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Expert Witness Services

Overview:

With the Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in Bates v. DowAgroScience LLC, the possibility of multi-million dollar damage claims against pesticide users and manufacturers has increased. The reality of high damage claims coupled with public fears over chemicals and chemical-based products like pesticides can lead to regular and costly legal battles for companies in the chemical industry. Unfortunately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) reaction to industry developments and public concerns can itself be misunderstood or muddled, both heightening and complicating legal issues. Companies who find themselves embroiled in legal turmoil -- either before the courts or administrative bodies -- will benefit immeasurably from highly-qualified legal experts.  

Our Experience:

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.’s (B&C®) experienced staff has extraordinary skills as expert witnesses in support of various judicial and administrative proceedings. Our qualifications are extensive and span across a range of issues that affect clients in both the pesticide and industrial chemical markets.

B&C professionals offer this specialized expertise in relatively straightforward data compensation arbitration hearings under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to more complex, multi-million dollar tort claim proceedings that evolve over a number of years. Especially valued has been the experience of B&C staff with previous work experience at federal regulatory agencies, such as EPA. This government experience allows each professional to speak authoritatively on a number of issues that may be relevant to a specific case.

These could include, for example, explaining the process and meaning of EPA review procedures, the historical implementation of various EPA guidance policies, and the development of program elements over time placed in their appropriate context. Clients have found this expertise helpful in formulating a response to certain litigation issues, either directly as a witness or more generally to provide the perspective of a former “insider” who can place events and policies in a broader context.

James Aidala is Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs at B&C. Mr. Aidala has over 30 years of experience in the field of pesticide legislation, policy, and implementation. His work experience has included senior positions on Capitol Hill and at EPA where he has been responsible for both implementing and legislating our nation’s pesticide and toxic chemical laws. He is a former Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) (now the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)), and held other senior political positions at EPA during the Clinton Administration. Among other responsibilities at EPA, Mr. Aidala was responsible for leading the EPA team that drafted the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). Since 2001, Mr. Aidala has worked in a variety of private consulting firms and has been an expert witness in both toxic tort and international trade arbitration proceedings.

Oscar Hernandez, Ph.D., is the former Director of the Risk Assessment Division (RAD) in EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), where he managed a multi-disciplinary science group that provided expert scientific support in the areas of hazard and risk assessment of chemicals being reviewed pursuant to the regulatory programs OPPT implements. During his 30-year career at EPA, Dr. Hernandez's chemical assessment activities included managing the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 8(e) substantial risk reporting program; developing the initial High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge program and the subsequent development of Hazard Characterization documents; management of U.S. representation to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Screening Information Data Set (SIDS); the Voluntary Children's Chemical Evaluation program (VCCEP); the Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGL) program; assessment support to address national priority chemicals, including formaldehyde, lead, mercury, and perfluorinated chemicals; pioneering efforts in the assessment of nanomaterials; and more recently, the release of risk assessment documents of priority (Work Plan) chemicals.

We believe that the combination of skills and expertise that the B&C team brings to clients who have a need for expert witness services compares favorably to any other practice group, and that translates to value for our clients. B&C also offers value in a quantitative form -- as a small and highly specialized firm, B&C is able to offer its professionals’ legal skills, business judgment, and years of experience at rates below those of our competitors.

What We Do:

B&C professionals offer a full range of expert witness services. These could include, for example, explaining the process and meaning of EPA review procedures, the historical implementation of various EPA guidance policies, and the development of program elements over time placed in their appropriate context. Clients have found this expertise helpful in formulating a response to certain litigation issues, either directly as a witness or more generally to provide the perspective of a former “insider” who can place events and policies in a broader context.

  • Testimony –
    • Serve as expert witnesses in judicial and administrative proceedings such as:
      • Federal and state judicial proceedings
      • FIFRA data compensation arbitrations and other administrative proceedings under FIFRA, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and related federal and state laws
  • Opinions –
    • Provide expert opinions for judicial and administrative proceedings
  • Trial Preparation –
    • Assist legal counsel in reviewing matters in dispute
    • Prepare counsel for cross examination of witnesses adverse to their client’s interests

Representative Engagements:

  • Our professionals have served as expert witnesses in countless federal, state, and FIFRA data compensation arbitrations.
  • We are regularly retained to assess the feasibility of certain legal positions as a part of pre-litigation preparations. 

 
BERGESON & CAMPBELL, P.C.
2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 100W
Washington, D.C. 20037
202-557-3800 • 202-557-3836 (fax) | lawbc.com
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