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Expert Witness 2013

Speaker(s): Blair G. Connelly, David M. Cohen, David Spears, Dr. Chudozie Okongwu, Horacio Kaufmann, M.D., Jessie F. Beeber, Kenneth I. Schacter, Laureen M. Ryan, Richard S. Taffet, Stephen P. Ellenbecker
Recorded on: Jun. 27, 2013
PLI Program #: 43114

Chudozie Okongwu is a Senior Vice President and Head of Finance, Litigation, and Dispute Resolution Group for Europe. He directs projects in the areas of securities economics, finance, and valuation. This work includes both advisory engagements and litigation support. Dr. Okongwu has testified and consulted on matters involving the valuation of various derivatives, fixed income and equity products, and exotic financial structures. He has worked extensively on matters involving subprime and structured finance securities, and also has substantial experience on matters involving risk management.

Dr. Okongwu has led engagements involving the risks and profitability of hedge fund trading strategies and the effects of alleged mismarking of hedge fund portfolios on investors. He has directed projects involving the analysis of best execution practices. He has also been retained in numerous matters involving mutual funds, including civil and regulatory matters concerning allegations of portfolio mismarking, market timing, and late trading.

Dr. Okongwu has directed engagements that focused on the forced liquidation of securities positions, the termination of OTC derivative positions, insider trading, and market manipulation. He has testified in broker-dealer mediations and arbitrations involving allegations of unsuitability and churning. The securities concerned have included equities, derivatives, and fixed income products, including auction-rate securities. In addition, he is the co-author of an econometric study on the impact of securitization for the American Securitization Forum.

Prior to joining NERA, Dr. Okongwu was a member of Banque Paribas's Fixed Income Emerging Markets team in London and New York. His responsibilities included the analysis of the economies and sovereign assets of countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In this capacity, he provided the firm's traders and clients with inter- and intra-country asset recommendations. He was also responsible for trading some local currency instruments and for marketing a broad range of products including bonds, loans, OTC options, and credit derivatives.

Dr. Okongwu has published articles in The Journal of Structured Finance, the International Journal of Finance & Economics, and Wall Street Lawyer.

Richard Taffet is a senior member of Bingham’s Litigation Area. Richard serves as lead counsel in a wide range of antitrust, intellectual property, and commercial litigation matters, including with respect to international competition law issues. He represents both U.S. and foreign-based clients involved in numerous industries such as communications, consumer electronics, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, textiles, chemicals, software development, financial industries and publishing. Richard counsels clients in connection with protecting their intellectual property assets and the marketing and distribution of their products, and also represents clients before federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the United States Trade Representative and the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Representing technology standards development organizations and standards development participants for more than 30 years, Richard has developed SDO patent and IPR policies, represented parties in connection with government and litigation proceedings involving standards-related patent and antitrust matters, and provided counseling regarding competitive and IPR issues in development of specific standards. Richard has formed and represented industry trade associations with the purpose of enforcing copyright and other IP rights worldwide and has developed international litigation strategy for enforcement of copyright and other IP rights.

Richard is a frequent speaker on intellectual property and antitrust issues and is a contributor to publications on these subjects. Noted in Chambers USA for his work at the intersection of IP and antitrust matters, clients value Richard’s “excellent strategic views and his ability to always think one step ahead.”

Jessie F. Beeber is a partner of the firm and a member of the Intellectual Property and Litigation Groups. Her practice focuses on intellectual property litigation and counseling, including copyright, trademark, false advertising, defamation and Internet infringement issues. She has been named a New York-area “Super Lawyer” for Intellectual Property Litigation by Law and Politics magazine five times.

Ms. Beeber has handled numerous intellectual property litigations, including false advertising disputes for major brands. She is currently defending the manufacturer of a leading cat litter product in a false advertising suit brought by one of its competitors. She has also defended the author and publisher of the renowned Harry Potter books against claims of trademark and copyright infringement; represented a major insurance company in a dispute with regarding coverage for copyright infringement claims; represented the successors to Margaret Mitchell in their controversial copyright case against the author and publisher of The Wind Done Gone, an alleged parody of Gone With the Wind; and represented the author and publisher of 60 Years Later: Coming
Through the Rye
against a copyright infringement claim brought by J.D. Salinger. She has also successfully litigated numerous domain name disputes, and has brought and defended advertising challenges before the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Ms. Beeber has also litigated many disputes in the commercial arena, including a major breach of warranty and fraud claim brought on behalf of Tribune Entertainment Company against Marvel Enterprises, Inc., regarding rights in the television series Mutant X.

