Lawyer Monthly - March 2023

What areas of facilities- and engineering-related expertise are offered by Acorn Consulting Services (ACS)? ACS provides expert services related to the built environment with emphasis on HVAC, piping, plumbing, fire protection, and energy management systems that affect the operation and utility of buildings in the commercial, institutional, and industrial sectors. We evaluate both design and construction of those systems and opine on matters related to defects, standard of care in design and construction, environmental control, and contractual disputes between owners, contractors, or design professionals. In addition to matters related to the built environment, we are sometimes asked to opine on intellectual property matters, including allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets or infringement on patents. How do you advise your clients on litigation and forensic matters? Each matter involves a different set of facts, participants, timing, technical issues, legal theories and (importantly) the financial claims at issue. We evaluate the who, what, where, how, and other implications of the claims asserted with respect to our client and develop a plan to support the litigation. This may involve the investigation of the site, testing of systems or components, review documentation produced by the parties, and review of photographs and other evidence from the time of the claim. Facility issues often involve multiple parties, including the owner or developer, the architect/engineer design professional, the prime and subcontractors, equipment vendors, utility suppliers, permitting authorities, specialty consultants, and fact witnesses. The Role of Forensic Analysis and Litigation Consulting 76 LAWYERMONTHLYMARCH 2023 The fields of engineering and construction, and the litigation that arises from them, are greatly impacted by the insights provided by forensic engineers and other experts. In this feature we hear more on the subject from Bill Acorn, expert witness and founder of Acorn Consulting Services, LLC. Bill provides us with an indepth examination of the role these experts play through the lens of his own practice. ExpertWitness

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