Economic Litigation Consulting
We provide economic and financial litigation support for legal cases
The Knowles Group offers a full range of forensic economic services to assist in legal cases. Many attorneys and law firms rely on our economic consulting services to help present their case during trial. Aside from economic analysis and expert witness testimony, we can provide advice, recommendations, and tactical assistance at each phase of the trial. We have consulted on over a thousand cases, working with law firms, government agencies, and insurance entities.
Preliminary Damage Estimates
There are instances that may require our financial services without the need or want for formal retention or disclosure. Our flexibility and experience allow us to help you assess opposing economic demands prior to settlement negotiations or mediation. This can be as simple as a phone discussion of case variables or a quick review of opposing damage estimates.
Our lengthy experience, track record, and retention on thousands of cases allows us to give you accurate responses and critiques to opposing demands after listening to a few factors of the case. We can provide you with a rough estimate of economic damages in the span of a few hours or days without authoring a report if this is something you desire. Our experience enables us to deliver a preliminary damage estimate quickly, while many large economic consulting firms can take weeks or months to offer an opinion.
Creating Deposition and Cross-Examination Questions
A segment of our consulting work focuses on opposing deposition and trial preparation. The majority of our clients ask us to prepare questions for opposing forensic witnesses. This can be an efficient use of your time when preparing for your deposition of the plaintiff and opposing vocational or economic experts. Giving yourself an alternate and experienced perspective when walking into a deposition can lead to questions answered for the record that potentially would not have been brought up.
Should You Hire an Economic Consultant or Expert Witness?
Generally speaking, there are two different kinds of experts: disclosed or testifying and consulting. The testifying expert opines his or her expertise in the way of authored opinions, a court of law or deposition while the consulting expert will review materials, perform research and analysis, and provide verbal opinions for the litigation team.
A testifying and consultancy expert are often one in the same person. All that differs is the disclosure of the witness and how the opinions are presented.
Sometimes an attorney will strategically hire a consultant, then designate them as an expert witness just prior to the deadline. This strategy is sometimes used to limit the opposing side’s access to a witness until the very last possible opportunity. In some situations, it can create confusion or doubt for the opposing side as they try to determine how many and which experts may be called to provide testimony.
How Economic Consulting Can Help Your Case
An economic litigation expert can provide a wide range of valuable services to both plaintiff and defense, such as:
Economic & Financial Educational
In many cases, attorneys are faced with complicated subject matter that they themselves may not fully understand. A litigation consulting expert can help shed light on complex economic concepts and abstract ideas.
For example, if a law firm is trying to determine the manufacturer’s product liability and defect, they may require the services of someone who understands the product and the systems, or lack thereof, that led to the defective product.
Or if a child was killed in a car accident, an economic consulting firm can help paint an accurate representation of what the future could have held for the him/her in terms of employment, salary, and benefits.
Helping with Discovery
Economic experts can be impactful for discovery requests because sometimes the legal team can miss something of great importance. The expert can advise the attorney where to begin and focus their research.
One of the best aspects of a litigation support consultant is that they have most likely worked on a case similar to yours. The experience and advice they offer are often invaluable. At The Knowles Group, we have provided data analysis, consulting advice, and expert witness testimony in thousands of cases in our 30 years of existence. Explore our practice areas to get a sense for the breadth of cases that we consult on.
We have the experience and know-how to help advise on complex forensic economic issues and break these concepts down into easy-to-understand terms that can help shed more light on the facts surrounding the case.
Determining Expert Witnesses
Economic consultants can also help the legal team determine which expert witnesses will provide the most compelling and convincing testimony to support their claims.
These experts could come from the same firm or be trusted referrals to individuals that the consultant has successfully worked with prior. Realistic examples of referrals have been vocational experts and life care planners that we have successfully teamed with in the past.
Experimentation and Testing
This expert can also perform a series of tests related to his or her area of expertise that can help bolster the claims of the attorney he’s working for.
An example of this would be an engineering expert performing flammability and durability tests upon a Lithium-Ion battery that exploded while inside the phone of the client.
The expert could also look at the exploded battery and determine with reasonable certainty that the accident was caused by a manufacturer’s defect and not the consumer.
Evaluating Business Issues
In many cases, underlying business issues are at the core of a legal argument. An expert can assess and opine on whether or not the underlying issues have merit. They can use surveys, sampling, and other widely accepted methodologies to come to this determination.
Do you need to talk to a forensic economic litigation consultant?
Economic Litigation Consulting Experts
At The Knowles Group, we have over 30 years of helping our clients by providing expert forensic economic consulting and testimony in both federal and state courts. Our experience and expertise are unmatched as we use our extensive resources to uncover the facts through our forensic economic services.
We can help you assess opposing economic demands before negotiation or final settlement. We can do this in-person or hop on a phone call to discuss case particulars and quickly review damage estimates.
If you’re in need of a forensic economic litigation consultant, give us a call at (206) 860-9477 or contact us via our website. We will not only provide you with expert economic advice with regards to damages but can potentially give you a new perspective on your case that will allow you to come up with further questions during the trial or deposition.
Litigation Consulting Cases We’ve Worked On
Loss of earnings, fringe benefits and future care services as a result of sexual assault
My analysis included a loss of earnings, fringe benefits, work-life expectancy and future care services. I estimated the plaintiff's earnings capacity upon graduating with a bachelor's degree from the age earnings data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and compared that to her actual earnings and assumed truncated work-life expectancy from the plaintiff's independent medical evaluation. Two distinct loss scenarios were presented based on probable reductions in the plaintiff's active work duration as a result of the assault. My analysis also included calculating the accompanying loss of fringe benefits (both health insurance and pension contributions) and the present value of recommended life care services over the course of the plaintiff's life expectancy.
