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Challenges to Expert Qualifications, Methodology, & Opinions


Challenges to Expert Qualifications, Methodology, & Opinions
IAAI-FDNY Fall 2023 Training Seminar
FDNY Fire Training Academy, Randall’s Island 
9 Reilly Blvd
New York City, NY  10035
October 5, 2023
Trace L. Lawless, IAAI-CFI®, IAAI-ECT® (Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company) 

David E. Bridges, Esq., IAAI-CFI®, IAAI-CI® (Meagher + Geer, P.L.L.P.)

Presentation Overview: During both criminal and civil litigation, an expert’s qualifications, methodology, and/or opinions may be challenged. The goal of the challenge is to exclude the expert and/or their opinions from trial. These challenges may occur at a Daubert or Frye hearing or some other motion to exclude the expert or their opinions/testimony. The consequences of the exclusion could impact the case and the expert’s viability in the future. Not surprisingly, counsel, experts, and Courts throughout the country are making such expert-challenges a hot topic in the industry. This interactive block of instruction examines the framework for which such expert-specific challenges arise in both public- and private-sector fire and explosion cases, litigators’ arguments to advance them, the public- and private-sector experts’ involvement in them, and the Courts’ analytical framework to resolve them. We will address all of the participants’ knowledge and application of the scientific method. We also address guidelines and standards of care applicable to public and private sector fire and explosion origin and cause investigations, including National Fire Protection Association (“NFPA”) 1033, Standard for the Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator (2021 Ed.), NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations (2022 Ed.), and their abilities or inabilities to meet those guidelines and standards of care. We will also take participants through a whole host of public- and private-sector case studies to illustrate the Court’s decisions to admit, exclude, or limit expert testimony following the challenges in fire and explosion matters.

Any questions: IAAI-Training@firearson.com

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