Steven Proto is a Nationwide Certified Auto Appraiser (IAAA Certified, USAAP compliant) with over 20 years of experience as an Auto Valuation Expert.
Mr. Proto's expertise is in Fraud Investigations, including diminished value, dealership practices, new and used auto transactions, prior accident damage detection, and vehicle valuations from a Corolla to a Ferrari. He currently serves as the GM of an Auto Auction, Auto Mediator Umpire and he establishes and maintains markets in automotive vehicles, appraising vehicles, and arbitration disputes for top tier auto franchises.
Litigation Support - Mr. Proto is qualified to testify in State Court and in arbitration proceedings as an Automotive Expert in Vehicle Valuation, Dealer Fraud, New Car Dealer Business Practices, Dealer Advertising/MSRP/Addendums . He can assist in the discovery stage to ensure clients are able to document real damage or the bogus nature of fraudulent claims. Mr. Proto serves as an expert witnesses for both plaintiff and defendant.
Bob Lawson, AIF®, CFE®, MRFC®, LUTCF®, is a Securities & FINRA Expert Witness retained for FINRA arbitration, mediation, and federal/civil court litigation. Mr. Lawson possesses over 35 years of experience within the securities and insurance industries. In 1988, Mr. Lawson founded Barrington Capital Management, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisory firm and Insurance Agency, and currently serves as the Managing Principal of Barrington Financial Consulting Group, Inc, a 12-person Securities Litigation and Consulting Expert firm.
In addition, Mr. Lawson serves as a FINRA Mediator and presides as a FINRA & NFA Dispute Resolution Chairman for disputes concerning investors, financial services professionals, broker-dealers, and dually-registered investment advisers. Claims often arise regarding breach of fiduciary duties, securities fraud, employment disputes, conflicts of interest, churning, unsuitable investments, and failure to supervise, among others. Mr. Lawson also serves as a public mediator and is a Qualified Neutral under Minnesota Rule 114 of Standard Practice in Mediation and Arbitration. His breadth of experience includes managing and supervising FINRA broker-dealer branch offices as a Registered Securities Principal, Options Principal, and Chief Compliance Officer.
Mr. Lawson also has considerable experience with insurance products including variable annuities, fixed and indexed annuities, long term care, and life insurance. Mr. Lawson possesses numerous accolades and is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE®), Master Registered Financial Consultant (MRFC), and a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF®).
Retaining Mr. Lawson as an Expert Witness and Litigation Consultant will clarify and address relevant issues pertaining to your case from an insider's point of view. Upon a thorough examination and analysis of the case material, Mr. Lawson’s conclusions and opinions are impartial, objective, and predicated upon years of industry expertise and experience. Expert testimony and reports are supported by thorough and detailed research through case-specific analysis.
Bob is active in the following organizations: Vice-Chairman - Master Registered Financial Consultants | Mentorship and Practice Management Chair - Securities Experts Roundtable | Twin Cities Certified Fraud Examiners Association, Membership Chair - Minnesota State Bar Association ADR Section
In the securities brokerage industry, "selling-away" refers to the prohibited practice of an Associated Person effecting or soliciting the sale of securities or investment products not held or approved with whom the broker is affiliated without prior written consent. FINRA regulators have seen a steady flow of selling-away cases over the years involving registered representatives who are being targeted by issuers, promoters and marketing agents to sell their nontraditional investment products to their retail customers. In many instances, promoters of these products are marketing them as non-securities products that do not have to be sold through a broker-dealer by a registered person. In a significant number of cases, associated persons have sold these investments to their customers away from the broker-dealer and without firm approval as required by FINRA Rule 3270. Selling-away often occurs in an independent branch or a satellite office, where Associated Persons are removed from the day-to-day oversight and supervision of their brokerage firm's compliance department.
I receive phone calls throughout the year from attorneys who have taken on their first FINRA case and they frequently are unaware how the FINRA Dispute Resolution process differs from other venues. I thought it would be helpful to provide a quick overview for new participants and a refresher for those more experienced securities attorneys on how the FINRA Arbitration and Mediation process works.
In FINRA-related cases many attorneys see discovery requests objected to by opposing counsel. Typically, opposing counsel objects to discovery requests citing that items requested are either "overly broad, vague, or ambiguous", or "impermissible per FINRA's Code of Arbitration Procedure". However, despite opposing counsel's reasoning, many objections to discovery requests are irrelevant and do not hold up in regard to FINRA's Code of Arbitration Procedure. Attorneys should not be intimidated or discouraged by these objections, but rather should understand that FINRA's guidelines concerning arbitration allow for most applicable and reasonably obtainable discovery information to be delivered.
John T. Foster is the President and CEO of Bedford and Main Financial Consulting, which provides specialized consulting services primarily for broker-dealers and RIAs. Bedford and Main is listed in the FINRA Compliance Vendor Directory.
