Computer Experts & Computer Failure Expert Witnesses

On this webpage we present:

Computer Experts

What We Do As Computer Experts (Consulting)

WSRcg’s “computer experts” have consulted in numerous aspects of the computer field over the past thirty years or more. They have acted in roles from software programmers and testers, to system analysts and designers; from business team leaders and technical architecture leads, to SDLC developers and project managers; from software maintenance heads and IT department directors to CIO’s and International consulting firm partners. They have implemented new systems of all kinds at all levels of their companies, clients or customers. Some have developed new methodologies that have been embraced at international IT conferences and major international IT Law conferences, and have become part of law school and university coursework and have published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals.

In addition, several of our computer experts specialize in specific industries such as:

  • health care and hospitals,
  • big box retail stores, regional department stores, grocery chains,
  • manufacturing and distribution,
  • restaurant & fast food service,
  • gaming, lotteries and ticketing,
  • government: federal, state, local,
  • military command and control and embedded systems,
  • robotics & smart buildings,
  • software and high-technology,
  • higher-education.

Several of WSRcg’s computer experts have been accepted and/or have testified as computer and software failure expert witnesses in the U.S. and abroad. Accordingly, they also bring an extra sense of awareness, skill, knowledge and experience to client problems requiring top-notch computer consulting experts.

Also, when and as necessary, WSRcg will engage associate consulting experts and firms that we work with to supply special hardware, and scientific and engineering expertise.

WSRcg Computer Consulting Experts Have Extensive Experience, Training, Knowledge & Expertise in Numerous Aspects of the IT & Computer Industries
  • IT and computer strategy,
  • on-site and remote support,
  • computer room layout,
  • data center consolidations,
  • creating, normalizing, designing, building and repairing complex databases,
  • writing users manuals,
  • creating and offering computer, software. programming and application training classes,
  • developing, teaching, implementing new SDLC methodologies for clients,
  • acting as turnaround consultants,
  • advising Boards of Directors on IT acquisitions, implementation, operations and technical matters,
  • IT and computer strategy,
  • on-site and remote support,
  • computer room layout,
  • data center consolidations,
  • creating, normalizing, designing and building repairing complex databases,
  • developing, teaching, implementing new SDLC methodologies for clients, companies, and customers
  • Internet strategy,
  • acting as turnaround consultants,
  • advising Boards of Directors on IT acquisitions, implementation, operations, technical matters,
  • developing long range IT plans for mid-size businesses
  • aligning IT strategy with business strategy,
  • recruiting CIO, VP of IT executives for companies,
  • reviewing IT department budgeting, staffing, operations, controls and its ability support the company’s strategic business and IT goals
  • reviewing systems and software performance and recommending and/or implementing improvement,
  • implementing data back-up and archiving systems and procedures,
  • designing networks,
  • testing new computer products before general release (hardware, software, ERP systems, operating systems),
  • planning for new semiconductor technology,
  • new product design engineering and development,
  • computer benchmarking,
  • computer crime,
  • computer storage.

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What We Do As Computer Failure Expert Witnesses

As “computer failure expert witnesses” we have consulted on legal matters, and provided expert witness reports and/or testimony at trial, arbitration, mediation and special hearings regarding computer system transactions and contracts, and failed computer systems: i.e., (1) hardware, peripherals, and components, and (2) projects including the integration and implementation of all computer system components.

In such litigation matters, we typically look at “computer system components” as much more than just software. These systems oftentimes include hardware, software, IP rights, people, policies and procedures. The table below outlines some of the computer components and issues areas where WSRcg has special expertise and/or for which WSRcg Computer Expert (Failure) Witnesses have been asked to testify or have actually given testimony in U.S. courts (Superior Court, Federal Court, and the Court of Federal Claims), in arbitration, and in Asian and European venues.

The claims in computer and computer failure matters required WSRcg Experts to opine on, among other things, the following:

Breach of Contract Breach of good faith and fair dealing Bad faith, Unfair dealing
Class Action lawsuits Fraud, gross mismanagement Negligence and gross negligence
Breach of express & implied warranties Compliance with industry standards and government regulations Industry meaning of “best efforts” & “workmanlike quality”
Breach of fiduciary duty Lanham Act matters Bankruptcy
Negligent misrepresentation Software and technology IP theft, infringement and misappropriation RICO issues

Because computer litigation covers more than software/software project issues alone (see Table below), it oftentimes requires more IT engineering, technical and IT industry expertise that software litigation.

