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Evaluating Your Expert Witnesses and Witnessing Their Value

TASA ID: 1646

Three friends of mine, all working expert witnesses, called me to recount their experiences with private investigators who interviewed them for prospective cases. One complained that the private investigator “asked me if I could stand up to a Daubert Hearing,” another seemed insulted that she was asked what her answer would be if the prosecutor “questioned my high expert fees,” and the third groused about being asked by the interviewing P.I. “why I prostituted myself in ‘criminal defense alley’ ”— the throng of law offices that occupied a corridor in and around the county courthouse. They accounted for more than 50% of his revenues the preceding year. All of these colleagues demanded to know (from me) what was up! Why were they being grilled like this? Were they viewed as expert witnesses or as suspects? Could P.I.’s even ask such questions? They all claimed this was a “first,” but they suspected it wouldn’t be the last time they’d be so queried. I told them that they had the right to remain silent, if they chose, though by taking that tactic; their value in the P.I.’s eyes might cascade like Niagara Falls. What shocked them; however, was my telling them that P.I.’s could ask such questions—and that more P.I.’s should ask those kinds of questions and many more like them!

Successful Process Safety Management Requires a Barrier Risk Assessment Tool

TASA ID: 20277

Abstract

The expected outcome of Process Safety Management (PSM) is to minimize the likelihood of a major accident occurring and to ensure that the necessary mitigation and emergency preparedness mechanisms are in place in the event that an accident does happen. PSM programs are designed to establish comprehensive, robust and sustainable systems, practices and competencies for managing process safety and to ensure that a focus on process safety (low frequency-high consequence) issues is maintained. This paper describes in detail how a Barrier/BowTie approach to PSM is established within the framework of an established PSM program and provides the missing link in assurance of process safety. The barrier approach not only enhances process safety but ensures that the processes in place are functioning as expected. A case study example is used to illustrate how continuous improvement is achieved and maintained.

The Pathology of Products Liability and Organizational Negligence

TASA ID: 1648

After 50 years of work with more than 700 companies, I have amassed significant evidence that organizations exhibit the same traits as living organisms. Some are born healthy. Best case, the principals are innately focused on the health of their employees and the needs of their customers. If the win-win vision is inculcated in their culture they stay healthy through the life cycle of the business.

Others are born with latent diseases. The principals are focused on revenue and market share. Business processes evolve without a master wellness program. Sooner or later the hidden disease or a pathogen enters the organization and the health of the company wains. These are the companies that are devastated when they are served with a lawsuit. The principals and the organization wear the scars of the lawsuit forever.


COVID-19 and the False Science of Computer Models:

How to Demand Production of Necessary Materials and Understand the Difference between Science Fiction and Science Fact

TASA ID: 2409

Science fiction is alive and well in American science.  The perfect example of this is COVID-19 and the false science of computer models.  Understanding the language of science and how it is used to deceive the general public, juries and judges is critical for every attorney.  Every attorney must understand the language of science in order to show the judge and/or jury whether the science is fiction or fact.

Accident Investigations – Hiring the Right Expert at the Right Time

TASA ID: 16816

Investigating any accident is typically a complex endeavor in which there are numerous intrinsic processes and interrelated elements that have usually led to the accident.  Therefore, it is important that the expert investigating the accident has the training and experience to deal with that specific type of accident relating to your case.  Often, I see law firms reaching out for experts who have acronyms after their name (assumed to ensure credibility) but they do not possess the necessary background, experience or training related to the specific accident being investigated. Not all accidents are the same... construction, property or slip, trip and fall are all quite different.  The investigator has to have the experience with that accident type to be able to identify and analyze the individual elements that were or were not in place.  The investigator then must be able to piece the elements together to understand their relation to the “whole” of the accident to determine the root causes and liabilities associated with the accident. 
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