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Sampling & Survey Design
- For a major insurance company, ARG statisticians designed a statistically valid sampling methodology and survey questionnaire to poll brokers and quantify the extent to which certain underwriting guidelines were followed when representatives sold automobile insurance policies.
- For an international bank facing a proposed wage and hour class action law suit, an ARG statistician filed an expert affidavit describing the necessary sample sizes and stratification to achieve alternative margin of errors. Our cross-examination testimony successfully rebutted plaintiffs’ statistician’s opinions. Class certification was denied.
- For a major healthcare institution in a dispute with insurers regarding reimbursements, ARG statisticians designed a sampling methodology and oversaw an analysis of medical services records. The insurers accepted our sample design and findings.
- For a packaging manufacturer in a patent infringement matter, ARG statistical experts designed a sampling methodology to select a random sample of various products. Because the products were destroyed as part of the inspection process (in determining the effectiveness of the design-around procedure), the sample was designed to be as small as statistically permissible to generate reliable inferences.
Intellectual Property/Economic Damages
- For a fitness equipment manufacturer involved in a patent infringement and unfair competition dispute, ARG economists developed an econometric study of lost sales due to an alleged infringement and performed a mathematical analysis of the extent of infringement. Our critique of the opposing expert’s economic damages calculation contributed to a jury decision of zero damages despite a finding of infringement.
- Counsel for a performance rights organization (“PRO”),that licenses the public performance rights to the copyrighted musical works of its members, retained ARG experts to assess the economic value of a blanket license granting certain companies non-exclusive rights to perform music from the PRO repertory over their Internet sites. We prepared an expert report describing our economic and benchmark analyses to determine a reasonable license fee and our analysis of the role of music performances in increasing company revenues and profits.
- In a patent infringement matter in the biotechnology industry, ARG economists examined the importance of “first-mover advantage” and the effect of technology diffusion resulting from infringement on price erosion and volume changes.
- ARG economists conducted a damages study for plaintiff in a major unfair competition lawsuit in the consumer products industry. ARG experts developed econometric models to forecast sales for individual products, analyzed the impact of sales changes on company profits, and calculated economic damages for a wide range of “but-for” pricing and product introduction strategies. We also assisted counsel by analyzing the case put forth by the opposing side and in the development of cross-examination strategies for opposing expert witnesses.
- For a major credit card company facing a class action lawsuit alleging misrepresentation and miscalculation of interest rates and certain fees, ARG data analysts collected individual transactional data from the company and recalculated proper interest rates and fees based on posting dates of many millions of transactions. One of our financial expert’s submitted an expert report and offered deposition testimony in federal court.
Employment – Wage & Hour
- We were retained by outside counsel of a major retail company being sued under the California Labor Code for allegedly misclassifying employees as exempt from CLC overtime provisions. ARG labor economists designed and oversaw a statistically valid time and motion (observational) study that was relied upon to address both class certification and liability issues. An ARG labor economist provided expert testimony, both in an expert report and at deposition, concerning the variability of responsibilities performed by the purported class members as well as the percentage of time class members spent, on average, on exempt and non-exempt tasks. The case was dismissed after one of our labor economist’s provided deposition testimony.
- A leading financial institution faced a collective action by tens of thousands of its retail banking employees alleging they were forced to work off-the-clock resulting in unpaid overtime compensation. Our team of labor economists analyzed company databases and bank documents to quantify the variance of task pressures placed on employees across different positions such as branch managers, financial services representatives, and tellers as well as across regions and branches. An ARG labor economist submitted an expert report that included ARG research showing employees’ tendency to exaggerate the number of overtime hours worked. Our expert provided deposition testimony at the class certification stage.
Employment – Discrimination
- In a Title VII suit alleging gender discrimination in the selection of employees for termination, one of ARG’s labor economists provided an expert report and deposition testimony supporting our finding of no statistically significant difference in employee selection rates once company business factors and employee skill sets were taken into consideration.
- A fortune 500 company facing a class action litigation of thousands of management employees regarding its pension plan change turned to ARG economists for litigation support. The company converted from a traditional defined benefit plan to a cash balances plan and faced allegations that the conversion violated both ERISA and ADEA statutes. The ADEA claims asserted that older employees failed to earn additional pension benefits from continued employment under the new plan whereas younger workers did not face such a penalty. We identified an internationally-acclaimed professor to serve as the testifying expert and provided litigation support to outside counsel. Our analysis reviewed detailed historical earnings information for each employee to calculate pension benefits under alternative plans for both older and younger employees as well as for specific plaintiffs.
- For an insurance company acquiring the assets and insureds of a competitor, ARG economists conducted a study of the competitive impacts of the acquisition in the industry. The study applied state-of-the-art econometric techniques and simulations to demonstrate that given the number of alternative choices in relevant geographic bands, the acquisition would not adversely impact consumers. Regulators approved the acquisition.
- Working for defense counsel in an antitrust lawsuit involving the automobile industry, we prepared an expert report criticizing analyses and testimony of plaintiffs’ economic and statistical expert. Our analysis identified a number of serious conceptual and methodological flaws in the opposing expert’s work that rendered his conclusions unreliable. As part of our affirmative testimony, we developed an econometric model to quantify the economic value of certain automobile options to customers. Our econometric model quantified how each option added to dealers’ automobiles impacted vehicle sales prices and margins.
Securities: Class Actions
- On behalf of outside counsel of a CEO facing a derivative class action alleging insider trading, ARG economists estimated the expected impact of an earnings announcement on company stock price. We also analyzed historical revenue patterns to help assess the reasonableness of executive statements that the company was on target to meet its earnings guidance. ARG financial economists conducted an event study analysis to quantify the effect of various factors contributing to a statistically significant stock price drop.
- Related to a 10b-5 case in the health care industry, ARG financial economists designed and estimated an event history analysis to establish that plaintiffs’ damages calculations were overstated. The case settled after our expert’s report detailing our findings was filed.
Securities: Regulatory Investigation
- For an investment bank facing class actions and under investigation by the NASD and SEC regarding its handling of certain initial public offerings, ARG financial economists examined underwriting practices, prices and trading behavior to determine whether there was any empirical evidence of laddering and/or kickbacks.
- In response to an SEC investigation, ARG financial economists were retained by counsel of a mortgage broker to investigate trading data for evidence of front-running or improper implementation of side-by-side trading procedures.