LITIGATION SUPPORT SERVICES

Architecture + Engineering 

W | A Associates performs comprehensive forensic investigations and analyses to assist in dispute settlements. In addition to expert advice on code compliance, and various other types of technical analysis, our experts provide a wide variety of clients with litigation support services.

W | A Associates has extensive experience investigating design and construction deficiencies. Services offered range from informal assessments to thorough destructive investigations and preparation of comprehensive reports. Evaluation of the structural integrity and safety of a building is also provided, including conformance with the original construction plans and specifications, applicable building codes and industry standards. Investigations include the location and identification of construction deficiencies, analysis of the impact of defects on the performance or safety of the structure, recommendation of solutions, preparation of estimates of the cost of repair and identification of responsible parties. Solutions for the resolution of construction deficiencies are the primary focus of the reports developed from the observations of these investigations.

 

Expert Witness Certificate of Merit Consulting Consulting and Expert Reports
Pre-claim and Claim Analysis Standard of Care Contract Analysis
Code & ADA Compliance Design/Construction Defect Technical Analysis
Injury Cause Analysis Courtroom Presentations Trial Graphics and Support



Expert Witness

Our vast experience in construction and design, together with years of forensic experience, to provide attorneys and their clients the means to develop successful case strategies for trial or alternative dispute resolutions. Our expert witness investigations also help our clients make the best presentation of their cases by developing relevant evidence, opinions, testimony, visual aids, and other presentation elements.

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Certificate of Merit Consulting

We assist attorneys who must meet the legal requirements for a professional opinion on the merits of the potential claim in lawsuits filed against architectural design professionals.

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Consulting and Expert Reports

W | A Associates prepares investigation reports for various issues, including design and/or construction documents, to support our clients in legal disputes. We work closely with specialty consultants, such as environmental, roofing, and waterproofing experts, coordinating their work with our own analyses. W | A Associates is experienced in writing plaintiff claims and defense response reports.

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Pre-claim and Claim Analysis

We investigate construction defect and design conditions to assess the validity, extent, and severity of the claims. Establishing the relationship of defects to the project timeline is crucial to this analysis, since small changes made at the end of a project can be equivalent to significant changes made earlier. W | A Associates often conducts visual and intrusive testing prior to claim analysis; these tests can validate the claim and uncover previously hidden defects or damage.

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Standard of Care Analysis and Testimony

Our firm provides expert witness services in cases regarding architectural and engineering negligence or malpractice. In this capacity, WW | A Associates assesses whether the architects or engineers of the case project performed to the expected level of Standard of Care at the time they provided their services. This judgment requires knowledge and understanding of our professional practices and standards through time.

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Contract Analysis

Given the increasing complexity of contracts and project delivery systems, a clear understanding of these project foundations is crucial to settling disputes. W | A Associates interprets owner-architect and owner-contractor agreements; as architects, we can provide a professional opinion on whether the parties have met their obligations as stated in the contract. Our contract analysis experience includes contract fees, construction costs, schedules, change orders, requests for information, requests for proposals, and value engineering. When necessary, W | A Associates works closely with specialty consultants who provide expertise in cost estimating, scheduling, general contracting, engineering, or other relevant areas.

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Code Compliance+ADA Compliance Analysis

W | A Associates, s in-depth experience with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as with fire and life-safety codes (particularly the California Building Code and the San Francisco Building Code) ensures that we can provide first-rate litigation and consultation support to other design consultants.

W | A Associates is also experienced in interpreting the requirements set by the Office of State Health Planning and Development, the California State Architect, and California's new residential construction defect law (Senate Bill 800)

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Design and Construction Defect Analysis

W | A Associates analyzes defects in designs, construction documents, and constructed buildings to determine how they may have contributed to damage. Our analysis draws upon a thorough working knowledge of prevailing practices and standards of care in the design and construction industries as well as comprehensive knowledge of life-safety and fire codes.

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Technical Analysis

Failure Investigation and Analysis (Intrusive and Non-intrusive Investigations). Settling a claim often requires more than simply identifying what went wrong, whether the project is a single-family home or a high-rise office tower. W | A Associates experts determine the direct causes of building failure or damage and provides opinions on the underlying problems. For example, a water leak might be caused by a product (roofing material, say) and/or a system (roofing on rigid insulation), and the underlying problem might be a defective system, defective component product, or improper installation. If necessary, our staff work with testing labs and other specialty consultants to establish the cause of product failures and/or conformance to industry standards. We can, in turn, produce plans for remediation, including on-site observation of repair work.

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Injury Cause Analysis and Claims

W | A Associates can assist clients and their legal teams in settling personal injury claims by helping to identify conditions that contributed to the injury. We review the broader construction issues, including code compliance, to render an opinion on the appropriate assignment of liability.

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Courtroom Presentations

Whether your presentation is for a one-hour bench hearing or a three-month jury trial, it must be seamless. W | A Associates will help you plan all necessary equipment layout from depositions to the courtroom.  We make sure you have equipment that works, and a courtroom technician who knows how to work it and how to act in harmony with the expert testifying. We employ all of the most popular trial presentation software applications.  We understand the urgency and stress of a courtroom appearance. You can count on our staff to be there to support you when it counts.

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Trial Graphics and Support

With its state of the art equipment W | A Associates provides a wide variety of visual presentation tools and services, including:

■ Concept and theme development

■ Exhibit planning

■ Trial support

■ Demonstrative exhibits

■ Court boards

■ 2D and 3D animation

■ Diagrams and illustrations

■ Maps and timelines

■ Model building

■ Photography

■ Document and photograph scanning

■ Video production

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