Making Mistakes With Expert Witnesses

There is little doubt that litigation can be stressful for clients and attorneys alike. With filings, briefs, and deadlines, the litigator has little time to worry about whether her or his expert witness is getting the job done. The attorney usually has one shot for the expert to get the case right. If the expert witness fails, it can have wide-reaching implications for the entire case.

Experts aren’t perfect. Mistakes can be made and deadlines can be missed. Pertinent documentation can be overlooked, and erroneous conclusions can be drawn. These can be fatal errors for the litigator.

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Michael Volkov on Internal Investigations: Best Practices

Guest Post by Michael Volkov

In-House counsel and corporate compliance officers dodge bullets everyday as they stare down the barrels of aggressive prosecutors, regulators, civil litigants, whistleblowers, disgruntled employees and shareholders prodded by trial attorneys to file derivative suits at the drop of a hat. In the face of all of these risks, internal investigations have become commonplace and a standard defensive tactic for a company to regain some leverage, learn the scope of a potential problem and then develop a plan for resolving a particular issue.

All too often, companies follow the rote formula developed in the Sarbanes-Oxley era of the early 2000s. Those same formulas are being applied in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and in more discrete global anti-corruption, money laundering, export compliance and antitrust enforcement matters.

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IRS and work product

Yesterday, a judge ruled that the IRS was not entitled to see workpapers that were deemed work product. This is a very important ruling in tax matters.

“Work product” is used in legal cases to protect papers that you don’t want the other side to see. Essentially, the attorney in a case doesn’t have to show the other side his notes and his work. Why? Because doing so would give the other side an unfair advantage if they get to see his research and though process.

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