Dr. Ronald B. Standler
Consulting Services to Attorneys on
Scientific Evidence in Torts Involving Technology
Table of Contents
Consulting Fees & Terms
How to contact Dr. Standler
- Ph.D. in physics 1977, J.D. 1998,
- professor of electrical engineering for ten years,
- programmed computers since 1968
(mostly numerical models of physical phenomena,
automatic collection of data from scientific instruments,
statistical analysis of data, and
design of numerical algorithms),
- research on lightning and atmospheric electricity in thunderstorms 1971-1979,
- designed electronic circuits and instrumentation 1973-1989,
- research on electrical surge suppressors and arresters 1982-1993,
- wrote more than 35 archival technical papers and one book,
- consulted to litigators since 1981, and
- attorney in Massachusetts, and also licensed to practice before:
- the U.S. Patent Office,
- the Federal District Court in Massachusetts,
- the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and
- the U.S. Supreme Court.
I offer assistance to attorneys in areas where science,
engineering, and technology collide with law.
1. consulting on scientific and engineering issues in law
- framing of scientific and engineering issues in context of law
- role of engineering standards for safety or performance in
establishing duty of care in torts
- evaluation of discovery materials: documents, deposition transcript,
expert's report, etc. —
I have the ability to find contradictions separated by
hundreds of pages of paper. My knowledge and experience in science
and engineering give me an advantage in finding other ways to attack
- drafting deposition questions to ask expert witnesses —
My knowledge of science and engineering
enables me to select exactly the right technical word,
in order to extract useful information from hostile expert witnesses
or from an opposing party who is an engineer or scientist.
- finding expert witnesses directly (i.e., without paying overhead to
- science, technology, and public policy issues
2. legal research
Information on my
in finding information in law (e.g., cases, statutes, regulations)
and also finding technical information in science, engineering, and
medicine is contained in my separate webpage.
In addition to my use of material in online databases and libraries,
- photocopies of more than 1000 archival papers on electrical surges
- photocopies of more than 640 U.S. Patents on electrical
surge-protective devices and lightning warning systems, and
- catalogs of components for electrical surge protection since the
I have worked between 60 and 80 hours/week continuously since 1967, simply
because I found my work challenging, significant, and enjoyable.
I earned a Ph.D. in physics in 1977, was a professor of electrical
engineering for 10 years, and have programmed computers since 1968.
This experience gives me insight into a number of areas of
law, such as products liability,
injury by lightning,
damage by electrical surges, and the
law of meteorology.
As a professor, I gave more than one thousand
lectures in rooms with 30 to 70 students, I have presented many
papers at scientific or engineering symposia, and I have
been chairman of several groups in development of international engineering
standards. All of these experiences have taught me to be an effective
public speaker and lead productive meetings.
These are useful skills for an attorney.
As shown in detail at the end of my c.v.,
I have written one book (434 pp.)
and more than 35 archival scholarly papers, each
of which communicates new knowledge that I discovered. I learned
long ago to create a paper trail that clearly documents my work and informs
my client of progress and options for decisions. Unlike many scientists
and unlike most engineers, I enjoy writing. Like most professors,
I take pleasure from explaining something clearly.
I can be effective at
rapidly uncovering technical information that is useful in litigation, even
when it is outside of the area of my professional experience. For example,
I was consulted by an attorney in 1981 as an expert witness on the effect
of radio transmitters on the accuracy of breath-alcohol meters. I was not
able to demonstrate any such effect during my experiments, so I spent one
afternoon searching the chemical and medical literature. I found that the
relationship between concentrations of alcohol in breath and blood is highly
variable; the meter was calibrated according to an average person.
Therefore, measurement of breath alcohol is worthless as evidence of an
individual's blood alcohol concentration, which was the criterion
in statute. Impeachment of breath-alcohol data is not remarkable now, but
it was remarkable in 1981, when I did it. Please understand that I am not
interested in drunk driving cases, I simply mention it as an example of
what I could do long before I enrolled in law school.
One of my major interests in law is the solution of problems created
by computer technology, such as intellectual property protection of software
and privacy issues involving computer databases. My own computer experience
began in 1968, when I taught myself to program a computer. I have personally
owned eleven different desktop computers since 1981, which I used or use
in my daily professional work. Using software that I wrote myself, I have
used computers to predict behavior of physical phenomena from theoretical
models, to acquire and to analyze data from laboratory instruments, and
to prepare graphs for scientific publications. My familiarity with programming
and applications of computers gives me a detailed insight into possible
uses and abuses of computer technology, which create new legal problems,
as well as a strong ability to communicate with future clients who may be
manufacturers or users of computer hardware or software. Further, I believe
that computers are the principal tool of the future, in order to benefit
from large amounts of available information, so my past experience with
computers gives me an important advantage over most other professionals.
In law school during 1995-1998, I focused on reading scholarly, authoritative sources,
instead of condensed cases and so-called "study aids".
During my first year of law school, I purchased and read the
Restatements (Second) of Torts and Contracts from cover to cover.
During my last two years of law school,
I downloaded more than 75 megabytes of cases in my areas of interest,
annotated them, and arranged them chronologically in WordPerfect
documents by topics. My intent was to understand many different
areas of law in which I wished to practice or consult, so I could both
(1) make my own synthesis of general principles in law in areas of interest to me,
(2) see the chronological development of law for new technologies,
and (3) "hit the ground with my feet running" in my future work.
Since graduating from law school, I have continued to assign myself
intellectual "finger exercises" in legal research and analysis.
You can see my intense interest, enthusiasm, and scholarly approach to law in the
more than 97 essays at my websites.
Specific areas of law that interest me include: torts, technology law,
academic issues in higher-education law, and copyright law.
See my separate list of topics in torts that
especially interest me.
My consulting fees and terms
are posted on the Internet in a separate document.
low initial cost, no long-term obligation
By hiring me as a consultant, you need to provide me with neither
floor space, equipment, furniture, secretary, nor health insurance.
You do not need to find between 2000 to 3000 hours/year of work for me.
Nevertheless, I am available whenever you need me, including nights,
weekends, and holidays.
I am available to travel on short notice.
How to contact Dr. Standler.
Copyright Ronald B. Standler
This document is at http://www.rbs2.com/job.htm
first posted 5 Jan 1997, revised 15 Sep 2013
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