Ms. Beeber is co-editor of Entertainment Law Matters (, a Frankfurt Kurnit blog about disputes and developments in the film, television, publishing, theatre, music, art, gaming, and fashion industries. Ms. Beeber has lectured and written on a variety of intellectual property topics.

Ms. Beeber is a graduate of Cornell University, with a B.A. in English, and of Cornell Law School, where she was a Note Editor of the Cornell Law Review.

Horacio Kaufmann, M.D.

Felicia B. Axelrod Professor of Dysautonomia Research,
Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics;
Professor; Departments of Neurology (Familial Dysautonomia Prog), Medicine (Skirball) and Pediatrics (BV-Child Protection)
NYU Langone Medical Center
New York City

Medical Specialties:

Medical Expertise
Genetic Diseases of the Nervous System, Multiple
System Atrophy, Disorders of the Autonomic
Nervous System, Parkinson's Disease
Board Certification
1987 - Ab Psychiatry & Neurology - Neurology


1973-1978 - Universidad De Buenos Aires, Medical Education
1982-1985 - Mount Sinai School of Medicine (Neurology), Residency Training
1985-1986 - Mount Sinai School of Medicine (Movement Disorders), Clinical Fellowships

Kenneth I. Schacter is an experienced trial lawyer who handles a broad range of civil and white collar criminal matters. His practice emphasizes securities litigation; complex criminal, antitrust and civil RICO matters; SEC proceedings; intellectual property litigation; and other business litigation. Ken has trial experience before juries, judges and arbitration panels throughout the United States. He has tried more than 30 cases to verdict or award and has also argued dozens of appeals.

Ken gained valuable experience as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, handling many groundbreaking insider trading cases, including the so-called “Yuppie Five” case and major prosecutions of other corporate insiders. While an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Ken also investigated and prosecuted cases involving financial frauds, tax evasion, official corruption, arms smuggling and terrorism.

Stephen P. Ellenbecker concentrates his practice in the areas of product liability, construction, and general civil litigation. Among other areas, he is a trial attorney on cases involving the welding industry. He works on litigation as both local and national counsel and coordinates scheduling, discovery and trial work with national and local counsels, respectively.

Mr. Ellenbecker was selected as one of the "Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch" for 2008 by Chicago's Law Bulletin Publishing Company, publishers of Chicago Lawyer magazine and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. This highly coveted distinction recognizes him as one of the top young attorneys in his field.

Trial Experience

Clinger v. The Lincoln Electric Company, et al (No. 1:04-CV-17118) Northern District Ohio Defense Verdict Oct. 21, 2010

Haskell v. ESAB, et al (No. 04-L-1152) Madison County, IL Defense Verdict Nov. 15, 2006

Boren v. A. O. Smith, et al (No. 01-L-786) Madison County, IL Defense Verdict Dec. 1, 2005

Hale v. T.R. Streeterville Hotel Corp. (No.02-L-4975) Cook County, IL

Judgement of 10% of that asked and demanded April 5, 2004

Appellate Experience 

Baltazar v. Advanced Healthcare Associates (U.S. Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit)
Professional Involvement

Vice Chair of the American Bar Association's TIPS-Product Liability section
Member of the Chicago Bar Association
Member of the Illinois State Bar Association

Illinois Institute of Technology, J.D. (with honors), 2002
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, B.S.E., 1994

Supreme Court of the State of Illinois
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
United States District Court for Northern District Indiana

Laureen M. Ryan, CPA, ABV, CDBV, CFE, CIRA
Managing Director, Global Forensic and Dispute Services

Laureen M. Ryan specializes in accounting and forensic investigations, and disputes with complex economic, valuation, solvency and financial issues.