WSRcg Computer (Failure) Expert Witnesses Are Authorities in Many Industries & Give Testimony in Virtually All IT World Aspects:, Including Hardware, Software, Netware, People, Business Processes & “Best Practices”
  • hardware,
  • configured application software,
  • new custom software,
  • legacy software,
  • network and satellite communications
  • specialty devices (e.g., POS equipment, medical equipment, smart buildings, smart phones, PDAs, security devices, etc.)
  • interfaces between different hardware, software, communications and/or mobile devices,
  • risk management and insurance issues,
  • backup, recovery and hot-sites,
    • data center consolidation,
  • outsourcing contracts, and outsourcing of hardware, software, facilities, assets, staff and operations,
  • executives and user processes & procedures,
  • user interfaces and training,
  • systems compliance with requirements including:
    • functional requirements and specifications,
    • implied requirements,
    • design specifications,
    • software and operations documentation,
    • required tests,
    • industry and government regulations,
    • industry “best practices”,
    • contractual promises,
    • device or software documentation,
    • performance/SLO/SLA objectives; end-to-end computer system performance
  • Proper compliance and control of new computer product against contracted for provisions or industry standards and “best practices” such as:
    • “workmanlike quality”
    • staffing needs and skills
    • deliverables: content, format, due dates, and approval and escalation processes,
    • required or recommended development tools, licenses, certifications, including CMMi, PMP, ITIL, CQAE, CSTE, etc.
    • proposed marketing methods,
    • release procedures,
    • upgrade procedures and philosophy,
    • “mid-life kicker” releases and all that goes with it,
    • user interfaces and training,
    • SDLC hardware, device and software development, build, test, release, maintain and support methodology(ies) to be used & when/how they may be relaxed,
  • competency, staffing and adequacy of appropriate SME’s and IT professionals and engineers, marketing executives, strategic planners, CIOs, DBAs, project managers, test leads, help desks, debuggers, operators, etc.
  • suitability of the system, processes, and support team to create, test, document, approve, upload, amd implement software upgrades/ patches.
  • Quality, budget, staffing, culture, training, and opportunities for promotion for the maintenance operations staff.

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Selected WSRcg ERP Litigation Experience

Format: Case Reference – Case Type

Engaging counsel’s client (Plaintiff or Defendant) – Party’s role in matter

U.S. Government and President of the United States
DEFENDANTS – CUSTOMER

Dispute: The President, as head of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission agreed to close down a computerized robotics army base that failed to meet contractual performance requirements during Desert Storm. The government refused to pay the $150 million owed to plaintiff software, robot and smart building developer.

Our Role: With secret clearance, our team visited the base site, reviewed and analyzed performance history and stats of the base during the war, and developed a 3-D simulation model which proved that there were fundamental and pervasive design and implementation flaws and decisions unilaterally made by the plaintiff developer that caused the system (and the robots) to crash.

Result: Overwhelming and complete exoneration for defendants

 

International Medical Company
PLAINTIFF - CUSTOMER

Dispute: Involved a system developed by a major outsourcer which failed to perform.

Our Role: Our research, report, and testimony helped show that the system developed was not of workmanlike quality, was not built using the outsourcer’s “System Life Cycle Methodology” or any industry standards, was unable to provide seamless interfaces from numerous medical diagnostic/laboratory equipment of all kinds to huge servers on multiple continents, and could no fulfill its intended purpose(s).

Result: Judgment of fraud against defendant.

 

International Fast Food Company
DEFENDANT - CUSTOMER

Dispute: Developer sued over the refusal of the customer to install and pay for an integrated POS system at several restaurant chains involving almost 15,000 stores worldwide.

Our Role: We testified and demonstrated that the system was fundamentally flawed in terms of hardware selection and design and would never have worked, was not fault tolerant, couldn’t handle peak performance, and was inappropriate for intended “hostile” environment.

Result: Defendant exonerated – no damages.

 

Large Magazine Subscription Company
PLAINTIFF - CUSTOMER

Dispute: Integrator/Developer failed to properly install a new system involving very complicated data base requirements.

Our Role: Involved source code issues, poorly designed/converted database (from flat files to a relational database), quality of design and implementation, year 2000 issue, recovery and restart failure, performance, and other issues.

Result: Case settled at very favorable terms to plaintiff.

 

Large Systems Integrator
DEFENDANT - INTEGRATOR

Dispute: Breach of contract in development of special statewide computer system involving over $100 million.

Our Role: Established that, in fact, plaintiff vendor "with knowledge": severely underestimated project; assigned inadequate staff; didn't understand requirements; designed/developed poor quality system; didn't adequately test system; and that system wouldn't have worked.

