Michael J. Canaan, CPP CFLC, is a Premises Liability Expert Witness with over 45 years of experience in military and civil law enforcement, as well as corporate and private sector security and investigative positions.
Assignments have taken him from the Bering Sea to Southeast Alaska, across Canada and the United States, to countries in Central and South American in case venues ranging from educational settings, amphitheaters and stadiums, nightclubs and sports bars, ships, casinos, retail environments, food processing facilities, malls, and shopping centers.
Expert cases have involved evaluating failure to meet best practices, duty or standard of care in areas such as:
Inadequate or negligent hiring, retention, training, supervision, staffing, and terminations
Use of force or excessive force, threats, harassment, and intimidation
Inadequate or non-non-existent policies and procedures, post orders
Assaults, voyeurism, rape, sexual assault, robbery, shootings, stabbing, and homicide
Security technology integration, improper or inadequate physical security infrastructure or systems installation
Mr. Canaan has worked on nearly 50 expert cases, with testimony experience in both deposition and trial.
He is Board Certified in Security Management by the American Society for Industrial Security, International. ASIS is the largest professional security practitioner association with over 38,000 members worldwide, of which only 2200 have received this prestigious certification. Mr. Canaan is also a Certified Forensic Litigation Consultant with the Forensic Expert Witness Association.
David Rutecki's career spans 39 years of Restaurant and Hospitality related experience. Working in more than 20 restaurants and involved in the opening of more than a dozen, he has worked every position possible within this industry. Mr. Rutecki currently owns and operates Mountain Deli in Hendersonville, garnering the 2016, 2017 & 2018 Blue Ridge Growth Award. He is a Member of the North Carolina and National Restaurant Associations. Mr. Rutecki has been invloved in the following selected restaurants:
Fancy’s Food and Wine, Gourmet Shop, Coral Gables, South Miami & Grove Isle, Fl.
Susie’s Bagels, Breakfast Restaurant, South Miami, Fl.
Pizzaria Uno, Full Service Restaurant, Miami, Fl.
Baystreet, Full Service Seafood Restaurant, Miami, Fl.
Litigation Support - David Rutecki offers expert witness and litigation support for restaurant related issues in the United States. His services are available to counsel representing both Plaintiff and Defendant. Areas of Expertise:
Dennis Gemberling, CHA, CFBE, FMP, FCSI, President and Founder of Perry Group International, has over 35 years of experience in the Hospitality Management industry. His experience includes managing, operating, and consulting on full-service, limited-service, extended-stay, all-suite, condo and timeshare hotels and resorts, casual, fine-dining, and quick-service restaurants, bars and nightclubs, catering and special event facilities, casinos, and mixed-use real estate.
Mr. Gemberling has held prior positions for different owners, operators, and chains as Senior Vice President, General Manager, Director of Food & Beverage, and Restaurant Unit Manager. He has been retained on over 400 projects with typical values in the $1 million to $75 million range and revenues in the $1 million to $100 million range both nationally and internationally. His many clients have include among others Biscuits & Blues, Cantina’s, Chevy’s, Choice Hotels, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inns, Hilton, Holiday Inns, Hooter’s Casino, Hyatt, Marriott, McDonald’s, Microtel Inn & Suites, Outback Restaurants, Radisson, Residence Inns, Signature Resort, Sizzler, Sonic Drive-Ins, Starbucks, Starwood, Sheraton, Togo’s, Wendy’s, and Willie Mays Skybox Lounge.
Litigation Support: Dennis Gemberling is a Certified Hotel Administrator, Certified Food and Beverage Executive, Certified Foodservice Management Professional, and Certified Food Safety Manager. He offers expert witness services to attorneys for plaintiff and defendant cases on a variety of Hospitality-related claims. He is a Professional Member of Foodservice Consultants Society International and the Forensic Expert Witness Association. Mr. Gemberling also provides expertise as a Court Appointed Receiver and Interim Property Manager and is currently the Past President and a Board of Director for the California Receivers Forum – Bay Area Chapter.
