Fallout from Super Storm Sandy Forged (Allegedly) Engineering Reports
You would think that changing the opinions (allegedly) of an engineer after the report is submitted would be generally understood as a bad thing, and that you (allegedly) were going to get caught doing it is
also a bad thing. Apparently not
Insurance Engineers Get Called Out!!!
Bruce Holmes in a 2006 article outlines the emergence of disturbing trend regarding the customizing of engineering opinions to the needs of the insurance company.
Kicking Out the Other Side's Expert
All experts should be prepared to have adverse council try and have your testimony removed, or have you outright kicked off the case. This article gives great examples of what an expert should not do to help adverse council.
California Appellate Court Confuses OFI Editor
I am confused. From this article, we have..."the Court held that although the trial court has a duty to act as a “gatekeeper” in excluding “clearly invalid and unreliable” expert opinion, its role is not to choose between expert opinions." So, juries are now going to determine expert testimony validity and reliability? Really?
Judge Excluded Medical Doctor's and Epidemiologist's Testimony Because of Unreliable Methodology.
Hiring an expert with a "MD" or "PhD" after their name does not guarantee success.
Drone Use on the Rise for Property Claim Investigations!!!
The use of drones has exploded in many industries. Forensic Engineers are using them more and more in their investigations. Drone use is almost to be expected on large property losses.
Read this article for the latest in drone regulations and property claims. Click Here.
Ensuring Plausibility, Not Possibility
This is a great article about the word games I also have been asked to play at depositions regarding "possibility", "probability", or "plausibility." Yes, it is "possible" that the sun will not come up tomorrow. However, given my years of experience, it is "probable/plausible" that it will come up.
Here is a great sentence from the article:
Passion coupled with plausibility, however, is far more persuasive.
Have You Vetted Your Expert Witness Lately?
From across the pond, a story of how a prosecution expert was sacked when it was discovered the expert was sacked years earlier for being a dishonest police officer.
NC Dental Board (NCDB) v. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
State licensing boards, including engineering boards, are in the FTC's crosshairs.
A 2015 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has made state professional board members nervous. Apparently, the SCOTUS views state licensing board members as "nonsovereign actors" who are NOT protected from anti-trust actions against them.
for the full SCOTUS decision and commentary by others.
An Engineering Board Member's Commentary Regarding the NCDB v. FTC Decision
Glen Thurrow of the New Mexico Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors (NMBLEPS) gives one board member's opinion on the effects of the SCOTUS decision. One sentence stuck out:
Federal antitrust laws require compelling justification for any board action that in any way limit competition in the marketplace.
IMHO, Mr. Thurrow gives a good argument that design engineers need licensure to protect life and property. However, if I may insert a Forensic Engineering issue, my reading of Mr. Thurrow's article tacitly supports my contention that the courts, not licensing boards, should decide who is qualified to be an expert witness. Combine the NCDB v. FTC decision with the Separation of Powers doctrine and the conclusion is clear: Judges are the ONLY gate keepers (i.e. Daubert, Frye).
What say you?