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Resume of Dwight Clarke
Senior Manager, WSR Consulting Group, LLC

Mr. Clarke has over 29 years experience in a wide variety of roles, including programmer, manager, system architect, technologist, project manager, consultant, and expert witness. He has accumulated in depth knowledge and “hands on” experience with a wide variety of programming languages, operating systems, and computing architectures, from legacy to contemporary, and he has acquired practical experience with program design and development methodologies, effective project management disciplines, validation and verification techniques, and other disciplines attaining to the highest standards of quality and reliability. His experience with a broad cross-section of the IT services sector enables him provide compelling testimony to illuminate complex technical issues for triers of fact in IT litigation.

Areas of Expertise


Litigation – Expert Consulting

  • Engaged by a large state government that paid over $100,000,000 to a large government contractor to develop a child support enforcement system to comply with Federal government mandates. Beyond costs, non-compliance penalties and denial of Federal funding impacted the state financially to an extent approaching a billion dollars. Initial scope of the assignment to inspect program source code expanded to include rendering opinions on system performance issues, software configuration management, testing and validation methodologies, and program complexity metrics. Typical of a case of this magnitude were the welter of ambiguities in contractual implications, joint project management tactics, and other “he said, she said” issues between the parties. The state’s attorneys stressed the importance of a pervasive defect that we discovered standing apart from these ambiguities, entirely outside of the responsibility, knowledge, or control of the state.
  • Engaged by a Fortune 500 company that purchased a large Time and Attendance software package and related professional services for installation and transition management. Beyond seven million dollars in fees to the contractor were the nearly incalculable liabilities of numerous union contract violations and other catastrophic consequences of failure to manage basic payroll functions for approximately 150,000 employees. Our expert report described a persistent pattern of knowing, intentional misrepresentation by defendants of the performance characteristics of the proposed system, costs of required server hardware, benchmark measurements and studies purportedly conducted by defendants, and experience with customers of comparable size. Internal e mails produced in discovery confirmed that defendant’s management and technical staff alike were complicit in deliberate deceit in response to pointed, well-founded insistence from plaintiff’s management upon unequivocal assurances. A few days after expert deposition testimony directly attacked a central defense theory with unexpected severity, the case settled for what the lead attorney characterized as “… 50% more than my most optimistic projection.”
  • Engaged by a commercial software development firm defending allegations of copyright and trade secret infringement by a large competitor. Plaintiff’s initial tactics consisted of elaborating a huge number of loosely stated assertions, raising detail after detail alleging infringement in various forms. Projected damages were sufficient to destroy the client’s financial base several times over. A significant share of the expert consulting involved enumerating answers to these allegations, one by one, to the effect that most if not all described commonplace programming techniques of longstanding usage in the computer industry -- not protected innovations in any ordinary or legal sense. Deposition questions for 30(b)(6) and percipient witnesses reinforced this pattern of response in the testimony of the plaintiff’s own technical staff. Finally, we delivered a compelling, point by point rebuttal to the opposing technical expert report, answering a theory of copying that appeared quite damaging at face value but was, in the last analysis, precariously cantilevered. Losing a succession of MSJs, plaintiffs narrowed the scope of their complaint and pared their settlement position well below the client’s cost projections for continuing the case to a defense verdict, resolving the matter in settlement.
  • Engaged by a commercial software development firm defending allegations of negligent failure to deploy a Time and Attendance software system and effectively integrate multiple predecessor systems for a major commercial airline. Provided technical assistance in formulation of discovery requests, review of documents produced in discovery, and preparation of questions for depositions of percipient witnesses. Research was proceeding toward strong confirmation of a fact pattern in which plaintiff customer, after an extensive turnover of IT management, effectively abandoned management commitment to the project for several months making it impossible for the defendant vendor to progress and building a pretext to terminate for cause and recover fees already expended. Successfully negotiating a drastic reduction of plaintiff’s demand, defendant’s insurance carrier elected to settle.
  • Engaged by a commercial airline seeking damages from a commercial software development firm for failure to implement an automated timekeeping system, as a consequence of excessive demand for server resources, unacceptable system response time, and other persistent functional defects. Assisted attorneys in preparing to depose percipient witnesses and clarifying the essential technical significance of their testimony. Assisted in refining discovery requests to overcome resistance to production of critical material stored electronically in proprietary database formats. Analyzed controversial performance measurements to deliver candid assessment of downside risk of resting too heavily upon data of arguable technical reliability. Client negotiated an acceptable settlement.