Mr. Foster calls upon his in-depth knowledge of broker-dealer management, operations and compliance to offer expert opinions and testimony. He has testified for both sides of the legal table in civil cases and FINRA arbitrations, promoting high standards of fairness for broker-dealers.
Mr. Foster specializes in clearing services and industry infrastructure litigation, along with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) issues for broker-dealers. Prior to founding Bedford and Main in 2011, he worked for 13 years in level positions for a large, multi-national clearing firm, allowing him to develop expertise with foreign accounts and anti-money laundering issues. He later served as the President/CEO of an independent broker-dealer, where he was responsible for a retail-based business and online brokerage services. The experience provided John with a uniquely relevant understanding of core SEC and FINRA compliance issues, such as suitability, supervision, senior issues, churning, and written supervisory procedures. He is proficient in matters related to client and firm interactions with both Financial Advisors and Online firms.
Advantages of our litigation services:
Senior Level Experience - Decades of diverse high-ranking management experience in the broker-dealer industry.
Previously held Series, 3,7,24, 27, 63.
Still Actively Engaged – John's expert witness business is a natural extension of his core consulting services. He is a CAMS Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist who annually conducts many independent AML reviews. John is also certified as a FINRA Dispute Resolution Arbitrator
- It would not be possible to hold to our standards of supporting the industry if we were not selective as to specific issues and our ability to ethically provide an expert opinion.
As a consulting firm that focuses on broker-dealers (B-Ds), we often have discussions with clients, particularly new start-up firms, who are looking to understand the big picture of what makes up the industry. This paper will attempt to expand on some of the particular points noted by FINRA and to provide more color on industry trends related to the makeup, business models, and structure of the current broker-dealer environment.
Geoffrey Beresford Hartwell is a Chartered Engineer who practices as an Arbitrator, Adjudicator and Expert for Determination. Geoffrey is the former Senior Partner of Consulting Mechanical and Electrical Engineers BHA Cromwell House.
A one time Chairman of the Expert Witness Society, Geoffrey Hartwell has experience giving evidence in court (in both civil and criminal matters) and in International Arbitration. He sometimes is retained as a Single Joint Expert or as a Tribunal Expert. His services are offered to both Plaintiff and Defense. Even when retained on behalf of a Client he, like all Experts, has an overriding responsibility to the Court or Tribunal.
After his early career in aerospace and nuclear energy, Geoffrey entered private practice in association with the late Leslie Heap and Gerald Lewis of Heap and Digby, Consulting Engineers, in 1969. While with them he designed water and sewage equipment and also the bascule moving machinery for the Lowestoft Bridge, in Suffolk. He practiced also as Beresford Hartwell and Associates and, in 1971 established a separate office in Wallington, South London.
In parallel with his design career, Geoffrey was first appointed as arbitrator in 1972 and his first foreign arbitration, an ICC appointment in Switzerland, took place later that year. He studied Law to Intermediate level and then transferred to the examinations of the Institute of Arbitrators (now Chartered) of which he became Chairman in 1996-1997 and for whom he taught in various countries on several courses, including the prestigious Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration.
Electrical Engineering and Design
Mechanical Engineering and Design
Automation and Computer Control Systems
Maritime and Infrastructure Engineering
Solid Waste Handling
Moving Bridges and Lock Gates
Construction Project Management
Water and Waste Water Treatment
Arbitration: Geoffrey Hartwell also acts as an arbitrator and adjudicator, as an expert mediator and conciliator, as an expert investigator and assessor for arbitral tribunals, and also as a Special Referee in the High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man. His services have been required in the UK and internationally.
Dispute Boards: Geoffrey Hartwell has experience both as Member and as Chairman of Dispute Boards?. He has been a member of Dispute Boards, retained from the beginning of a project or, alternatively, appointed on an ad hoc basis when a problem arises, Dispute Adjudication Boards to determine a binding decision, and on Dispute Review Boards to make decisions that are advisory but not binding.
Adjudication: Similar to arbitration, Mr. Hartwell adjudicates domestic and international disputes which are only temporarily binding unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties.
International Commercial Arbitration, the chosen basis of the annual Willem Vis Moot, is arguably not au fond a process at law. It is quite simply the performance of an agreement between two parties to have a chosen third party hear and determine some difference between them.
Frank Carr has extensive background and experience as an Investment Industry Employment and Compensation Expert Witness, especially Investment Management Firms, Mutual Funds, Hedge Funds, Wealth Managers, and Broker-Dealers. Mr. Carr is a former corporate banker, investment firm Chief Financial Officer and a 20 year veteran of executive search for the Investment Management industry. He has written articles for and has been frequently quoted by publications such as Bloomberg News, CNN Money, Fund Fire, Ignites, Absolute Return, Hedge Fund Alert, and Hedge Fund Manager Week. Prior to entering the executive search field, he was the Chief Financial Officer of a Connecticut-based hedge fund and Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA). Mr. Carr started his career in commercial bank lending, initially with Citigroup in their Wall Street Commodities division and later specialized in financing independent feature film producers, TV producers, and television station owners on behalf of European American Bank in New York.
