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Becht Engineering Blog

In this section of the site contributing authors submit interesting articles relating to the various services, industries and research & development efforts of Becht Engineering.

Steps to Increase Efficiency, Improve Deliverables and Reduce Expert Witness Costs

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OR - Keeping Your Expert Witness Sane Litigation is extraordinarily expensive. Legal and expert witness fees can quickly mount up and become a significant percentage of the amount in dispute. I worked on a cost dispute on a plant estimated to cost $68MM but was significantly over expended. The litigation and expert fees were about $10MM or almost 15% of the original estimate for the plant. In this case good scope, an experienced project team and tight control over field construction might have avoided both the over expenditure and litigation. However, sometimes litigation cannot be avoided and it’s important to control costs of the legal staff as well as the expert witness team. We recently worked on a case where the expert fees were about 7% of the disputed amount. When costs of the legal team were added to the expert fees, the expense was substantial. This article outlines the steps...
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The Becht Expert Witness – A Partner with Credibility

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In any legal case it is very important to establish a true partnership between the law firm and the expert witness. This partnership facilitates an effective, balanced team with both technical and legal knowledge. This will provide the client with the most cost-effective solution and best chance for a favorable outcome during trial or arbitration.  In some legal cases the expert is kept in a strict “need to know” position rather than being a partner. This situation can hinder the expert’s ability to evaluate the situation and add cost due to potential misunderstanding and rework.  This can also put the expert in an awkward position during deposition and trial since the legal teams have facts that may not have been disclosed to the expert. This does not mean the expert has to review all discovery materials but rather needs to have a complete overview or summary of all relevant issues in...
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Securing the Right Expert to Support Your Lawsuit

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On March 25, 2016 I published a Blog titled “ Expert Witness, a Becht Engineering Service to Avoid ”. This Blog focused on a number of elements that can be used to assure projects do not result in litigation. These elements include: Developing a sound, complete scope of work Selecting a qualified contractor Using proven industry standards with specific addenda Putting a highly experienced management and technical team in the contractor’s office Implementing shop and field quality assurance programs Demanding timely reporting from the contractor However, we find that many times these elements are not implemented on major projects and there is a dispute over cost, schedule or performance resulting in litigation. There can also be cases involving equipment failures, underperformance of projects, patent infringement or injury where we are contacted after the litigation process is well under way. In these cases, it is critical the legal team engage the right...
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Expert Witness - A Becht Engineering Service to Avoid

Expert Witness - A Becht Engineering Service to Avoid
Becht Engineering personnel have significant experience in serving as Expert Witnesses for a variety of legal matters.   However, litigation can be costly, time consuming and often times the outcome is unpredictable.    It should be avoided if at all possible through implementation of proper controls and oversight. A much better strategy than after the fact litigation is to put contracts, systems, specifications and personnel in place to assure there is a good outcome on a project.  This will also assure that issues are addressed in timely fashion and resolved quickly.  Several years ago I wrote a paper titled “ The Top 10 Myths of Reliability Management. ” The first myth was “You can always trust your contractor.” While many contractors are quite competent, it is important to have a clear understanding of the expectations and the contactor must be monitored to assure the work is going according to plan.  Becht Engineering...
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