What's your background? In the cases that I've been involved in I've found the
experts on both sided to be competent and reasonable. Usually, a defendant
(typically the framer) names the structural engineer because the drawings were
at least partially at fault. However, even if the drawing's details are faulty,
if the framer has not followed them it's often sufficient to absolve the
engineer. Occasionally, poor analytical work is involved, but the issue is the
final, constructed, result--not the engineer's analytical methodology. If the
work is sufficiently conservative, it doesn't really matter how the engineer got
there (see Josh Kardon's paper).
But if the matter is subjected to vagaries of a trial, all bets are off (again,
see Josh Kardon's paper).
P.S. Dennis--Does the simplified L.A. procedure really produce an adequately
conservative result with substantially reduced effort? If so, how can I get a