Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Re: META-DISCUSSION: How Participation on SEAINT Can Hurt You

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Okay, some how many of you went out and "googled" your name after reading
this to see what came up?  I did.  If I played with the right combination
of words I got a lot.

With a name like Polhemus you got to expect very little competition!

Breathing easier now!

Rich

On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 15:24:23 -0600 "David Fisher" <dfisher(--nospam--at)fpse.com>
writes:
> Good point, Bill.
> 
> I had a similar (but much less serious...) experience last week at 
> a
> meeting...
> 
> A new client I was meeting in Boston for the first time actually 
> "googled"
> (now a common expression in the English language, like FedEx'ed or 
> Xerox'ed)
> Me and saw (among other things) many of my postings on SEAINT.
> 
> I guess, relative to your experience I was fortunate; the client 
> was
> impressed with
> The fact that I took time out of my day to participate in such a 
> "productive
> online professional forum" and offer commentary and advice (whether 
> or not
> anyone actually took it!) to my colleagues.
> 
> 
> Luckily, the guy was also a DEM, having also seen (I presume) my 
> various
> political
> Rants on the list...
> 
> *whew!*
> 
> 
> 
> Gotta be careful what you say and do in this online world, you never 
> know
> when
> It may be used against you!
> 
> 
> 
> Yikes!
> 
> 
> 
> 
> David L. Fisher SE PE
> Fisher + partners
> 372 West Ontario
> Chicago 60610
>  
> 312.573.1701
> 312.573.1726 fax
>  
> 312.622.0409 mobile
>  
> www.fpse.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc] 
> Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 3:02 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: META-DISCUSSION: How Participation on SEAINT Can Hurt You
> 
> I've been meaning to mention this here for some time, but have been 
> 
> quite busy.
> 
> Not long ago I had the distinct privilege of participating in my 
> first 
> actual "trial" as an expert witness. Heretofore I have been 
> fortunate in 
> my forensic engineering work to not have to deal much directly with 
> 
> attorneys. Typically, my work has been for owners who simply need 
> information on how to solve a problem. I have done a couple of 
> depositions, and lots of reports and other correspondence but this 
> is 
> the first time in the ten years I've been doing this sort of work 
> that 
>  actually went to "court."
> 
> I'm using quotes because in this case it was a "binding arbitration" 
> 
> rather than a jury trial. However, aside from the fact that you 
> aren't 
> testifying in front of a jury made up of John and Jane Q. Public, 
> but 
> rather a panel consisting of two engineers and another attorney, 
> everything else is the same. You call witnesses, are sworn in, and 
> are 
> direct- and cross-examined.
> 
> When I first got involved with the case, it was simply to provide 
> some 
> engineering analysis and advise the client's attorney about 
> engineering 
> issues. Many of those issues dealt with interpretations of the 
> building 
> code as well as some esoteric analysis topics. At that time, nearly 
> two 
> years ago, I came onto SEAINT for some consultation, gathering 
> opinions 
> and direction. Of course, at that time it didn't occur to me that 
> this 
> could actually come back to haunt me.
> 
> As it happens, thanks to GOOGLE, everything you do online is public 
> 
> knowledge, and the plaintiff's attorney apparently has done quite a 
> bit 
> of that kind of research.
> 
> I should mention here, parenthetically, that what you see on the 
> movies 
> and what you see in real life are exactly opposite. That is, if you 
> see 
> a movie about civil torts--one such that comes to mind that I have 
> seen 
> is an adaptation of John Grisham's "The Rainmaker"--they always 
> depict 
> the plaintiff's side made up of a couple of scruffy lawyers living 
> out 
> of their car, and the insurance company's side is a huge lawfirm 
> with 
> tropical fish tanks in the lobby wall and scads of lawyers and 
> paralegals.
> 
> It's actually the other way around. The insurance companies are too 
> 
> cost-conscious to shell out for an army of lawyers. It's usually the 
> 
> plaintiff's attorneys--by virtue of the time-honored rite of 
> "contingency fee"--that has the army and the fish tanks in the 
> wall.
> 
> Anyway, back to my main point: The plaintiff's lawyer was able to 
> make 
> it appear that, since I "had to ask" questions of SEAINT, I 
> obviously 
> don't know what I am doing. Oh, and didn't I say in my sworn 
> testimony 
> earlier, that I had not spoken to anyone about this case? Etc.
> 
> It didn't help that this particular gentleman could serve as the 
> model 
> for the classic Texas trial attorney, complete with sneering asides, 
> 
> asinine editorializations and lots of yelling and hitting the top of 
> the 
> table. Anyway, not having foreseen any of this I was not able to 
> answer 
> very clearly--wasn't even sure what he was trying to get at 
> anyway--and 
> probably did very poorly in that part of my testimony.
> 
> In the end, we lost a case we should have won, because we were, in 
> my 
> opinion, completely in the right. I wonder how much effect was had 
> by my 
> being blind-sided by this attorney, and "confronted" with the 
> "damning" 
> evidence of my obvious ineptitude in the form of actually having to 
> ask 
> questions of other engineers.
> 
> I thought I'd mention this because I am aware of a few of us who 
> deal 
> with legal matters, and if this has never come up before, be advised 
> 
> that by my own example, it could.
> 
> Beware our legal brethren. They're out to get you.
> 
> ******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* ***
> *   Read list FAQ at: http://www.seaint.org/list_FAQ.asp
> * 
> *   This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers 
> *   Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To 
> *   subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to:
> *
> *   http://www.seaint.org/sealist1.asp
> *
> *   Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at)seaint.org. Remember, any email you 
> *   send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted 
> *   without your permission. Make sure you visit our web 
> *   site at: http://www.seaint.org 
> ******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ******** 
> 
> 
> ******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* ***
> *   Read list FAQ at: http://www.seaint.org/list_FAQ.asp
> * 
> *   This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers 
> *   Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To 
> *   subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to:
> *
> *   http://www.seaint.org/sealist1.asp
> *
> *   Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at)seaint.org. Remember, any email you 
> *   send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted 
> *   without your permission. Make sure you visit our web 
> *   site at: http://www.seaint.org 
> ******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ******** 
> 
> 

________________________________________________________________
Juno Platinum $9.95. Juno SpeedBand $14.95.
Sign up for Juno Today at http://www.juno.com!
Look for special offers at Best Buy stores.

******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* ***
*   Read list FAQ at: http://www.seaint.org/list_FAQ.asp
* 
*   This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers 
*   Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To 
*   subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to:
*
*   http://www.seaint.org/sealist1.asp
*
*   Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at)seaint.org. Remember, any email you 
*   send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted 
*   without your permission. Make sure you visit our web 
*   site at: http://www.seaint.org 
******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ********