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Chapter 1 Chapter 1

Introduction Introduction
Failure can be defined as an unacceptable difference between an actual Failure can be defined as an unacceptable difference between an actual
condition or performance and the intended or reasonably anticipated condition condition or performance and the intended or reasonably anticipated condition
or performance. Failure need not involve a complete or even partial collapse; or performance. Failure need not involve a complete or even partial collapse;
failure may involve a less catastrophic deficiency or performance problem, such failure may involve a less catastrophic deficiency or performance problem, such
as unacceptable deformation, cracking, water or weatherresistance, or other as unacceptable deformation, cracking, water or weatherresistance, or other
such phenomena. The role of the forensic engineer may be that of an such phenomena. The role of the forensic engineer may be that of an
investigator of the causes of the failure, or it may extend into litigation support investigator of the causes of the failure, or it may extend into litigation support
and testimony in legal proceedings. Forensic engineers are also involved in and testimony in legal proceedings. Forensic engineers are also involved in
devising repairs or mitigating consequences of failures, however, the Guidelines devising repairs or mitigating consequences of failures, however, the Guidelines
do not intend to address issues of failure mitigation or repair. do not intend to address issues of failure mitigation or repair.

Etymologically, the word forensics comes from the Latin forensis (of Etymologically, the word forensics comes from the Latin forensis (of
the forum) and applies to the public forums of discussion, debate, or the the forum) and applies to the public forums of discussion, debate, or the
administration of justice. College and high school debate teams are often administration of justice. College and high school debate teams are often
referred to as forensic societies. Although rooted in argument, the term has referred to as forensic societies. Although rooted in argument, the term has
also become commonly associated with applying scientific or engineering also become commonly associated with applying scientific or engineering
knowledge or expertise to investigation. Here too, however, the term is knowledge or expertise to investigation. Here too, however, the term is
generally associated with criminal investigation, or with some other domain generally associated with criminal investigation, or with some other domain
related to our legal system. Formally then, forensic engineering can be defined related to our legal system. Formally then, forensic engineering can be defined
as applying engineering principles, education, and knowledge to problems as applying engineering principles, education, and knowledge to problems

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where legal liability is to be decided in a legal forum. However, much of the where legal liability is to be decided in a legal forum. However, much of the

11A_51030_ASCE_Resize.job_Process Black_08/03/2012_11:01:17
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work of forensic engineers leads to the resolution of a problem without formal work of forensic engineers leads to the resolution of a problem without formal
legal proceedings, and the term forensic engineering more generally and most legal proceedings, and the term forensic engineering more generally and most
often applies to studying problems that may be decided in a legal forum. The often applies to studying problems that may be decided in a legal forum. The
possibility that a forensic engineer will be retained as a consultant or expert in a possibility that a forensic engineer will be retained as a consultant or expert in a
legal proceeding distinguishes forensic engineering from other engineering legal proceeding distinguishes forensic engineering from other engineering
disciplines, and the context of this naturally adversarial environment affects disciplines, and the context of this naturally adversarial environment affects
how forensic engineering is practiced. how forensic engineering is practiced.

For forensic engineers to intelligently investigate the cause of a failure, For forensic engineers to intelligently investigate the cause of a failure,
to help identify parties responsible for the failure, and to assist in mitigating the to help identify parties responsible for the failure, and to assist in mitigating the
effects of the failure, they have to understand technical issues, and the effects of the failure, they have to understand technical issues, and the
professional, ethical, legal, contractual, and business practices that may have professional, ethical, legal, contractual, and business practices that may have
played a part in the failure. When forensic engineers possess that played a part in the failure. When forensic engineers possess that
understanding, they can be of significant help in the effort to know what in fact understanding, they can be of significant help in the effort to know what in fact
failed, where, when, how, and why a failure has originated, and who may have failed, where, when, how, and why a failure has originated, and who may have
contributed to responsibility for the failure. Because deficiencies and failures of contributed to responsibility for the failure. Because deficiencies and failures of
the built environment can lead to claims, disputes, and legal proceedings, the built environment can lead to claims, disputes, and legal proceedings,
forensic engineers need to have some familiarity with relevant legal processes, forensic engineers need to have some familiarity with relevant legal processes,
and need to know how to work effectively with attorneys. One feature of the and need to know how to work effectively with attorneys. One feature of the