Maurice Robinson, ISHC, CRE, ASA, is an expert in the field of hotel and resort consulting. He has been facilitating the development and redevelopment of high-end, full-service hotels and resorts for over 30 years.
Additionally, Mr. Robinson has been providing litigation support services, strategic advisory services, hotel repositioning, market feasibility studies, and appraising hotels and other hospitality-related real estate. His expertise includes advising clients on development planning, deal structuring and financial issues, dispute resolution, workouts, and expert witness testimony related to hotel and resort development and investment.
Qualified Expert Witness & Consultant in Hotel and Real Estate Industry Business Issues:
Recently, we were engaged by the National Park Service (NPS) to appraise the structures and other improvements that have been constructed by commercial vendors or "concessionaires" operating hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services in National Parks.
Leonard J. Backer has over 28 years of extensive and successful Seating, Tables and Furniture Industry experience in all key areas. Mr. Backer has been directly involved in the design and development of 250+ seating and table collections. He specializes in Private Label Manufacturing, Sourcing, and Product Development expertise.
Mr. Backer provides aggressive Expert Witness and Litigation Support services to attorneys, insurers and businesses for Plaintiff or Defense. He performs site inspections, detailed product reviews and incident analyses. He has worked with law firms and insurance companies to develop and coordinate strategies for various types of legal actions and lawsuits. Very strong hospitality background.
Mr. Backer has extensive experience with hotel, restaurant, cruise ship, retail store and senior living incidents. Personal Injury and Product Liability Cases. He provides detailed analyses, written opinions, and expert witness reports for clients throughout the U.S. Strong proven deposition and court testimony.
Areas of Expertise:
Furniture Based Disputes, Claims, or Legal Actions
Many restaurants, independent hotels and timeshare resorts have much tighter budgets these days when it comes to purchasing seating for their properties. At the same time, there seem to be many “attractive” options available for their chairs, barstools and benches...
Alan Someck’s 42 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry as an owner, operator, consultant, and teacher has given him the in depth practical knowledge to provide highly professional and thorough expert witness reports, depositions and testimony. For the past 14 years, he has been a full time Management Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City as well as serving as an Adjunct Professor of Hospitality Management at the New York Institute of Technology.
Mr. Someck has had 25 years of experience as a full time operator in fine dining and fast casual restaurants. Through his active consulting firm, Keystone Hospitality Solutions, he has helped develop a wide variety of restaurant concepts ranging from cafes to full service restaurants, and worked as a food service operations analyst for organizations such as the U.S. State Department, U.S. Patent Office, and the F.A.A.
Mr. Someck has been awarded 7 grants from the Environmental Protection Agency and New York State to work on sustainability issues within the hospitality industry. He also has ownership interest in Jimbo’s Naturally, a highly successful chain of San Diego based Natural Food Markets.
Mr. Someck has organized and presented at workshops, conferences, and training programs for the New York State Restaurant Association, and has been a national keynote speaker and author of hospitality related business articles on hospitality management strategies, food service operations, and franchising. He has been featured in a variety of industry media publications such as Forbes.com and Full Service Restaurant Magazine. Mr. Someck is also a Nationally Certified Trainer in ServSafe Food Safety and ServSafe Alcohol.
Litigation Support - Alan Someck has been a legal expert witness in a wide variety of cases related to the hospitality field including:
Restaurant Income and Profit Analysis
Hospitality Slips and Falls
Customer and Employee Safety
Restaurant Wages and Tips Issues
Food Safety / Allergies
Alcohol Service Liabilities / Dram Shop Cases
Hospitality Harassment and Discrimination
Business Damages and Restaurant Feasibility Studies
Every year industry professionals and thought leaders and every food related newsletter puts out their list of trends. It’s important to pay attention to those lists because even though they don’t always agree, any industry operator can assess from them an idea of what trends they should be paying attention to and provide themselves some competitive edge in a highly risky industry
There has been a flood of allegations and admissions to sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. It’s been clear to many that incidents of this nature have been occurring for a very long time in a wide variety of ways. A spark was needed to bring the issue into the spotlight and the calling out of high profile industry leaders became that catalyst.