Litigation Support - Frank Carr is an Investment Industry Employment and Compensation Expert Witness who has been retained by both plaintiffs and defendants for American Arbitration Association, JAMS and FINRA arbitration, mediation, and federal court litigation. Mr. Carr has over 30 years of experience in Financial Services, Investment Management, and Banking and his areas of coverage include Traditional and Alternative Investments – Equities, Fixed Income, Mutual Funds, Hedge Funds, Private Equity, and Managed Futures. Specialist in Wall Street Divorce.
Areas of Expertise:
Employment and Hiring Practices
Institutional Asset Management
Broker / Dealers
Retail Financial Advisory
Sales Process for Investment Products
Prior Expert Witness Assignments:
Represented a hedge fund portfolio manager as an expert rebuttal witness in a high profile hedge fund employment/compensation lawsuit. Prepared a rebuttal opinion letter submitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Represented a $12 billion Texas-based SEC Registered Investment Adviser and leading global alternative credit manager in a JAMS arbitration regarding a terminated employee. Prepared a rebuttal expert witness report and provided live testimony at the JAMS arbitration hearing.
Represented a financial advisor in a FINRA arbitration against one of the top 5 U.S. wealth management firms. The scope of the opinion included projected career advancement, compensation analysis and calculation of lost earnings.
Represented a portfolio manager/ investment analyst in a wrongful termination action against one of the largest U.S. Broker-Dealers with over $600 billion in assets. The scope of the opinion included projected career advancement and compensation analysis. Prepared an expert witness report and provided live testimony at the FINRA arbitration hearing.
Education - Mr. Carr is a graduate of Williams College where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Economy. He completed the Management Training Program at Citigroup in New York, including courses in accounting, finance, and capital markets. He has previously held FINRA licenses, Series 3, 6, and 63 and has completed Level I of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) program.
Coleman & Horowitt, LLP is a Civil Litigation and Transactions Firm. It provides a wide variety of services to businesses and individuals through its two departments. By concentrating in these areas, members of the firm have become exceptionally proficient in dealing with all phases of preventive law, litigation, alternative dispute resolution and the negotiation and preparation of documentation to meet the needs of today's businesses. The firm has a varied client base ranging from small family operations to large, publicly traded corporations.
Darryl Horowitt, Esq. has conducted all phases of litigation in the areas of Banking, Business Disputes, Securities Fraud (class action and individual), Construction, Real Estate, Environmental, Casualty Insurance Defense, Personal Injury and Commercial Collections, from initial client contact to settlement, mediation, arbitration and trial - court and jury (State and Federal Court) and administrative proceedings (before the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, National Labor Relations Board, California Department of Fair Housing and Employment, Worker's Compensation Appeals Board and Agricultural Labor Relations Board).
Mr. Horowitt has also assisted in transactions, including incorporation, purchase and sale agreements, secured and unsecured transactions, and employment contracts. In the field of alternative dispute resolution, he has served as an arbitrator (for the American Arbitration Association, NASD Regulation, Inc., Better Business Bureau Dispute Resolution Center, and the Fresno and Madera County Superior Courts), mediator (privately and for the Better Business Bureau Dispute Resolution Center), special master (for Judge James Ware, United States District Court, Northern District of California) and judge pro tem (Fresno County Courts).
Firm's Areas of Practice Include
Commercial Real Estate
Casualty Insurance Defense
Construction Litigation and Transactions
Personal Injury Litigation
Alternative Dispute Resolution (mediation, arbitration and mini-trials)
In a previous edition of Construction Alert we reported to you on White v. Cridlebaugh (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 506, in which the court confirmed that an unlicensed contractor could be sued for recovery of funds, even though the owner had received a benefit from the work performed by the unlicensed contractor. In that case, the owner was unaware that the contractor was unlicensed until after the work was performed.
It has long been a requirement that any subcontractor or material supplier seeking to enforce a mechanic's lien must first file a 20-day preliminary notice. The requirement existed before the California legislature revised laws relating to mechanic's liens and stop notices in 2012, and similar requirements exist after 2012.
The Public Contracts Code generally provides that contracts for certain dollar amounts, generally exceeding $15,000 to $25,000, must be sent out for bid and let to the lowest responsible bidder after appropriate notice is given. Public Contracts Code § 20803, which governs sanitary districts, contains such a requirement for any contract exceeding $15,000.
California law requires that contractors obtain the proper license before work can be performed on any project. (See Business & Professions Code § 7026.) Moreover, where a contractor files a lawsuit to recover monies owed for work performed, that contractor must plead and prove it was licensed at all times that the work was performed. (See Business & Professions Code § 7031.) The penalty for failure to maintain your license is severe. If you are unable to prove that you were licensed at all times, you are barred from recovering monies on any grounds, whether it be for breach of contract, fraud, or reasonable value of the services performed. (See Hydrotech Systems, Ltd. v. Oasis Waterpark (1991) 52 Cal.3d. 988.) But what happens if a contractor is licensed for most of the time that the work is performed and inadvertently allows his license to lapse for a period during the construction of a project? This article will discuss this issue.
