Expert Q&A: Dave Hagen on forensics & litigation support
Dave Hagen joined Haley & Aldrich in 1986 and is a Senior Vice President. He has comprehensive experience in environmental regulations, compliance and remediation, and is frequently called upon to help our clients negotiate consent orders or other allegations of non-compliance. Dave has served as both a consulting and testifying expert on numerous environmental matters.
How would you describe the scope of Haley & Aldrich’s work in forensics and litigation support?
We provide the technical expertise needed to support our clients' needs regarding legal disputes, often involving environmental or construction related litigation. Our work happens in two steps: first, researching and understanding the relevant facts of the case, and then relating the meaning of those factual findings to our assignment – the clients' legal problem. This means articulating how the facts support or refute the merit of their position in the dispute.
Is this forensic work a major focus of Haley & Aldrich’s business?
It’s important work, but actually just a small percentage of the services we provide to clients. I like to say, “We’re not experts at being experts,” in the sense of not being professional expert witnesses. But the experts on our staff are outstanding practitioners, among the top people active in their fields, working day-in and day-out to advance the state of knowledge. These are fully up-to-date pros – the experts you want on your side of the dispute.
So technical expertise is the main thing that sets Haley & Aldrich apart?
Well, it’s one thing that sets us apart – and an important thing! But it takes more than just expertise in the science. Communicating complex technical information to a layperson, which could be a judge, or opposing counsel, a jury – even the client! – is really where the rubber hits the road. You have to make the meaning and relevance come to life for non-experts, and that’s something I think also sets us apart.
Can you give us an example of how Haley & Aldrich benefits our litigation clients?
From our clients’ perspective, benefit means achieving their desired outcome. In that sense some of the best examples of client benefit would be matters resolved via settlements. For example, in one case that involved a solid waste land disposal matter our work helped bring about the settlement of a $38 million claim for approximately $1.5 million. Another example was a bankruptcy claim by the United States against a client of ours for approximately $70 million, which resulted in a settlement of about $22 million. In both cases, I believe our clients achieved their desired outcomes.
For more information about Forensics & Litigation Support, contact Dave Hagen.