For owners to successfully manage this difficult environment, they must operate at a very high and professional level and become proactive in addressing the threats to their business. In terms of preventing and managing accidents, this means developing and implementing a system of safeguards that minimize exposure
Gary Deel, Ph.D., J.D. has 10 years of experience in executive-level positions in the hospitality industry and 10 years of experience teaching hospitality management and law curriculum for some of the nation's top hotel schools.
Dr. Deel holds both a Ph.D. in Hospitality and a J.D. in Law, so he understands the nuances of expert witness testimony from the perspective of attorney strategy. He has also worked in a variety of different hospitality industry capacities including operations, sales, security and risk management, training and administration, and others. His services are available to help attorneys make the strongest possible arguments for clients in hospitality-related cases. Dr. Deel offers expert witness services nationwide in the areas of:
Travel and Tourism
Meetings and Events
Suit against Miami beach resort involving catastrophic injury in the ocean and hotel duty to warn about latent hazards known to hotel and not obvious to visitors (plaintiff).
Suit against Orlando city center convention hotel involving sexual assault of a minor guest by an employee and hotel duty to monitor employee whereabouts and activities (plaintiff).
Joel Feigenheimer, PhD is an industry expert with over 35 years of experience related to the Restaurant and Hospitality field. A graduate of the Cornell Hotel School, he holds an MBA in Hospitality and a PhD in Business from Northcentral University (attained 2018). Dr. Feigenheimer has been named the National Association of Concessionaires Eminent Scholar at The Chaplin School of Hospitality at Florida International University.
For the past three decades, Dr. Feigenheimer has served as both an entrepreneur and director for an International restaurant firm. He has corporate, independent, and franchise restaurant experience. Over his career he has consulted on three continents, excelled in the corporate environment, been a successful entrepreneur, and met thousands of industry leaders.
Currently on the faculty at Florida International University, he teaches Restaurant and Hospitality Management to tomorrow's hospitality leaders. His courses include Purchasing and Menu Planning, Concepts of Food and Beverage, Sustainability, Cost Control, Introductory Management Concepts, and Project Management, among others.
Litigation Support - Dr. Feigenheimer provides nationwide expert testimony relating to Food Service and Hospitality Operations. He has direct experience not only as a "legal expert" but also as an operational expert. This enables him to explain cases in a manner that juries understand, easy going yet direct and effective. Dr. Feigenheimer's services are available to attorneys representing both plaintiff and defendant.
Preston Rideout is a Nightclub and Bar Expert with 25 years of experience, 75 Alcohol Safety Certifications, and over 100 clients across the United States. He is a highly sought-after Nightclub and Bar Consultant and widely considered the most experienced Dram Shop Expert in the legal industry. Preston is CEO of Rideout Hospitality and Founder of The Dram Shop Experts.
Upon graduating from the University of Mississippi, Preston Rideout relocated to Las Vegas to operate Coyote Ugly, Tangerine Nightclub, Pure Nightclub, PCD l Louge, Audigier Nightclub, LAX Nightclub, Noir Bar, EVE Nightclub, Venus, and Rehab Pool Party, located inside New York Casino, Treasure Island Casino, Ceasar's Palace, The Luxor, Aria Casino, and The Hard Rock Hotel.
In 2010, Preston launched Rideout Hospitality and began consulting for Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Nightclubs, and Bars across the United States. His partial client list can be found here.
In 2016, Preston Rideout and Ryan Dahlstrom published a Bartender Training Manual. and received over 100,000 downloads. To date, The Bar Experts Bartender Training Manual is the most downloaded document in the Hospitality Industry.