The courts have been busy dealing with issues relating to bidding on public works projects. Two recent decisions have been issued: Great Western Contractors, Inc. v. Irvine Unified School District (2010) 2010 DJDAR 13815 and Schram Construction Inc. v. The Regents of the University of California (Southland Industries) (2010) 2010 DJDAR 13398.
Most contractors know that the mechanic's lien is one of the best remedies available to the contractor, laborer, and supplier because it allows for the foreclosure of real property if payment is not made for construction work and/or materials supplied to the project. What many contractors may be unsure of is on which projects a lien should be recorded.
Much has been discussed in the media regarding the fees lawyers charge. Some believe that they are excessive while others believe that due to their education and expertise, high rates are expected. What is not discussed, however, are the various methods lawyers use to determine how they will charge and what they will charge. This article will discuss the various billing practices that are available to you, the legal consumer.
Other than dealing with the Government, perhaps the most frustrating aspect of running a business is the collection of unpaid debts from your customers. Every business at one time or another will be faced with the situation where goods and/or services have been provided, no complaints have been received, yet your customer refuses to pay. This monograph will serve to answer a few questions you may have regarding collections as they arise in the commercial setting.
Unfortunately, many of us at one time or another, will be a victim of an automobile accident which was simply not our fault. If you are injured, the law provides that you may be entitled to recover monetary damages for hospital expenses, medical treatment, prescriptions, lost wages, and other damages for pain and suffering. The amount of such damages differs based upon your injuries.
As litigation becomes more expensive, clients look to more cost-effective means of resolving their disputes. This requires an evaluation of alternative dispute resolution, otherwise known as ADR. Alternative dispute resolution includes non-court alternatives such as negotiations, mediations, arbitrations, mini trials, and early neutral evaluation. Courts have recognized the benefits of ADR in virtually every court in the state. The federal courts have also adopted ADR programs.
As the owner of a business that may be a party to a lawsuit, you need to know about the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI), also known as e-discovery. Why? Because the requirements to preserve and produce ESI are quickly evolving and have often taken over lawsuits as if e-discovery has a life of its own. This article will address the basics of e-discovery so that your business can start taking steps to minimize its impact.
In a previous issue of Legal Brief, I discussed protecting yourself with adequate auto insurance. This is, perhaps, the insurance that is most commonly bought, because every driver is required to be covered by automobile liability insurance. But what about business owners? Should they buy insurance as well?
Every day, in almost every city, and in almost every state, a business is served with a subpena. Your business may have received one in the past or may receive one soon. For those who are not regular participants in lawsuits, subpoenas are a mysterious document which you should know about.
It is an unfortunate fact of business that from time to time one of your customers will not pay for goods or services you provide. It is a frustrating and sometimes helpless feeling that you have knowing that even though you provided a valuable product or service, for reasons beyond your control you are simply not paid. How do you collect your money? What follows are some techniques that will help you effectively collect your receivables.
Litigation in our court system has become an expensive, time-consuming, and frus trating process which often yields undesired results. Nevertheless, a trial may be necessary to vindicate certain fundamental rights. For many disputes, however, there are alternatives to trial. This article addresses some of the alternatives, known collectively as "Alternative Dispute Resolution ('ADR')," and their potential benefit.
Because of the increase in cost of litigation, and the more frequent use of arbitration clauses in all forms of contracts, arbitration is used with increasing frequency. Although arbitration is an excellent choice in many instances, it may not be right in every case. This article will discuss the pros and cons of arbitration so that you may know whether it is right for you.
Identity theft should be a concern to all because of its pervasiveness. One form of theft is the opening of a credit card account using a pre-approved credit card solicitation. You may have received one or more of these solicitations every day, if not every week. Sometimes, the same company will send more than one such solicitation. The credit card companies do this because they receive information from credit reporting agencies and those with acceptable credit scores are sent more attractive offers.
Many consumer lawyers have argued that the failure to disclose a deferred down payment constitutes a Rees-Levering violation even if the amount of the down payment is accurately stated. An issue did, however, exist as to whether or not the inadvertent exclusion of a deferred down payment on the line for a down payment constitutes a Rees-Levering violation. This question has been answered by the court in Rojas v. Platinum Auto Group, Inc. (January 15, 2013) 212 Cal.App.4th 997.
Virtually everyone and every business has a relationship with a financial institution, whether it be a bank, savings bank, or credit union. When the account is opened, there is the hope that nothing will go wrong in the account and that your funds will be preserved.
For many, the idea of owning your own business and being your own boss is alluring: you set your hours and you alone reap the rewards of your endeavors. Unfortunately, the road to success is often paved with many perils: employee costs continue to spiral as do the cost of goods; increased competition from other companies both here and abroad; more regulation from local, state and federal agencies; etc.
