the interests of a child in a judicial proceeding.

Selecting Psychological Tests and the Experts Who Testify

When deciding upon an expert one might want to consider the following questions: • Has the expert ever testified before? How many times? • How does the expert present in court? Is he well organized and is his thinking logical and easy to follow? • Is he a member of major professional organizations? • Does he employ well-known and generally accepted psychological tests?

Cross-Examination of Psychological Testing

Cross-examining mental health experts is often a difficult challenge for attorneys as they are un-familiar with the material. I will discuss the most commonly used psychological measures and key points to keep in mind when questioning experts, either in deposition or on the stand.

De nouvelles règles de procédure pour les experts judiciaires en Belgique depuis septembre 2007

Provided by: Costmasters
En Belgique, la réforme du Code judiciaire applicable à l’expertise judiciaire qui fut votée en avril 2007 est d’application depuis le 1er septembre 2007. Après septe mois de pratique, cet article met en avant les principales nouveautés de cette loi et en tire de premiers enseignements.

What’s on Your iPod?

Portable media devices put companies at risk of data theft or loss.

Parent Alienation Syndrome, what to consider.

Parent Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in custody cases

The Attorney's Quick Guide: "The 6 Essential Elements of Pressure Ulcers You Must Find in the Medical Record."

The contents of the medical record, such as deviations from standards of care, inaccurate or incomplete documentation can make the difference in your pressure ulcer case.

Workers Compensation Insurance Premium Disputes

This year, California employers will pay nearly $15 billion for workers compensation insurance. Although premiums – the price insurers charge for coverage – have dropped by half in just four years, they remain a major expense and an occasional severe headache for many companies.

Computer Forensics Specialist Is Able to Disprove a Claim Involving Improper Use of Data

As more and more business is conducted electronically, the legal community has become aware of the need to properly archive data that might be required as evidence in litigation. Computer forensics investigation certainly plays a key role in the electronic discovery process.

An Effective Electronic Use Policy, Combined with Computer Forensics, Can Help Prevent Employee Misconduct

Organizations purchase computers and other electronic equipment to increase productivity and improve customer service — but that doesn’t mean that’s all the equipment is used for. Employees tend to assume a degree of “ownership” of the devices on their desktops, and use them to some extent for personal reasons.

An Introduction to Ultraviolet Light (UV) and Electron Beam (EB) Curable Coating Technology

Ultraviolet light (UV) and electron beam (EB) curable materials are unique solvent-free compositions that cure (harden) in a fraction of a second upon exposure to a UV or EB source. The absence of solvent eliminates the need for large baking ovens used to process conventional solvent-based coatings (paints) and inks.

Mainframe Computer to PC Conversion Issues

When you need access to computer records or databases often you need to convert that data to a format your staff can use during investigation. When dealing with source data from IBM Mainframe and Mid-Range computers, the data files can use concepts foreign to PC languages and applications. Conversion accuracy and process documentation are critical to solid evidence. Many factors should be considered.

New Computer Aided Design Tools Enhance Forensic Accident Reconstruction

The latest advancements in Computer-aided design render forensic scientists far more helpful to attorneys, with far less effort, than ever before.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Experience of Trauma (Criterion A) is Not Subjective

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric diagnosis that is overused in civil litigation. Plaintiffs inappropriately claim to suffer from PTSD despite the fact they they did not experience a life-threatening, horrific circumstance. The role of subjectivity in psychiatric diagnosis is explored and the objective criteria for PTSD are explained.

Revealing the Mysteries of the Medical Record

As an attorney, any time you or your firm handles a case where health, illness, or injury is an issue you are going to need to review medical records. Whether you are a plaintiff or defense attorney, everyone needs to analyze and understand the contents of the medical record, and face it; they can be extensive and seem like a complex mystery.

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