Name: R. Thomas Berner
Company: Pennsylvania State University
Location: Bellefonte, PA
Expert witness profile information provided by Mr. Berner:
R. Thomas Berner has been a journalism expert since 1986. Since then, he has been involved in 12 defamation or copyright cases in state and federal court. Mr. Berner is a professor emeritus of journalism and American Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. He has also written several textbooks on language skills, writing, and editing. Mr. Berner will testify to the general standards of care in journalism and the role of reporters and editors in the reporting and publication process.
Be sure to check out Mr. Berner’s expert profile for more information:
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On Tuesday, the NCAA’s ban on compensating student-athletes came under question for the second day in federal court. The class action lawsuit claims that the NCAA is violating antitrust laws by forbidding that Division I football and basketball players get paid anything beyond their awarded scholarships. Chief U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken is overseeing the case that “centers on whether such athletes should be allowed to share in profits from the lucrative college sports revenue stream, such as from merchandise and particularly from television rights.” The NCAA’s argument rests on the belief that allowing student-athletes to share in that profit with ruin the system and negate education in college sports.
An economics expert witness, Roger Noll, from Stanford University testified for the college athletes saying the policy violates federal antitrust laws. He said “athletes are illegally being deprived of the right to share in the multibillion-dollar college sports bounty.” The attorney for the NCAA said that student-athletes get to enjoy the “notoriety of college sports”; however, Noll responded by saying that “they like everything that goes with [playing sports]… that doesn’t mean they aren’t being exploited.”
On Thursday, May 29th, the Arizona Supreme Court approved “cold” testimony from experts. This means that “juries are entitled to hear from an expert witness on a particular type of crime even if that [expert] knows nothing about the specific victims in the case”. This marks the first time that Arizona will allow expert witnesses to opine on a case and give their views of general principles without knowing exact facts about the case.
The Arizona Supreme Court, on Thursday, also refused to overturn Martin Salazar-Mercado’s convictions on multiple counts of child abuse. Martin was indicted in 2011 on charges of child molestation and during his trial, his attorney stopped a forensic interviewer from testifying about child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome. The idea was to try and explain the mental state and behavior of a child who has been abused; this includes “delayed reporting of the abuse to a relative, trouble pinpointed when events occurred, and even one victim changing her version of events between the time of reporting and trial.” Although the experts do not have specific details on the case, their testimony can help the jury better understand the evidence and, in this case, could have “helped the jury to understand possible reasons for the delayed and inconsistent reporting”. However, it is important to note that the expert is limited to general principles of behavioral or social science and it may not apply to all cases. The judge will need to play “gatekeeper” and decide whether the expert’s testimony may be admissible.
Company: Ueltzen & Company, LLP
Location: Sacramento, CA
Specialty: Forensic Accounting
Expert witness profile information provided by Ms. Fraser:
Jolene is a Principal in the firm’s forensic accounting practice and is a CPA with 17 years of public accounting and consulting services experience. She specializes in Forensic Accounting including professional standards litigation consulting, special investigations, fraud investigations and economic damages in commercial civil litigation matters. She has provided a variety of services including complex financial accounting analysis, compliance analysis and audit and reporting services. Jolene’s background includes managing audits of clients across multiple industries such as commercial and residential real estate, non-profit organizations, manufacturing and distribution, high technology, publishing and employee benefit plans.
Jolene holds a Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) credential from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. She graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Accountancy. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA) and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
Earlier this month a jury in California awarded Apple $119 million, ending the patent battle with Samsung over cell phone features. The damages awarded were much less than what was originally claimed ($2.2 billion); the jury also ordered Apple to pay $158,400 for illegally using one of Samsung’s patents in the iPhone 4 and 5.
An Apple spokeswoman said that “Samsung willfully stole [their] ideas and copied [their] products,” however, a law professor from Santa Clara University thought that although “this verdict is large by normal standards, it is hard to view this outcome as much of a victory for Apple… This amount is less than 10 percent of the amount Apple requested and probably doesn’t surpass by too much the amount Apple spent litigating this case.”
The case started on March 31 and a verdict was reached on May 2, 2014; however Judge Koh “recalled the jury May 5 to recalculate one of the damages figures.” The issue was that Apple did not receive damages for a version of the Samsung Galaxy S2 that they believed should have been awarded based on Samsung’s infringement of the ‘172 patent. The jury granted around $4 and $5 million for other Galaxy 2 versions. After reconvening the jury “shuffled around damages awarded to each of the Galaxy S2 models but did not change the total”, stating it was a clerical error.
Samsung said this after the jury gave their final verdict:
We agree with the jury’s decision to reject Apple’s grossly exaggerated damages claim. Although we are disappointed by the finding of infringement, we are vindicated that for the second time in the US, Apple has been found to infringe Samsung’s patents. It is our long history of innovation and commitment to consumer choice, that has driven us to become the leader in the mobile industry today.