On virtually any day of the week, you can pick up a newspaper and read about a lawsuit. You read the article and say to yourself: "There but for the grace of God go I." Then, the seemingly inevitable happens: You receive a letter from an attorney (or their client) that you are to be sued, or worse, you are served with a lawsuit.
Victor Republicano, Jr., CPA, CGMA is an accounting and consulting practitioner, who has provided professional services to business owners, corporate management, lawyers and their clients, since 1977. Mr. Republicano provides assistance in all phases of the litigation process, from strategy sessions early in the dispute, through settlement negotiations, and trial. Among his distinguishing achievements are his CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) designation from the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants); Diplomate status from the American Board of Forensic Accounting, and his Fellow status from the American College of Forensic Examiners, in addition to his affiliation with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Mr. Republicano has extensive experience in providing litigation consulting services and expert testimony in a wide variety of areas. His litigation consulting projects have included damage assessment and analysis, inspection and reconstruction of accounting records, pre-trial preparation, expert testimony, witness preparation, courtroom assistance, and post-trial consultation with counsel. He has served as an expert witness in over 100 cases, including matters in state and federal court, administrative proceedings, and alternative dispute resolution forums.
Mr. Republicano is experienced in small business consulting, accounting and auditing, publicly traded companies, and litigation services. His industry experience includes: Ag-Chem, Construction, Distribution, Financial Institutions, High-Tech, Manufacturing, Network Marketing, Non- Profit Organizations, Professional Services (Architects, Engineers, Law Firms, etc), Securities and Retail. Mr. Republicano has assisted a variety of companies with IPO's, private placements and statutory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also has provided extensive consultations to entrepreneurs and others and other non-public business owners regarding mergers and acquisitions, inventory control systems, credit and collections management, and property lease analyses.
Litigation and Other Services:
Alternate Dispute Resolution (Mediation, Referee, Special Master)
Damage Calculations and Assessment
White Collar Crime
Investigative Services (accounting, finance, business and trade practices)
Kevin D. Hochman, Esq., is a dynamic and strategic automotive executive experienced and highly skilled in all areas of Dealership Operation and Management. In 2002 he worked as an attorney for a dealership consultant company, providing comprehensive and practical legal and operations guidance to over 1,100 California dealerships. Some of those duties included, advertising review, compliance audits, custom training, and publications and interpretations of federal and state regulations (ASFA, Reg. M, TILA, etc.).
In 2007, Mr. Hochman went on to work his way up to the Director of Operations and General Counsel responsible for the day-to-day legal and business operations of one of the largest privately-owned multi-state dealer groups in the country, with as many as 20 rooftops, 2,000 employees and $3 billion dollars in annual revenue. He is intimately familiar with every Dealership department and consistently interacted with managers, owners, vendors, lenders, manufacturers, insurers, and attorneys on all Dealership matters.
Mr. Hochman provided proactive and comprehensive legal direction and training to dealer personnel on all areas. He was responsible for drastically decreasing expenses and increasing operational efficiency using benchmarks and best practices improving dealership’s processes and profitability.
Additionally, he is a licensed real estate broker and negotiated and managed a $600 million commercial real estate portfolio. He has negotiated and/or has been an integral part of over 20 dealership buy/sells.
He is currently a member of the California state bar, Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals (AFIP), a Director of the National Association of Dealer Counsel (NADC), and a member of the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) Regulatory and Legal Affairs Board.
Litigation Support: Mr. Hochman has provided Expert Witness, Consultation, and Case Analysis. He offers nation-wide services in litigation, arbitration and mediation.
Donald M. May PhD, CPA, Managing Partner at DMA Economics, LLC, possesses over 30 years of Valuation and Economic Damages experience. He implements a broad range of damage analyses and valuations for clients, including billion-dollar investment funds under SEC investigation as well as multi-national firms involved in intellectual property disputes, consumers in product mislabeling cases, and small to mid-sized businesses involved in complex commercial litigation.
Background Experience - Prior to founding DMA Economics LLC, Dr. May was Managing Director at Berkley Research Group and the Principal in charge of valuation and litigation support services for a regional accounting firm, a Managing Director for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School of Management. He has performed over 200 valuations of closely held businesses across numerous industries for financial reporting and estate planning. Dr. May has been published in several distinguished academic and practitioner journals such as The Journal of Finance, The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Hedge Fund Law Review, and is currently an editorial board member of The Journal of Business Valuation and Economic Loss Analysis.
Litigation Support - Dr. May is a world class expert in the Valuation of Damages. Dr. May has prepared expert reports and testified in federal and state courts as well as AAA, JAMS, and FINRA arbitration hearings, and has also effectively communicated as an expert witness testifier and consultant in several multi-million dollar cases.