Result: Change in government resulted in settlement.

 

Manufacturer of Hi-Tech Products
PLAINTIFF – DEVELOPER

Dispute: Right to import into U.S. hi-tech products that permit the unlocking of certain security devices (hardware locks) on PCs.

Our Role: Delivered written testimony and proofs that there exists a "substantial legitimate commercial purpose" for the product.

Result: Products allowed for import.

 

State Government with Large Dispatch System
DEFENDANT - CUSTOMER

Dispute: State Government hired a large integrator to install a complex computer-aided dispatch system – but cancelled the contract after many delays and poor testing results. Integrator sued for $100 million.

Our Role: Our expert analysis and report revealed that integrator grossly underestimated the project due to its inexperience with these types of systems – compounded by poor project management tools, poor collection of user requirements, insufficiently qualified staff, and inadequate testing approaches.

Result: Jury rejected lawsuit, and awarded Defendant $1 million for legal costs.

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Other Computer Related Litigation Matters

  • Engaged in multiple cases by both plaintiff and defense attorneys as a strategist and expert in matters involving fitness and production readiness of allegedly failed: smart buildings (clothing and machine manufacturing); robots; automated storage/retrieval systems; automated guided vehicles; complex logistics algorithms; RF devices; simulations, etc.
  • Engaged in matters involving launches of new hi-tech products (both with and without competition). Established and opined on "best efforts vs. actual efforts", market size/share potential, and royalty and damage calculations.
  • Engaged in multiple international matters involving the manufacture and quality of PCs and large client/server hardware and components. Prepared written testimony on:
    • testing,
    • ISO 9000 compliance,
    • manufacturing standards and assembly practices,
    • quality assurance processes,
    • industry standards,
    • readiness and fitness of the products

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Computer System Failures Caused By Bugs

Below is a sampling of just a few major reported computer system failures caused by software bugs. Many more could be added that involve the manufacture of computer components to bad specs or not to spec.

Recently Reported Major System Failures: Source: http://www.softwareqatest.com/qatfaq1.html
February 2008 Software problems in automated baggage sorting system at big airport prevents thousands of passengers from checking baggage on flights; breakdown occurred during software upgrade, despite pre-testing of software. System had problems for months.
November 2007 Regional government brings multi-million dollar lawsuit against software services vendor, claiming vendor 'minimized quality' in software for large criminal justice information system & system did not meet requirements. Vendor sues its subcontractor on project
April
2007
Software problem contributes to rail car fire in a major underground metro system when it fails to detect/prevent excess power usage resulting in overheating, fire & evacuation of system
March
2007
Tens of thousands of medical devices recalled to correct software bug. Per news reports, software would not reliably indicate when available power to the device was too low.
September 2006 Insufficiently test State government's primary election system problems causes unexpected periodic, rebooting of voter check-in machines, resulting in confusion & delays at voting sites..
August
2006
U.S. government student loan service erroneously makes personal data of 21K borrowers public on web site. Bug fixed; government dept. offers free credit monitoring for those affected.
June
2006
Software error results in overbilling several thousand dollars to each of 11,000 customers of major telecom company. Software bug fixed in days; correcting bills – much longer
May
2006
Reported multi-million dollar lawsuit settlement by healthcare software vendor to customer claiming system problems: modules poorly integrated; bad data to medical personnel.
November 2005 Trading on major Asian stock exchange brought to halt reportedly due to error in a system software upgrade. Problem rectified & trading resumed later the same day.
May
2005
Reported hybrid car maker installs software fix on 20,000 cars due to invalid engine warning lights & some stalling. Expert indicates car industry spends $2-$3 billion/year fixing software.
January 2005 Big problems reported with $170mm high-profile U.S. gov’t IT systems project. Software testing one of five major problem areas per commission report. March 2005, entire project scrapped.
July
2004
New Canadian gov’t welfare system costing several hundred million dollars unable to handle benefits rate increase after go-live. Contract schedule too tight; never tested rate increase.
Mid-2004 Millions of accounts impacted by poorly tested software in bank transaction system. Reportedly 2 weeks to fix; incident draws e-mail phish attacks vs. bank customers; total cost >$100 million
April
2004
Software bug big contributor to 2003’s U.S. power blackout – 50mm customers out, 100 power plants shut down, loss est. $6 billion. Bug can’t handle confluence of initially localized events.

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For More Related Information

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Call Warren S. Reid at (818) 986-8842 if you have any questions or wish to discuss your case.

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