With over 25 years of experience, Ms. Ryan has advised boards, corporations and stakeholders to help resolve high stakes financial, regulatory and legal issues. She has led complex multi-national investigations, including those involving FCPA and Qui Tam issues, and made presentations to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the NYS Banking Department, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and Corporate Boards. Further, in her fiduciary roles as Responsible Officer, Chapter 11 Trustee and Liquidating Trustee, she conducted investigations, pursued litigation and resolved complex business, accounting and financial matters in the U.S. and abroad.

Ms. Ryan has written numerous expert reports and testified in depositions and in court in cases residing in various U.S. District Courts, Supreme Court of NY, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, State Court in Georgia, Superior Court of New Jersey, County Court in Texas, AAA and J.A.M.S. arbitrations, various
U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, and the ICC International Court of Arbitration in London. Ms. Ryan has also served as a mediator for the Supreme Court of the State of NY.

Ms. Ryan’s testimony and advice has been provided in civil and criminal matters involving issues related to damages/quantum, valuation, solvency, lost profits, financial reporting, regulatory inquiries, financial transactions, accounting reconstruction, GAAS audits, GAAP accounting, fraud allegations, ponzi schemes, FCPA and Qui Tam, asset diversion, accounting irregularities, over-billing and other fictitious billing and loan schemes, post-acquisition disputes, contract provisions, cost allocations, royalties, escheatment, bankruptcy litigation, insurance, loans and securities.

Ms. Ryan has also been involved in many purchases and sales of businesses, divisions, and assets on behalf of management, secured lenders and other creditors. She has also assisted clients in the preparation of business plans, projections and cash flows. In this regard, she has prepared valuation estimates of businesses in a range of industries in connection with fraudulent conveyance actions, preference actions, viability studies, contract disputes, damage quantification, and lending decisions.

In her various fiduciary roles as Responsible Officer, Chapter 11 Trustee and Liquidating Trustee, Ms.  Ryan conducted investigations, pursued litigation and resolved complex business, accounting and financial matters in the U.S. and abroad. Her responsibilities (in and out of court) comprised managing and winding down company operations, asset sales and divestitures, environmental cleanup, pension and retiree assets and obligations, marshaling assets, solvency analyses, reconstructing books and records, insurance recoveries, billions of dollars of asbestos claims and the establishment of a 524(g) trust, other claims processes and analysis and resolving disputes.

Ms. Ryan has also provided expert witness and financial advisory services to various constituents in distressed company situations and Examiners retained in the bankruptcy court to investigate potential causes of action and to determine financial viability.

Ms. Ryan has worked across a broad range of industries, including financial institutions, mutual funds, hedge funds, broker / dealers, mortgage warehousing, structured finance products, sub-prime and Alt-A loans, securities firms, healthcare, cable, media, telecommunications, hospitality, healthcare and medical claims, casino/gaming, restaurants, franchising, auto dealerships, auto parts, insurance, beverages, entertainment, retail, apparel, real estate, insurance, construction, explosives, mining, trucking, railroad, food distribution, publishing, waste management, textiles, television equipment, health and beauty aids, and sporting goods.

Prior to joining A&M, Ms. Ryan was a Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting providing investigation and disputes services. She was also instrumental in building FTI’s Forensic & Litigation Consulting practice and held various executive leadership positions, including Northeast Regional Leader and Global Expansion Leader. In addition, she worked at an affiliate, Ferrier Hodgson, in Sydney, Australia.

Ms. Ryan began her career with Ernst & Young (E&Y) where she provided audit and advisory services to the New York and London offices. As a member of E&Y’s National Financial Services Office, she targeted acquisitions, monitored the audit risk profile of banks and thrifts, provided accounting, auditing and regulatory advice for the U.S. and abroad, and worked on matters involving allegations of accounting malpractice and fraud.

Ms. Ryan has given lectures on valuation, accounting, fraud, and troubled company topics to bankers, lawyers, and accountants. She has also written articles for the Commercial Lending Review, ABI Newsletter, Bank Accounting & Finance, and The Practical Accountant, and a booklet entitled White Collar Crime: Loss Prevention through Internal Control in Financial Institutions. Examples of other recent publications and presentations include:

  • Expert Witness 2013 - Role of Expert Witnesses in Complex Litigation panelist; Practicing Law Institute (June 2013)
  • Expert Lawyers on Expert Witnesses  - The Persuasiveness of Expert Testimony - Moderator of panel; ABA Section of Litigation Expert Witness Committee (May 2013)
  • Valuation in Fraudulent Transfer Action: The Balance Sheet Test article; Alvarez & Marsal GFD ENewsletter Archives (June 2012)
  • Difficult Provider-Payor Relationships Likely to Grow More Contentious article; Alvarez & Marsal GFD ENewsletter Archives (Nov. 2012)
  • Lost Profits v. Lost Business; Business Valuation Resources (BVR) Webinar, June 2012.