Recent Litigation Matters:
Misrepresentations in Leveraged Buyout (“LBO”) Financing Practices
Theft of Trade Secrets, Trade Dress, and Intellectual Property
Food Product Mislabeling
Securities Fraud Under SEC Section 10b-5 and Section 11
Accounting Misstatements in Public and Private Company Acquisitions
Lost Profits and Lost Enterprise Value Associated with Product Defects and Breach of Contract
Mascara falsely labeled as being natural. Label claims “Natural” fibers on mascara are alleged and proven to be false. Class action filed and DMA Economics is tasked with computing aggregate damages to the class who purchased the mascara at a premium because they believed it was natural.
The fund managers were alleged to have violated their fiduciary duty to maintain proper diversification in the fund by allowing one particular security to make up more than 25% of fund value and up to over 40% of fund value by mid-2015.
This article finds evidence consistent with the hypothesis that managers consider personal risk when making decisions that affect firm risk. I find that Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) with more personal wealth vested in firm equity tend to diversify. CEOs who are specialists at the existing technology tend to buy similar technologies. When specialists have many years vested, they tend to diversify, however. Poor performance in the existing lines of business is associated with movements into new lines of business.
Roy Theophilus Bent, Jr. is a well known and respected expert and consultant in the automotive industry. An IACP Certified Auto Appraiser, Expert Witness, and Field Inspector, Mr. Bent is the seated President of the Bureau of Certified Auto Appraisers, a National Professional Appraisal Credentialing Organization that has trained, tested, and certified over 2,400 students under his leadership in the practices of IACP Certified Auto Appraisals and Litigation assistance. Mr. Bent holds numerous licenses and credentials as an ASE Certified Mechanic, I-Car Collision Specialist, Licensed Auto Appraiser, Insurance Adjuster, Umpire, Mediator, Arbitrator, Classic Car Judge, and Vintage Car Historian.
KPRC 2 Houston News Interview with Roy Bent on Diminished Value
Litigation Support - Mr. Bent is retained by counsel to provide IACP Certified Third Party Appraisals for most auto related lawsuits. He serves law firms whose clients are involved with dissolution, probate, bankruptcy, and diminution of value, and automobile accidents. Mr. Bent is a contributing author in several peer reviewed journals in auto accident expert witness related theories, case studies, and reports which are used exclusively by other expert witnesses in the field. His services include deposition, arbitration, mediation, and trial testimony when necessary.
Appraisals for Law Enforcement Agencies - Roy Theophilus Bent, Jr., IACP Certified Auto Appraiser & Expert Witness, is regulary retained by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Attorney General (AG), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Office of Inspector General, and varios Police Departments resumting in criminal convictions and/or exonerations of Defendants for: White-Collar Crimes, Vehicular Homicide Crimes, & Felony Drug Crimes resulting in Federal Criminal Forfeitures, Civil Judicial Forfeitures, Administrative Forfeitures & Seizures.
James (Jim) K. Ellis is a retired FBI Agent with more than 33 years of complex investigation experience. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), a Private Investigator, and FINRA Arbitrator.
During his 29-year career as an FBI Agent stationed in Dallas, Texas, Mr. Ellis earned over 20 awards and commendations. He led investigations on hundreds of complex criminal violations including fraud, money laundering, violent crime, homicide and narcotics trafficking. He served for ten years on the FBI’s highly acclaimed Evidence Response Team before retiring from the FBI on December 31, 2015.
Litigation Support - After retirement, Mr. Ellis became a Private Investigator specializing in complex fraud investigations and expert witness support for attorneys. He has participated as the lead investigator in dozens of trials at both the federal and local levels. He has years of experience actively working all stages of the litigation process. From running investigations, to the filing of a legal action, to the presentation of the matter in a trial before a jury, Mr. Ellis is exceptionally qualified to help attorneys for both plaintiff and defendant deal with the arduous tasks of preparing for litigation. He is located in Texas but is available nationwide.
John Gillies is a Chartered Building Surveyor and the Senior Director of Johnson Gillies. Mr. Gillies is frequently involved in dilapidation assessments for Landlords and Tenants. In addition, he is often called upon to produce opinions and evidence in matters of dispute. Mr. Gillies provides Expert Witness reports for legal issues and appears in Court as an expert on construction and related matters.
The firm's Building Consultancy and Expert Services Include:
Surveys: Building, Homebuyer, Vendor, and Measured Surveys. Planned Maintenance, Defects Analysis, and Due Diligence Investigations.
Audits: Fire, Health and Safety, Environmental, Access, and Commercial EPC.
Development Consultancy: Development Monitoring, Party Walls, Planning, Rights of Light.
Construction Consultancy: Contract Administration, Design, Employers Agent, Feasibility Study, Fit Outs, New Build, CDM Co-ordination, Project Management, Refurbishment, Repair & Maintenance.
Landlord & Tenant: Dilapidations, Services and Charges, Licences and Alterations, Photographic Schedules, Schedules of Condition.
Dispute Resolution: Expert Witness, Adjudication, and Arbitration of:
Building Contract Disputes
Cost and Quality of Building Works Disputes
Legal Evidence at Court
Insurance: Building Reinstatement Valuations and Insurance Loss Assessing.
