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 XXXV - June 2019
Editor's Thoughts
"Florida International University (FIU) Bridge Failure Update
Engineering News-Record (ENR) obtained a copy of the PowerPoint Presentation (PPT) and meeting notes from the meeting that took place just hours before the pedestrian bridge collapse that killed six people. Click Here for the PPT and meeting minutes. Editors at ENR provided these materials to your editor to review and to comment regarding the forensic engineering aspects. Click Here for the ENR article.

In the spirit of full disclosure, your editor has not reviewed the full set of plans and specifications for this pedestrian bridge. However, it is my opinion that once the lawsuits have been settled, this incident and the activities leading up to it, will be taught in structural engineering and construction law classes for decades to come.
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NAFE Summer Seminar in July!!!
The National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) is having its summer meeting in Denver, CO. The dates are July 26-28, 2019. If you are interested in becoming a sought after Board Certified Forensic Engineer, you should consider joining NAFE. Any engineer can call themselves a Forensic Engineer. Only a few have the qualifications to be Board Certified. Go to www.nafe.org for more information.
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Again, thank you. If you have suggestions for OFI, please email me any time. 

Sincerely,

Richard A. Rice, PE
#forensicengineer
#mutualengineering
#mei
#expertwitness
In the News...
The Reason To Keep Your Fax Machine
Emails were supposed to simplify everything. Make a draft, then email it to your client for input. Fast and efficient. It seems that Texas and many other states have ruled that electronic communications between the expert and attorney are not privileged. I will let you guess why you should have a fax machine. Click Here.

"Misrepresentations (i.e. LIES) on Your Expert's Resume
Makes for a Bad Day
There you are in the courtroom. You're a prosecuting attorney after a man who started a fire that killed four family members. Your massively credentialed expert witness is a fire investigator with an alphabet of acronyms after his name. Life is good. Then comes the cross examination from the defense attorney. It turns out your star expert witness is a big, fat, hairy liar on his resume. BOOM!!! There goes your case.

It has been my experience that judges and juries will forgive expert witnesses when they cannot remember minor details. However, judges and juries hate liars.
Click Here for some real courtroom drama.

Judge is Forced to Be Gatekeeper
After a judge determined that it was the juries duty to determine whether or not a fingerprint expert was qualified, a panel of judges rebuked the judge for not fulfilling his duty as a gatekeeper. For more, Click Here.

Licensing Requirements of Fire Experts: A Possible Bear Trap
Many states require that a fire investigator be licensed as such, and also hold a private investigators license in that state. It is very confusing to say the least.
Click Here for an article that tries to break some of this down into understandable pieces.

Excluded Witness is a Win for Liberty Mutual
In a nutshell, a court found a plaintiff's expert witness testimony unreliable. The expert's "ipse dixit" (i.e. "because I said so") testimony against Liberty Mutual was not persuasive. Click Here.

Daubert in Florida: The Saga Continues
Once again the Florida Supreme Court has changed its mind. Daubert is now the law of the land for evaluating expert witnesses in Florida. Click Here.

Kissing Not Allowed: From the
"You Can't Make This Stuff Up" File
An expert witness for the prosecution was removed from a trial when he was observed kissing a prosecution witness. You read that right. While it was argued that the kiss was no more than a greeting between friends, appearances must be considered. 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
13009 Panhandle Road
Hampton, GA 30228
(Phone): 404.395.7441

Email:   mutual@bellsouth.net  
Website:   MutualEngineering.com

Click Here for Client Testimonials (Updated)

Click Here for Notable Cases (Media Reported)

Click Here for Engineering Subjects Addressed
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