Do you have an Expert Report deadline? Holloway Consulting is often contacted shortly before report deadlines and asked to prepare an expert report and/or rebuttal report.
This page continues Holloway’s series on some of the theoretical concepts that we often try to include in our construction expert reports:
Construction Expert Reports
Project Data Gathering
Project Data is the accumulation of physical evidence that records the contract, performance of the parties, and factors that affected their performance. Regardless of the dispute resolution forum (negotiation, arbitration, or litigation), all project data incorporated in the work product Data Base and/or evaluated during Holloway’s analysis should be admissible as evidence. This data typically excludes attorney-client work product.
The primary source of data is our client’s normal business records, generated during the life of the contract. Secondary data sources may include the files of the other party, third parties (such as the A/E), non-related parties (such as other contractors), and off-site agencies.
Data is important because the work product should be founded on admissible evidence. Most of the data gathering process is accomplished during the early stages of our engagement: interviewing the client’s personnel, plowing through filing cabinets, etc. The process demands maximum amounts of dogged determination and perseverance.
Some of the best data is found during second and third round efforts, which our analysis enables us to focus on specific details during follow-up interview and paper search sessions.
The primary purpose of the first-round interviews with the client’s personnel: find out enough about the project and the problems to define our data gathering in terms of what to look for and where to find it. The notes of these initial meetings are often not valuable data; they only record the client’s recollection of the project and its problems. The facts gathered by first-round interviews must be validated by admissible data. It is not uncommon to discover that the client’s recall of facts, and his/her perception of problems, are faulty.
The first part of the interview should concentrate on the harvesting of specific facts:
- dollars, and
This series of Holloway Consulting articles is on the theory, technique and structure of the effective construction expert report and claim presentation.
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