Mitchell L. Lathrop, has over 50 years of experience in the practice of law, and specialized knowledge in Insurance, Reinsurance, and Lawyers' Professional Responsibility. For the past 30 years, Mr. Lathrop has served as a Mediator, Arbitrator and Expert Witness in his fields of expertise. A seasoned trial lawyer, he brings his many years of practice to alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Lathrop is admitted to practice in California, New York and the District of Columbia, as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, District of Columbia and Federal Circuits. Mr. Lathrop is a former Presiding Referee of the California State Bar Court. He serves on the National Panel of the American Arbitration Association and is a Distinguished Neutral of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), as well as a member of the London Court of International Arbitration. He is the author of "Insurance Coverage for Environmental Claims," published by Lexis-Nexis Matthew Bender. He has qualified as an expert in insurance and legal malpractice in both state and federal courts. Areas of Expertise:
Insurance bad faith and standard of care and conduct
Whether you represent the insurer or the insured, the potential costs can run into the millions if your client is found liable. To help you effectively represent your client, this comprehensive, two-volume treatise will walk you through the complexities of environmental insurance coverage.
Jim Leatzow has 43 of "hands-on" practical, property / casualty insurance agency experience. Leatzow has literally worn "every hat there is to wear in the P/C insurance business. He provides expert & arbitration services nationally & internationally with no charge for travel time. He is articulate, efficient & equally comfortable within the U.S. & in foreign venues. His experience includes:
44 years national Property/Casualty insurance industry experience
30 years national, Property/Casualty insurance Agency Owner
23 years national, Property/Casualty Managing General Agent (MGA)
20 years national, Third Party Administrator (TPA) insurance claim adjuster
26 years Reinsurance experience & Company Founder/President
17 years Certified insurance Arbitrator (U.S. / U.K. / Bermuda)
56 years Licensed Pilot with Commercial, Instrument, Multi & Seaplane Ratings
Still licensed in Illinois (44 years) & Wisconsin (37 years)
Licensed in all states for 20-25 years until 2005 (agency sold)
Rule 26 Report specialization on complex cases
Bad Faith Expert nationally
History of representing plaintiff & defense equally
No charge for travel time "coast to coast"
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Long International provides expert engineering and construction claims analysis, expert testimony, project management consulting, and insurance claims analysis services. Our focus is on heavy industrial projects including oil and gas, petroleum refining, petrochemical, chemical, mining/mineral processing, power, cogeneration, and other industrial projects. We analyze claims, not limited to, disputed change orders, schedule delay, acceleration, time extensions, liquidated damages, loss of productivity, defective specifications, and deficient project management performance.
Richard J. Long, P.E., P.Eng., Founder of Long International, has over 50 years of U.S. and international consulting experience involving construction contract disputes analysis and resolution, arbitration/litigation support and expert testimony, project management, engineering/construction management, cost and schedule control, and process engineering. As an internationally recognized expert in the analysis and resolution of complex construction disputes for over 35 years, Mr. Long has served as the lead expert on over 300 projects having claims ranging in size from US$100,000 to over US$2 billion. He has presented and published numerous articles on claims analysis, entitlement issues, CPM schedule and damages analyses, cumulative impact claims, and claims prevention.
Rod C. Carter, CCP, PSP is President of Long International and has over 20 years of experience in construction project controls, contract disputes and resolution, negotiations, mediation, arbitration support, and expert testimony on scheduling, loss of productivity, and quantum issues. He has experience in entitlement, schedule, and damages analyses on over 30 construction disputes ranging in value from US$100,000 to US$7 billion, related to oil and gas, oil refinery, LNG, heavy civil, nuclear, environmental, chemical, power, industrial, commercial, and residential construction projects. Mr. Carter is proficient in the use of Primavera P6 and P3 software, and he has extensive experience in assessing the impact to engineering and construction works of RFIs, change orders and other events. Mr. Carter specializes in loss of productivity, cumulative impact, and quantum calculations, and had a lead role in assessing damages on more than a dozen major disputes. In addition, Mr. Carter has developed cost and schedule risk analysis models using Monte Carlo simulations to address the uncertainty of estimates and claims.
Michael J. Vallez, P.E., MBA, LEAN SIX SIGMA is a Senior Principal with Long International and has over 40 years of hands-on and leadership experience in project management, engineering/construction management, cost and schedule control, change management, claims, and dispute resolution. He has served in executive management roles for both the owner and contractor working on world-class oil and gas, power, and international mining projects. Mr. Vallez has a proven ability to organize, integrate and manage the work of multi-disciplined technical specialists and project construction teams to achieve corporate financial goals and objectives of return on investment, safety, operational performance, cost, and time. In all, he has provided leadership on several billion dollars’ worth of projects in the chemical, heavy civil, mining, power, oil and gas, industrial, and commercial sectors. Mr. Vallez has written several books on the subjects of construction management, safety, and effective project leadership.
