C. B. Goldsmith &
Associates, Inc. (CBG&A) follows rules and operating
procedures based on the "Recommended Practices for Design
Professional Engaged as Experts in the Resolution of Construction
Industry Disputes," as published by ICED/ASFE and endorsed by
the American Institute of Architects. Commentary regarding our
methods of working within this framework are outlined below.
expert should avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of
conflicts of interest."
Prior to accepting
any project, CBG&A interviews each potential client for possible
conflicts of interest. If any of our associates are involved in
the matter at issue or if they've ever had a relationship with
any of the organizations or individuals involved, we reveal any
such relationship to the client and/or clients' attorney to
determine whether or not the relationship could be construed as
creating (or giving the appearance of creating) conflicts of
CBG&A will not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from
more than one party for services on the same project, or for
services pertaining to the same project, unless the
circumstances are fully disclosed to, and agreed to, by all
"The expert should undertake an engagement only when qualified to do
so, and should rely on other qualified parties for assistance in
matters that are beyond the expert's area of expertise."
At times, CBG&A is
asked to provide forensic consulting work on cases outside our
area our expertise. In matters where our experience and
knowledge are not enough, we will often bring in other
experts or remove ourselves from the case. CBG&A will never
accept a project that we are not fully qualified for.
"The expert should consider other practitioners' opinions relative to
the principles associated with the matter at issue."
CBG&A is often
asked to evaluate reports and opinions from other professionals
prior to writing a report. In those situations where our opinion
differs, we make every effort to outline those differences and
clearly explain why our position should prevail.
4. "The expert should
obtain all available information relative to the events in question
in order to minimize reliance on assumptions and should be prepared
to explain any assumptions to the trier of fact."
CBG&A strives to
collect and review all available documents to identify the
services in question and to determine if any restrictions or
limitations may have applied. Our in-house library contains over
50 years of historic construction-related documents, including
past codes, code-reference standards, industry standards and
manufacturer’s literature. As a result, CBG&A has developed a
reputation for being extremely thorough when investigating
issues of fact, and our obsessive collection of reference
documents eliminates the need to make assumptions.
"The expert should evaluate reasonable explanations of causes and
CBG&A has a
combined 90+ years experience investigating a variety of
construction failures and failure mechanisms. This experience
has enabled us to minimize the time necessary to investigate,
understand and evaluate each reasonable cause and effect related
to the case. When appropriate, we discuss the issues with both
manufacturer's representatives and other industry professionals
in an effort to study and evaluate different explanations of
causes and effects. We will never limit our investigation for
the purpose of proving a position advanced by those who have
"The expert should strive to assure the integrity of tests and
investigations conducted as part of the expert's services."
projects only to qualified organizations capable of serving as an
expert or factual witness with regard to the work they
"The expert witness should testify about professional standards of
care only with knowledge of those standards that prevailed at the
time in question, based upon reasonable inquiry."
developed a way to quickly research historic codes, product literature, and recognized industry
standards that may have been in effect at the time of the building's
design and/or construction. In addition to our traditional library,
CBG&A maintains a digital library of archived standards, articles,
eBooks, and other construction-related documents. Documents filed in our
digital library are saved in a searchable format, allowing our
team members to research information faster -- saving the client both time and money.
This extensive repository of searchable and indexed documents
us to make quick
determinations of the standard of care prevailing at the time in
"The expert witness should use only those illustrative devices or
presentations that simplify or clarify an issue."
building deficiencies and preserves test samples for later use
as potential exhibits to be shown to triers of facts. We have
proven experience in preparing and assembling exhibits,
including photographic documentation, charts, graphs and/or
models for our
client's use. Our intent in the preparation of all of these
tools is to clarify and explain the issues. Illustrative devices
or presentations are customized for each project to demonstrate
relevant principles without bias.
"The expert should maintain custody and control over whatever
materials are entrusted to the expert's care."
an established procedure for the storage, identification and
tracking of materials obtained during our investigations to
preserve evidence and to ensure an effective "chain of
custody" is maintained. In some cases, evidence is placed
in environmentally controlled storage facilities.
"The expert should respect confidentiality about an assignment."
By default, CBG&A
assumes that all investigation work is confidential and follows
the advise of counsel to manage and balance the demands of
communication and to respect to the nature and form of those
CBG&A understands the duty of confidentiality and that all
matters discussed by and between experts, their clients and/or
clients' attorneys are regarded as privileged. We will never
reveal facts, data or information obtained in a professional
capacity without the prior consent of the client or employer,
except as authorized or required by law or professional Codes of
Conduct. We will not disclose confidential information
concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any
present or former client or employer without his consent.
"The expert should refuse or terminate involvement in an engagement
when fee is used in an attempt to compromise the expert's judgment."
CBG&A will never
accept a case contingent on a potential outcome. It is our
policy to either refuse or terminate involvement in cases when
preferences for outcome start to compromise objectivity.
We will not allow attorneys or other parties to substantially
control, write, or otherwise unduly influence our analyses,
judgment, reports, opinions, and/or testimony. We will never
limit inquiry for the purpose of proving the contentions
advanced by the attorneys who have retained us, nor will we
write, transmit, adopt, or promote opinions, crafted by others or include legal opinions, under the guise of a
professional opinion. CBG&A will only express opinions when they
are founded on adequate knowledge of the facts, clear
identification of all assumptions made, and a description of all
additional information considered to provide an opinion.
"The expert should refuse or terminate involvement in an engagement
when the expert is not permitted to perform the investigation that
the expert believes is necessary to render an opinion with a
reasonable degree of certainty."
CBG&A will never
accept or continue with a project if limitations will prevent us
from testifying with a reasonable degree of certainty. We
believe it is our responsibility as experts to inform the client
and/or client's attorney about the scope and nature of the
investigation in order to properly investigate the
issues so that adequate conclusions can be drawn.
"The expert witness should strive to maintain a professional demeanor
and be dispassionate at all times."
We subscribe to the
business model that the client must be told the
"Truth", only advocate our professional opinion, treat facts
with equal conviction, and to never view a case as a competition
between experts. In each investigation, it is our goal to
maintain a high professional demeanor and focus, particularly
when rendering testimony or during cross examination. This
mindset is the foundation of a work ethic that has served us
well for the last 50 years.