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BFWA: Services Offered

NOTE [July 2014]: I am merging the BFWA practice with Ironwood Experts, where I have accepted a position as Partner. I personally, and Ironwood as a firm, will continue to offer all the services listed below. You may continue to reach me at bwebster@bfwa.com or by calling Ironwood at 801.477.4485.

 

Consulting/Testifying Expert in Litigation

Since 1999, Bruce F. Webster has as a consulting and/or testifying expert in numerous lawsuits involving computer technology, including patent, trade secret, and software copyright cases, as well as litigation involving failed or disputed IT projects. Other subjects for which Webster has been admitted at trial or hearing as an expert for testimony include computer-generated document forensics; computer system performance, architecture and scalability; cybersquatting; and IT security. In addition to all the above, he has provided sworn testimony (in deposition) on matters involving algorithmic analysis and software licensing (including open source licensing issues).

Here are the cases in which Webster has provided testimony (in deposition, hearing, and/or court) in the past four years:

  • Planet Bingo, LLC et al. v. VKGS, LLC, State of Michigan in the Circuit Court for the County of Ingham [intellectual property; as neutral expert]
  • Emerald Home Furniture v. IBS, Inc., American Arbitration Association, Tacoma, WA [disputed IT project]
  • Clarkson-Potomac Group v. IT Broadcasting Corporation, Circuit Court for Orange County, Florida [disputed IT project]
  • Trading Technologies Int’l Inc. v. GL Trade SA et al., US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division [patent]
  • BanxCorp v. Costco Wholesale et al., US District Court for the Southern District of New York [copyright]
  • Gavel International v. Remington, American Arbitration Association, Chicago, IL [disputed IT project]
  • Horizon Ag-Products v. Precision Systems Engineering, Inc. et al., US District Court for the District of New Mexico [disputed IT project]
  • Mallinckrodt et al. v. E-Z-EM Inc., et al., US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas [patent]
  • 2KDirect, Inc. v. AzoogleAds USA et al., US District Court for the Central District of California [trade secret]

Arbitration and Neutral Expert Work

Bruce F. Webster served as sole arbitrator in an intellectual property dispute between two e-commerce software firms, which agreed (through their respective outside counsel) to abide by his findings. Webster personally conducted reviews of the software architecture, design, and source code of each firm, then issued his findings, which both parties accepted.

Webster served as a neutral expert in another intellectual property dispute between two e-commerce software firms. Webster personally reviewed software architecture, design, and source code for evidence of misappropriation, then delivered his findings to the arbitrator (a retired judge).

Webster served as a neutral expert in an intellectual property dispute between two mobile gaming firms, in advance of arbitration. Webster reviewed data, graphics, and source code, then wrote up his finding and delivered them to both sides. The two parties reached an agreement at the mediation session.

Webster is currently [2014] serving as a neutral expert in yet another intellectual property dispute between gambling-hall management software firms.

Review and/or Rescue of Large-Scale IT Projects

Here are a few examples of projects that BFWA has tackled in the past:

  • Webster was brought in to review increasing problems with the recently launched (and live) customer account management website of a major financial corporation. With the help of two associates, Webster conducted extensive interviews; reviewed the cross-enterprise architecture; examined source code, error reports, and data logs; did real-time monitoring of the live system; and conducted database architecture analysis. Webster made a series of focused, detailed recommendations, including changes to the software lifecycle, specific hardware and software upgrades, and remediation in critical technical areas.
  • Webster led a joint review within a Fortune 50 corporation of a major re-engineering project that was at least 100% over schedule (4 years vs. 2 years) and more than 300% over budget ($500 million vs. $120 million). Over a period of three months, the review team interviewed dozens of individuals in various roles (including both business and development) and developed metrics for assessing completeness and reliability of a large number of systems and subsystems. Webster personally prepared the 50-page report (and accompanying presentation) detailing the joint findings, then presented the findings and recommendations to a large meeting of the project management staff.
  • A global logistics firm retained Webster as an “acting chief technical officer.” As such, Webster made regular visits to the firm’s offices in Canada and the US to discuss, review and help direct a major internal technology effort intended to replace their existing customer-facing systems. Webster met mostly with upper management, as well as with the firm’s chief software architect, whom Webster had been asked to mentor.
  • A large financial corporation brought Webster in to review schedule slippage problems with a major enterprise-wide remediation effort. Webster conducted interviews with over 40 employees and reviewed large amounts of documentation, then made a set of explicit recommendations for ensuring successful completion of the effort. The client then retained Webster to oversee the completion of the project, which he did successfully.
  • A major subcontractor on a global communications project went through a disastrous design review (by the coordinating firm) of their work to date; also, they were behind schedule for their portion of the next project-wide delivery. This firm retained Webster as an “architect of architects” with responsibility to get their portion of the project back on track as well as oversee architectural efforts in other projects. Webster interviewed the entire subcontractor project team (30+ people, up through VP management levels) to assess project status, personnel skills, and internal IT practices; he also attended global project meetings in the US and Hong Kong. He drafted coding and design standards for the subcontractor developers; created the actual software architecture for the subcontractor’s network management subsystem (none had previously existed); worked with the coordinating firm’s program manager to established a managed specifications baseline for the subcontractor; set up a formal Architecture and Design group for the subcontractor; and mentored developers, architects and managers. The result: not only did the firm make the build delivery date, they were the only group in the global project to do so.

Investment/Acquisition Assessment Work

Webster has worked (confidentially) with firms seeking to invest in or acquire companies with valuable information technology (IT) assets. Specifically, Webster has conducted reviews of key IT systems and products to determine their quality, architectural soundness, and stability, as well as to evaluate the IT project management and software engineering standards and practices of the development teams for the systems and products under review.

For more details, please contact Ironwood at 801.477.4485 or e-mail Webster directly at bwebster@bfwa.com.