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Meeting of Experts Industrial Effluent Prosecution

I've had a busy week, preparing for an overseas engagement, and taking part in a meeting of experts with respect of a prosecution under the Water Industry Act.

Though there was much common ground between experts, it's probably going to mean a court appearance as an expert witness next month.

In the meantime, I'll be dealing with getting a stop notice reversed on a site in Central America. It's been a busy start to the year!

Training in Water and Effluent Treatment Plant Operation and Maintenance

I've been booked to deliver a training course in Spain at month end based on our longstanding Water and Effluent Treatment Plant Operation and Maintenance course. Delivery is to be bilingual. so one of my former students who is a native Spanish speaker will be assisting me.

I've also got continuing expert witness work to do with a prosecution for release of industrial effluent to sewer, so it'll be a while before I can get back to writing my latest book.

Back to Work: Expert Witness CPR Part 19 Report

I'm expecting an expert report for comment today in the criminal prosecution in which I am acting as an expert witness. I'd say the report was from the other side, but there is no other side when you are an expert witness. Neither am I on the side of the people paying me, I am on the side of the court, just as the author of the report I am about to receive should be.

I would however caveat that. In being independent / on the side of the court, I am acting in the interests of those instructing me, to the extent that my report informs the legal team of the technical merits and underpinning of their case. An accurate report should help to prevent the kind of irrational exuberance which might cause a party to spend a lot of money pursing a case without technical merit.

I'm hoping the fact that this is a criminal prosecution involving large entities means that the kind of inexpert "expert" I come across all too often has not been engaged. Perversely, unpicking and co…

Getting Ready for 2020: Expert Report

2020 is shaping up to be another good year. There are orders in the pipeline for the early part of the year already. I've probably got an expert report to read next week to do with a criminal prosecution under the Water Industry Act, followed by a meeting of experts and a court appearance.

I also have a training course to arrange overseas later in the month. It's in Europe, so we will have to see how that affects whether I have to charge VAT etc. All is still uncertain as far as UK/ Europe admin provision is concerned though as I have an Irish passport, I am certain I'll be able to continue working there...

Another Year Over at Expertise Limited Water Engineers

Its been a great year for Expertise Limited. We've turned over more money this year than any year since before the oil price crash, and I've got to do some worthwhile things in some interesting places.

I'm more or less down to an empty desk and inbox zero. I'll be keeping an eye out for new enquiries and correspondence from existing clients, but barring that, I'm going to take a week or two off.

Inexpert Witnesses Water and Sewage

I've got  a few expert witness jobs on, and I was asked by one of my LinkedIN contacts earlier today about those inexpert experts who have hit the news recently. The two worst cases recently have been those of Andrew Ager and Azef Zafar, but I come across inexpert "experts" all the time. These are most commonly people who were never qualified to have an expert opinion in the first place, people who retired thirty years ago as managers who hadn't engineered anything in decades, and consequently know nothing about current professional practice, and/or people who will argue that black is white and vice versa for money. Some of these people run report mills a bit like those of Messrs Ager and Zafar, but it does seem that things are not as bad in my area of engineering as in the medical field. Nevertheless, those occasions on which I am working with a genuine independent expert are the exception rather then the rule.

Mining Industry Water Effluent Sewage Treatment Expert

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I've been writing my report this week on the effluent treatment plants I went to see at a copper mine overseas recently. It's been interesting. The most interesting aspect might well be how tight the limits they have been set are on the quality of treated effluent. I have very rarely worked to such tight standards.

Those who accuse the mining industry of carelessness with environment impacts of its activities apparently don't know what they are talking about. Having been hired by an environmental campaigning group a few years ago to investigate pollution by another unpopular industry and having my report which found that the claim was ill-founded suppressed, this comes as no surprise to me.