Selected Information Technology Consulting Experience

  • Engaged by commercial software firm for technical due diligence concerning prospective $50M acquisition of a competitor’s firm and its suite of software products. While some products were comparable and duplicative to client’s existing suite, others were potentially more attractive, filling functional spaces within a solution spectrum to add substantial competitive value. Analysis aimed to penetrate the impressive appearance of demo presentations uncovered a crucial lack of maturity in products realizing their conceptual vision. Substantial rework of fundamental components were required to attain high standards of seamless integration in the client’s existing product suite. These insights redefined the financial equation, preventing a costly disappointment.
  • Played central role in winning a multi-year services contract valued at $100M for outsourcing IT services including data center management, network infrastructure management, and application development for a consortium of companies in the Travel and Hospitality industry. Responsibilities included written response to RFP, elaboration of specifications in a term sheet, and detailed language of contractual terms and conditions pertaining to service level agreements, penalties for non-performance, and other issues of this nature.
  • Engaged by an IT outsourcing services provider for rapid transition of operating control of a data center operation with mission-critical production online systems and co-located software development organization. Responsibilities included organizing and participating in a team of interviewers who met with each of 215 staff members to determine the retention plan. This encompassed transition of benefits, incentives for critical staff and outplacement for those without continuing positions. Among other challenges was active litigation between the new customer and the incumbent facilities management provider whose local management had to provide counterpart liaison in the transition process. The definition of success was a delicate balance between first loyalties to the customer and civil dialogue with the incumbent in a volatile and contentious atmosphere.
  • Successfully proposed and implemented comprehensive technology upgrades for a major company in the motion picture distribution industry. Upgrades included data storage technology, online transaction processing architecture and enhanced automation of cyclical batch processing to deliver measurable improvements in system availability and reliability. These time-critical systems aggregated projected and actual demographic data to direct allocation of multi-million dollar advertising expenditures in connection with new film releases.
  • Contributed creative, high impact technology solutions to a defense/aerospace contractor leveraging centralized processing resources to support the businesses of several semi-autonomous divisions. Each division required unique attention and emphasis, arising from a variety of government and private sector contracts, cost-accounting methods, resource allocation priorities, and technology preferences. Unanimous satisfaction was consistently achieved by sustaining the perception of unlimited choice, making each division logically invisible to the others from the perspective of IT resources.
  • Implemented technology infrastructure for a real time, point of sale credit authorization system for a department store chain. The system had to determine the acceptability of an amount of purchase using customer specific charge account data from a central database and return the answer to the cash register in less than one second. Beyond that limit, a local override would risk either losing a sale or accepting potentially bad consumer debt. After thirty minutes downtime, the estimated financial impact exceeded $100,000. Measuring the instances of local overrides, isolating the source of delay, and preventing recurrence constituted a continuing iterative process demanding both attention to tedious detail and imaginative, innovative views of familiar challenges.
  • Designed and implemented a creative programmatic solution for a remote processing services provider whose data security software vendor abruptly imposed a surcharge for any new customer added to the service provider’s processing facilities. Surcharge effectively destroyed competitive pricing and/or profitability potential in the services business, but the software vendor believed it held a lock because of the expense and disruption of conversion and security to their customer base. The solution was a program that insinuated a re-director function directly into the operating system’s data security management function in such a way that customers not subject to the surcharge could continue protection using the original software, and new customers could use alternative data security software provided by a more reasonable vendor, avoiding surcharges. This enabled an orderly transition eliminating the original data security product while allowing the services business to expand.
  • Engaged by an IT outsourcing services provider to rectify a stalled and troubled transition project for a departing client. After extensive redefinition of project tasks and deliverables, reassignment of responsibilities, and realignment of task dependencies, we determined a realistic project schedule and completion date. Effective and reliable technical methods replaced time consuming, ineffective predecessors. The transition completed on time, as predicted in the revised schedule, and the departing customer accelerated a 12 month payment schedule with a single payment of all outstanding receivables in the amount of $7,000,000.
  • Managed a core team of 40 technology specialists and 100 peripheral team members engaged to relocate data center and network operations of a central reservations center with stringent 24 by 7 availability requirements over a distance of 1500 miles. Approximately 1200 reservations agents depended upon this online transaction processing system to complete hotel and car rental bookings, in addition to numerous real time interfaces to airlines and other global distribution channels. Beyond customary transportation logistics, it was necessary to devise and pre-test a specialized configuration that would allow full-scale operation of the system in parallel with air transport of databases using an adaptive forward recovery technique. Actual disruption of operations was so minimal that on the morning after completion several operations managers inquired why the move had been postponed, framing the highest form of compliment for the seamless execution of this high risk undertaking.

Additional Specific Technical Experience

Programming Languages

  • Assembly Language Coding (ALC), including full facility with extended instruction sets, system and application level macro instructions.
  • COBOL programming for conventional batch processing and specialized OL/TP and Data Base Management Systems (DBMS) environments: SQL/COBOL, CICS/COBOL
  • Object-oriented programming using C and C++ in diverse processing environments: Client / Server and Distributed Computing Environments (DCE), Windows, UNIX.

Operating Systems

  • Unix Variants: Solaris, HP/UX, AIX, SCO, Linux
  • PC/NOS: Windows (3.1, 9x, NT, 2k, XP), MS/DOS, Citrix Winframe / Metaframe, Novell Netware
  • Legacy (mainframe): MVS-OS390-z/OS, VM/370, VSE
    Online Transaction Processing (OTP) and Database Management Systems (DBMS)
  • Sybase
  • Informix
  • SQL
  • CICS/VSAM – IMS/DLI
  • DB2

Experience

Forbes Elliott Corporation, Agoura Hills, California 2000 - Present

President

Clarke Computer Software Services, Agoura Hills, California 1981 -2000

Independent Consultant

UCLA Extension, Los Angeles, California  1980 - 1981

Instructor

Mellonics Information Center, Canoga Park, California  1979 - 1981

Manager Operating Systems

Bullocks Department Stores, Los Angeles, California 1977 - 1979

Senior Systems Programmer

Transamerica Insurance Group, Los Angeles, California  1973 - 1977

Senior Applications Programmer

Education

IBM Customer Education Center, Los Angeles, California  

Over twenty courses focusing on specific products and technologies, such as data communications technology, online transaction processing systems, database and data management architectures, and systems security

IBM Systems Sciences Institute, Los Angeles, California  

Two intensive courses in quantitative methods applied to computer performance and capacity planning measurement

UCLA Extension, Los Angeles, California  

Five technical courses in computer and operating systems architecture

University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon  

Postgraduate study in Literary Criticism, Film Criticism, Folklore and Mythology, and Linguistics

University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon  

BA, English Literature, 1970

 

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Summary of Vertical Industry Expertise

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