Certified Public Accountant

Accredited Business Valuer

Certified Distressed Business Valuer

Certified Fraud Examiner

Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors

Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants

Founding Member, International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation

Junior League


B.S. Accounting & Economics Oswego University


Blair Connelly is a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins, where he focuses his practice on M&A litigation, securities litigation and corporate governance. Mr. Connelly has represented issuers, financial institutions, boards of directors and individuals in numerous high-profile securities, merger and takeover disputes and indemnity claims, and has had extensive involvement in large, complex internal investigations, derivative actions, class action lawsuits and SEC investigations. Mr. Connelly also has experience in complex insurance coverage and professional liability litigation. Mr. Connelly was recognized as a top litigator by Super Lawyers in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2013.

Mr. Connelly received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center and his BA from Georgetown University. He is qualified to practice in New York and California.

David Cohen has spent more than 15 years at the intersection of science, medicine, and the law. He has held lead science counsel positions in mass tort and individual lawsuits alleging personal injury, product liability, and theft of trade secrets. Most frequently, Mr. Cohen helps clients formulate medical defense strategies to rebut allegations of disease diagnosis and causation. He has led challenges to the admissibility of expert witness opinion testimony, culminating in courtroom roles at Daubert, Frye, and Havner proceedings.

Mr. Cohen is pragmatic, efficient, and versatile. In some cases, he handles the science of the case alone, while in others he collaborates with cocounsel in federal multidistrict litigations and state court actions. Regardless of the size or complexity of the matter, Mr. Cohen works closely with clients to develop and deploy effective, sciencebased resources. He maintains relationships with leading research institutions and medical schools from which he is able to retain expert witnesses for consulting and testifying.

During his career, Mr. Cohen has crossexamined more than 90 doctors, scientists, and other witnesses with technical knowledge. His experience spans many disciplines in medicine and science, including: epidemiology, neuroscience, pathology, toxicology, pharmacology, radiology, neurology, cardiology, pulmonology, and cancer.

Mr. Cohen also advises clients on policies and procedures to reduce litigation risk. He lectures at Continuing Legal Education seminars, where he demonstrates techniques of effective expert witness examination. Mr. Cohen has addressed industry groups in South Korea and in South Africa on mass tort litigation in the United States.

Mr. Cohen served as a law clerk for two years to Federal District Court Judge D. Brook Bartlett in the Western District of Missouri at Kansas City


  • “Battle Of The ‘Experts’: Daubert And Milward,” Product Liability Law360 and Appellate Law360, January 2012
  • “Tiptoeing Through Mass Tort Litigation,” Risk Management Magazine, April 2001 (coauthor)

Education and Honors

J.D., Fordham University School of Law, 1986
B.A. (magna cum laude), Union College, 1983
London School of Economics and Political Science, 1981
La Sorbonne, 1982

Recommended in The Legal 500 U.S., 2013
Recognized as a New York Super Lawyer, 2009 2012
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2012 2013

David Spears is a partner at the New York City law firm of Spears & Imes LLP, a litigation boutique.  Early in his career, he spent many years working in government, including as Deputy Chief Trial Attorney in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement in Washington, D.C., and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York.  At Spears & Imes, Mr. Spears specializes in white collar defense and complex civil litigation.  He has tried many criminal and civil cases in different courts around the country.  In many of those trials, he put on one or more experts to support his client’s case and/or cross-examined experts put on by the opposing party.  He has also worked with many experts in the preparation of reports for disclosure to the opposing party and in preparation for deposition by the opposing party.  In late 2017 or early 2018, Mr. Spears will be trying a criminal case in the District of Massachusetts in which the government is expected to call one or more experts, and a complex civil case in the Middle District of Florida in which both sides are expected to call multiple experts.