Changes can occur on almost every project and they often lead to delays and other negative impacts to the schedule and cost of a project. Large and complex engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) projects are particularly susceptible to the negative impacts caused by changes. Changes can cause delay and disruption to engineering, procurement, fabrication, transportation and delivery
Concurrent delay is a vexed and complex technical and legal issue. Construction contracts often do not expressly provide direction as to the parties’ agreement when there is concurrent delay. Most simply require the contractor to provide notice and specifics when an owner-responsible delay event occurs.
Most construction contracts require written notice for changes, differing site conditions, extra work, or other events which may affect the contractor’s time and cost of performance. The process of giving “notice” is vital to triggering the contract mechanisms that allow the contractor to pursue additional time and cost and to reserve its rights to recover for any unforeseen...
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the internal and external project execution environments. The pandemic has caused impacts of varying degrees to nearly every aspect of projects involving the activity of people. Ordinary practices in the creation of project documentation are robust and are utilized to support the analysis of construction claims. Although project productivity losses may be demonstrable, providing compelling evidence and proof that the losses were caused by the pandemic may not be as easy to demonstrate.
An As-Built But-For Schedule Delay Analysis (ABBF) is a retrospective CPM schedule delay analysis technique that determines the earliest date that the required mechanical completion activity, project completion activity, or various milestone activities could have been achieved but-for the owner-caused compensable delays that occurred during the project.
Contractor’s claim submittals and expert reports are often deficient in proving causation, i.e., the cause-effect linkage. These claims generally outline the owner-caused impacts and separately calculate quantum; however, the two are often not linked in any meaningful way. Most claims are settled prior to a decision by a panel, court, or board, and therefore these deficiencies are not made apparent. Yet, a well-prepared claim document which includes a persuasive and accurate causeeffect analysis can greatly improve the contractor’s chances of a successful recovery, either through negotiations or in arbitration/litigation. This analysis is difficult and often costly to prepare, and is therefore not performed in many disputes, which may be the reason why the claims fail.
The leader of a corporation or project is the individual who must ultimately be willing to take responsibility for results. Within the context of an organization or team made up of individuals, it is the collective performance of the individuals, as a team, that defines the results of the whole. While it can be said that the best motivation is internal motivation as opposed to external motivation, the leader is ultimately the one responsible for creating the conditions where motivation can thrive.
Time is money especially on engineering and construction projects. Because delays in the completion of the project usually result in increased owner, engineer, and contractor costs, the overall time of performance is vital to the financial success of the project. The importance of time is evidenced by the significant role played by CPM schedules, completion dates, and milestones in the bidding and awarding of engineering and construction contracts. The desire to minimize costs and the time of performance often causes the occurrence of acceleration.
In the construction industry, it is largely agreed that overtime work adversely affects labor productivity. However, there is no universally accepted method for estimating the resulting loss of productivity, and many of the studies commonly used to estimate such losses have been subject to criticism by industry experts and the courts.
The Collapsed As-Built Windows Schedule Analysis (AACE® International Recommended Practice 29R-03, Method Implementation Protocol 3.9) is a modeled, subtractive, multiple-base method. It is a retrospective CPM schedule analysis which is typically used to prove entitlement for compensable delay and assess concurrency of delay within a window of time. The analysis simulates the as-built conditions within a schedule window and then delays are removed from the CPM model. If the forecasted project finish date “collapses” but-for or absent compensable delays, then entitlement for compensable time-related costs can be demonstrated. This article addresses the usage of the Collapsed As-Built Windows protocol and the advantages and disadvantages of the methodology.
The "discrete damages/cost variance analysis method" for quantifying construction claim damages involves the specific distribution of all costs incurred on the project rather than quantifying only certain parts of the cost or damage analysis as may be used in the other methods.
ABSTRACT - This paper provides guidelines to commercial construction cost engineers for the development of a plan for obtaining and utilizing subcontractor cost information for use in bidding, procurement, scheduling, change order management, and claim management. The paper is based upon personal field experience gained in cost engineering, scheduling, bidding, planning, contracting, and claim analyses.
A component of a construction claim often relates to the cost, quantity, and quality of the materials that the contractor installed on a project. The contractor frequently purchases these materials and agrees to install the quantities of materials on a unit price basis, i.e., a unit price that includes both the cost of the materials and the cost to install them.
Most construction contracts, whether they are standard or customized forms, usually contain specific provisions related expressly to the process of giving "notice." The notice generally refers to an obligation on the part of the Contractor to notify the relevant party administering the contract, normally the architect, resident engineer, or owner's representative, of a claim or change event that gives rise to possible additional entitlement for time and/or cost.
The equitable allocation of responsibility for project delays is essential to the resolution of many construction disputes. Contractors frequently assert that they have been delayed for reasons beyond their control. Owners often remain unconvinced that the Contractor is legitimately entitled to a time extension or delay, acceleration and loss of productivity damages.