Omnia Forensis Ingenariae 
"All Things Forensic Engineering"
News and Views for the Forensic Engineer
and Their Legal/Insurance Clients
Richard A. Rice, PE - Editor
Edition VXII - December 2017
Editor's Thoughts

Merry Christmas !!! For those of you who do not understand the picture, it means, "Ho, Ho, Ho." Doesn't everyone love math humor during the holidays?   
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It has been a good 2017 for Mutual Engineering, Inc. - MEI. Thank you to all my friends and family who have supported me all these years. And a big thank you to all my clients and colleagues who have given me their trust.

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National Academy of Forensic Engineers Winter Meeting

The National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) winter meeting is scheduled to take place in Phoenix, AZ from January 12th - 14th, 2018. There are many interesting sessions planned for all engineering disciplines. In fact, NAFE members and authors of "Kirk's Fire Investigation" David Icove, PE and Gerald Haynes, PE will be presenting an overview of the newest edition. Good stuff!!! For more information, or to sign up (first timers are 1/2 off), please visit www.nafe.org .

There are many engineers who call themselves "Forensic Engineers." There are no laws, rules, guidelines, or unknown codicils to prevent someone from calling themselves a "Forensic Engineer." However, there is only one organization that I know of that certifies that the engineer you hire has the experience serving the jurisprudential system. And with that experience comes the title "Board Certified Forensic Engineer." That organization is the National Academy of Forensic Engineers. From NAFE we have the following Mission Statement:

  N AFE Mission – The National Academy of Forensic Engineers and its members are committed to:
 
·        Serving the public by advancing the ethical and professional practice of
forensic engineering;
·         Serving the jurisprudential system by certifying individuals having achieved expertise in forensic engineering;
·        Serving Academy members and furthering the development of forensic
engineers through education and the publication of peer-reviewed
technical literature.

NAFE is the only forensic engineering organization referred to specifically by the United States Supreme Court. When experience and knowledge count, please ask for a NAFE member.

For more information on NAFE, or to find a NAFE member for your case, please contact NAFE Executive Director Arthur Schwartz, CAE by Clicking Here.

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Again, thank you. If you have suggestions for OFI, please email me any time. 

Sincerely,

Richard A. Rice, PE
In the News this Month...
Court Determines that Expert Witness Must Have Recent Experience  
In a medical malpractice case, a court decided that an expert witness was not credible because they had not been a practitioner or teacher in the year prior to testifying. Is this going to be a standard for engineering experts? Click Here.

A Daubert Challenge Settles an Insurance Dispute
This is an interesting read because the case was decided when the Insured's (i.e. plaintiff's) expert failed to pass a Daubert challenge. Summary judgement went to the insurance company. To read more, Click Here.

Lazy Experts...BEWARE!!! 
Experts that never went to the incident scene. Experts that never read important depositions. Experts that never read product engineering documents. Yet, these experts are offering opinions in cases with millions of dollars on the line. This is a great article on how to attack lazy experts playing in "The Bigs." Please Click Here.

A Recipe for Finding the Right Expert Witness
Finding an expert witness to help you with your unique situation, or with your particular widget can be daunting. An interesting article on the steps you should take.  Click Here.

A Massive Expert Witness/Daubert Takedown!!!
A surgeon, a chemist, and an expert with a "because I said so" complex, all found to be lacking qualifications and methodology in a breast implant lawsuit. Click Here.

Flint River Blues - A Story of Incompetence
A Yale educated government public health official is on trial for causing the deaths of several people who were exposed to the Legionnaires bacteria. The expert witness for the prosecution is an engineering professor. In my humble opinion (IMHO) and that of the professors, this exposure was caused by an engineering problem. It should have been solved by expert engineers, not government administrative functionaries. IMHO, sometimes the wrong people are in charge and people die.  Click Here.

Dear Expert Witness: Learn to Keep Your Mouth Shut!!!
My young daughters (I will love them forever) can't order a latte without posting about it on some social media format. Coffee choices are an accepted subject to post about. Your testimony during trial is not. Read about how an expert witness gets into big trouble when he shares his experiences while the trial is on going.  Click Here.

A Stage Scaffolding Collapse - One Expert's Suspicion
Five years ago, a stage constructed with scaffolding material collapsed in Canada and killed the drummer for the music group Radiohead. There has not be much written about the actual cause. I have read that an engineer designed the stage scaffolding. A staging company built the scaffold. But NOT ONCE have I read that the stage scaffolding was inspected by the design engineer after it was constructed. Not hiring the design engineer to inspect during or after the construction is a common way owners try and save money. It is just a suspicion. Click Here.

Expert Referrals
I have the privilege to work with many great forensic experts in the United States, Asia and Europe in the fields of Accident Reconstruction, Electrical Failures, Mechanical Failures just to name a few disciplines. Please allow me to refer to you one of these court tested experts for your next insurance claim or legal matter. There is no charge to you. I do not get a finders fee from anyone. This is my way of helping you. Plus, I can help my Forensic Engineering colleagues. Please email me or call 404.395.7441. 

Note:  No warranties, expressed or implied, are made to the suitability of any expert referred to you. Do your homework to make sure you have the right expert.
...about the Editor
Richard A. Rice, PE is President and Forensic Engineer for Mutual Engineering, Inc. - MEI. Because of 30 years of continuous civil/structural design services, and his early and continued exposure to his friends and families many construction businesses, Mr. Rice is uniquely qualified to provide Civil/Structural Forensic Engineering services to the insurance, legal, and construction industries. Services include building design and construction, roadway design and construction, building inspection and code compliance, building/foundation collapse, construction site incidents, and other property loss subjects. Mr. Rice is a licensed professional engineer in several states, and a Fellow and Board Certified Diplomate of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE).
Mr. Rice has written a novel and numerous technical articles published in professional journals for NAFE, the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), and the Georgia Defense Lawyer Association (GDLA). Please call/email Mr. Rice or visit his company's webpage:

Richard A. Rice, PE - Civil/Structural Engineer
Mutual Engineering, Inc. - MEI
(Office): 770.210.6644
(Mobile): 404.395.7441

Click Here for Client Testimonials (Updated)

Click Here for Notable Cases (Media Reported)

Click Here for Engineering Subjects Addressed
 Just in Time for Christmas!!!

I wrote a book based on one very large case I worked many years ago. Mixed in are experiences and characters I met as an expert witness over these past 20 plus years. If you are an expert witness, or you work with experts, you will enjoy this story. - Richard

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Dr. Christine Jesup was a respected and loved obstetrician in the Low Country of South Carolina. Everything was good until tragedy struck. The ambulance carrying Dr. Jesup and her pregnant patient crashed on a defectively constructed road. Attorney Cephas Hampton, along with his forensic engineering expert, fight a corrupt road builder and an incredulous insurance company in an effort to help Dr. Jesup...to be made whole again.

  "...to be made whole again" is available now. Please  Click Here for your copy. 


Amazon Book Reviews:

Anthony - "I really like this book, it's a forensic , court drama. They need to write a          screen play and do a mini series."

Bruce W. - "Nice short read and very interesting. I really enjoyed it but I work in
                  this type of field and so it was familiar to me. The book provides
                 adequate detail to the players but it is not so overdone that it drags on.
                 Definitely worth the money - it is a bargain at that price!"

Dr . McMillian - "This book will grab your attention on the first page. It is a   
                             spellbinder and will keep you reading all night if you let it. I am
                             looking forward to the author's next book with great
                            anticipation."

Angela B. - "Interesting Read"
     Thank you!!!