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Expert Witnessing

expert witness Our technical expertise in the test field has been engaged by attorneys who are interested in an unbiased test of technology related products.  We can provide technical assistance and to defend our expert opinion in depositions and in trial.  Our engineers have been accepted by State and Federal Courts as experts in a number of cases. 

Technical Expert Witnessing and Discovery Work

A.T.E. (Advanced Test Engineering) Solutions, Inc. has helped attorneys in cases involving electronic products for many years. These pages shed some light on why your case could use our expertise. For answers, click on the appropriate questions:

What is a Test Engineer and why would an Attorney want one?

An Electronics Test Engineer is someone who stands between the company's manufacturing department and its customers, by ensuring that a product is fault free before it goes out to customers. Similarly, a Test Engineer ensures that when an electronics product fails at the user's site that the failure is properly noted, properly diagnosed, and properly repaired. For large volume manufacturers, test engineers usually work with automated test equipment (ATE) - a computerized testing machine - which the test engineer programs to reflect the proper function and failure modes of the product undergoing tests.

Most major electronics manufacturers today use ATE for both production and repair. To cause an ATE to comprehensively test a product and to correctly diagnose the failure, the test engineer must have a good understanding of the circuit design and of the failure mechanism. He/she must then create tests that will enable the ATE to properly expose failures.

A test engineer often understands the circuit better than the person who designed it and has expertise to analyze circuit functions as well as causes of malfunctions. In product liability cases involving the failure of a product the attorney wants to determine the cause of the failure as well as the origin of the failure. Was the failure a result of misuse, poor design, poor manufacturing, poor shipping, or other causes? In intellectual property cases, the ability of a test engineer to perform deep levels of analysis can help determine whether a patent or copyright has been infringed. A test engineer is also the best person to value the technical merits of a complex electronic product.

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A dozen reasons why Test Engineers are good expert witnesses:

  1. Test Engineers are expert Electronics Engineers, familiar with the functionality of all types of electronic circuits.
  2. Test Engineers are used by manufacturers of electronics to program automated test equipment (ATE) so that the ATE can test large volumes of products in a short time.
  3. Test Engineers can assess whether manufacturing testing was sufficient and appropriate for the product.
  4. Test Engineers can assess whether a product was designed properly and whether it was designed in a manner that would prevent some faults from being discovered through tests.
  5. Test Engineers are experts at correlating advertised capabilities with what the circuit can actually do.
  6. Test Engineers are able to provide forensic analysis of circuits to determine causes of failures.
  7. Test Engineers are used by field service organizations to program automated test equipment (ATE) for diagnosing the actual failing part in an electronic system.
  8. Test Engineers are not simply troubleshooters. They identify sources and causes of problems in a scientific manner, which do well in court and withstand tough cross examination.
  9. Test Engineers can assess whether something was properly diagnosed and repaired.
  10. Test Engineers can compare circuits for functionality and testify about similarities and differences for patent, copyright and intellectual property cases.
  11. Test Engineers can evaluate a circuit for its behavior under certain faulty conditions which can assist attorneys in product liability cases.
  12. Test Engineers can assist in valuing electronic products, because of their understanding of state-of-the-art designs.

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Cases that used our Test Engineers as expert witnesses:

Almost any case that requires analysis of electronics products can utilize a Test Engineer for Discovery or Testimony. Typical cases in which attorneys called for our expertise:

  • A copyright infringement case involving the design of state-of-the-art computer memory boards. While no patent issues were involved, we were asked to determine and testify about copyright infringement on the way the circuit design documentation was generated.
  • A case where a design project that progressed to the point of completion was canceled by a Fortune 500 company alleging that insufficient progress was made in the design of electronics.
  • A case of alleged forgery of a document performed by utilizing the accuracy of a computerized dot-matrix printer to overwrite and alter an already signed document.
  • We were asked to determine similarities and differences between two versions of an automatic test equipment used to test avionics (airplane electronics).
  • Evaluation of alleged use of CB radios by truckers to interfere with the readings on an electronic scale at a weighing station.
  • Assessed damage to an alarm system controlling a multi-level building caused by a pipe burst flooding the controlling mechanism.
  • Worked for the defense in a case where an electrician disconnected power to a building which allegedly caused serious problems to programs resident on the hard disk of a personal computer.
  • Assessed value of a product used by test engineers.
  • Worked for the plaintiff in a case involving a hearing loss due to alleged telephone malfunction.
  • Prepared analyses for attorneys on capabilities of various test instruments.
  • Assisted an attorney on manufacturing processes and how test fits into them.
  • Worked in a case involving criminal activity of someone alleged to have sold sophisticated test equipment to a foreign country restricted from receiving US technology.
  • Test software to find our whether it met functional requirements.
  • Worked for the plaintiff in a case involving repackaging of one manufacturer's integrated circuit (chip) in a package that indicated that it was manufactured by someone else. Our tests helped determine who the actual manufacturer was.
  • Worked on a number of cases involving product liability assessed against manufacturers, designers and service depots for failing products.
  • Evaluated products' value based on design documentation.

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Who are the Expert Witnesses?

Generally, expert testimony is provided by Louis Y. Ungar, President of A.T.E. Solutions, Inc. While other experts may assist him in his work he is the primary expert used in most cases.

For a full curriculum vitae, please contact:

Louis Y. Ungar

A.T.E. Solutions, Inc.
400 Continental Blvd., 6th Floor
El Segundo, CA 90245

Tel: (310) 822-5231 FAX: (310) 305-7703

E-mail: LouisUngar@ieee.org


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