Loss of future earnings capacity and life care services as a result of childhood abuse
My analysis included projected earnings sourced from the age earnings data correlating to probable educational attainments from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Differing loss scenarios by educational outcomes had the abuse not occurred during childhood. The foundation for mitigating earnings was from the opinions of another expert who evaluated the plaintiff and placed future earnings constraints at no more than minimum wage. Damages also included loss components for health insurance (to be provided through employer) and a loss of pension contributions (defined contribution plan) from future employers. Finally, my office provided the present value of all future care needs for the plaintiff as a result of the abuse.
Loss of employment and earnings capacity as a result of an Assault
My damage analysis considered the inability of the plaintiff to return to the job of origin as a result of the incident. Damage components of loss included a past wage loss, the present value of lost future earnings capacity (supported by job of origin and age earnings data by education) offset by mitigating employment with significant limitations due to the assault. I estimated the plaintiff's statistical work-life expectancy, the present value of future life care services for the plaintiff and the truncated active work duration due to PTSD and other mental/emotional impairments as a result of the assault. Future life care services are presented by a certified life care planner and require calculations based on estimated costs, frequency and duration.
Loss of earnings and pension as a result of wrongful termination and hostile work environment
My damage analysis focused on the the plaintiff's earnings history with a lengthy career working for the City of Boise as well as applying my knowledge of the Public Employees' Retirement System for Idaho (PERSI). The loss calculations involved the plaintiff's remaining statistical work-life expectancy, her inability to reenter the workforce for mitigation purposes, and the reduction in her PERSI defined pension benefit at her fully vested age. The value of healthcare benefits had to be weighed against the cost of Medicare Plan B, which the plaintiff was eligible for and enrolled in.
Loss of past wages and future care services as a result of medical malpractice-misdiagnosis for Nurse
My analysis included the estimation of the plaintiff's pre-incident earnings capacity as an RN offset by her actual mitigating employment. Mitigation included the plaintiff taking additional time away from work to attend graduate school and elevate her earnings ceiling. The loss period concluded when the plaintiff made the choice to attend graduate school and potentially higher paying positions as a Nurse Practitioner or Nursing Instructor. The plaintiff also had significant future life care needs that I presented in today's dollars by estimating her future healthy life expectancy and applying net discount factors to the recommended services.
Past wage loss and future life care services as a result of a motor vehicle accident
My analysis included the calculation of the plaintiff's past wage loss, estimating future loss of earnings as a result of a forced transition to part-time, and the present value of recommended future life care services to make the claimant whole. Various earnings loss scenarios focused on the plaintiff's pre-incident earnings capacity offset by the estimated mitigating part-time work schedule of 25 to 35 hours per week. Statistical work-life expectancy, life expectancy and net discount variables for the presentation of all future cash flows in today's dollars were utilized.
Wrongful death matter of a 17-year-old High School student
My analysis included calculating the future net accumulation of savings (future earnings minus future personal spending) for the decedent. This involved presenting the most probable educational attainment, providing the statistical work-life expectancy based on age and education, correlating annual earnings capacity from this education level and deducting future personal spending, which is a negatively correlated to estimated earnings. Damage opinions included the present value of all future net accumulation to the estate as well as the critique of opinions from opposing economist.
Business Interruption losses caused by Construction Activity
A residential multi-family building was erected in Portland Oregon and a neighboring auto-repair business claimed business interruption and losses due to the claimant's building experiencing settlement (due to construction) that ultimately rendered a portion of the business to be inoperable. My analysis included reviewing all profit and loss statements and tax returns for the auto-repair business, both before and after the subject incident and interruption. I projected what the business would have experienced in the way of revenues, expenses and net income based on previous years and compared it to the actual returns for the business subsequent to the events. My analysis also included projecting future losses if the business would have to close during construction to resolve any problems and disputes.
Employment related matter involving a physician and hostile work environment
Due to the events and actions that occurred within the plaintiff's work environment (hospital), the doctor found herself in a .5 full-time employment position or part-time. The plaintiff was not able to return to full-time work as a result of the incidents. My analysis included calculating the doctor's remaining statistical work-life expectancy at the time of the subject incident, her pre-incident earnings capacity from past tax returns when she was working full-time and comparing that to her actual earnings capacity when transitioned to part-time. The doctor's compensation was a complex formula involving overtime and on-call time along with bonuses and other fringe benefits. Estimated damages includes past compensation and fringe benefits as well as the present value of all future compensation (earnings, bonuses, healthcare and pension benefits).
Medical malpractice case involving fisherman with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
A 26-year-old male who had developed Hodgkin's Lymphoma was making a claim of Negligence and Medical malpractice against an Alaskan medical facility. Economic damage components of the case involved the alleged diminishment to the future earnings capacity. Plaintiff had continued working in the demanding fishing industry with physical constraints. Due to his age, proposed mitigation included returning to school and attaining his degree. Key assumptions in the case included an adjusted work-life expectancy at the completion of his degree, age earnings data for males with a college degree, and the tuition costs and fees for school. The economic analysis also included calculating the future lost profits for the plaintiff's hypothetical fishing business (captaining his own vessel).