Retrieved from www.perseus.tufts.edu Retrieved from www.perseus.tufts.edu

1 1

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Chapter 1 Chapter 1
Introduction Introduction
Failure can be defined as an unacceptable difference between an actual Failure can be defined as an unacceptable difference between an actual
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by 210.210.175.143 on 04/24/17. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

condition or performance and the intended or reasonably anticipated condition condition or performance and the intended or reasonably anticipated condition
or performance. Failure need not involve a complete or even partial collapse; or performance. Failure need not involve a complete or even partial collapse;
failure may involve a less catastrophic deficiency or performance problem, such failure may involve a less catastrophic deficiency or performance problem, such
as unacceptable deformation, cracking, water or weatherresistance, or other as unacceptable deformation, cracking, water or weatherresistance, or other
such phenomena. The role of the forensic engineer may be that of an such phenomena. The role of the forensic engineer may be that of an
investigator of the causes of the failure, or it may extend into litigation support investigator of the causes of the failure, or it may extend into litigation support
and testimony in legal proceedings. Forensic engineers are also involved in and testimony in legal proceedings. Forensic engineers are also involved in
devising repairs or mitigating consequences of failures, however, the Guidelines devising repairs or mitigating consequences of failures, however, the Guidelines
do not intend to address issues of failure mitigation or repair. do not intend to address issues of failure mitigation or repair.

Etymologically, the word forensics comes from the Latin forensis (of Etymologically, the word forensics comes from the Latin forensis (of
the forum) and applies to the public forums of discussion, debate, or the the forum) and applies to the public forums of discussion, debate, or the
administration of justice. College and high school debate teams are often administration of justice. College and high school debate teams are often
referred to as forensic societies. Although rooted in argument, the term has referred to as forensic societies. Although rooted in argument, the term has
also become commonly associated with applying scientific or engineering also become commonly associated with applying scientific or engineering
knowledge or expertise to investigation. Here too, however, the term is knowledge or expertise to investigation. Here too, however, the term is
generally associated with criminal investigation, or with some other domain generally associated with criminal investigation, or with some other domain
related to our legal system. Formally then, forensic engineering can be defined related to our legal system. Formally then, forensic engineering can be defined
as applying engineering principles, education, and knowledge to problems as applying engineering principles, education, and knowledge to problems
Magenta_08/03/2012_11:01:17
Yellow_08/03/2012_11:01:17

where legal liability is to be decided in a legal forum. However, much of the where legal liability is to be decided in a legal forum. However, much of the
11A_51030_ASCE_Resize.job_Process Black_08/03/2012_11:01:17
Cyan_08/03/2012_11:01:17

work of forensic engineers leads to the resolution of a problem without formal work of forensic engineers leads to the resolution of a problem without formal
legal proceedings, and the term forensic engineering more generally and most legal proceedings, and the term forensic engineering more generally and most
often applies to studying problems that may be decided in a legal forum. The often applies to studying problems that may be decided in a legal forum. The
possibility that a forensic engineer will be retained as a consultant or expert in a possibility that a forensic engineer will be retained as a consultant or expert in a
legal proceeding distinguishes forensic engineering from other engineering legal proceeding distinguishes forensic engineering from other engineering
disciplines, and the context of this naturally adversarial environment affects disciplines, and the context of this naturally adversarial environment affects
how forensic engineering is practiced. how forensic engineering is practiced.

For forensic engineers to intelligently investigate the cause of a failure, For forensic engineers to intelligently investigate the cause of a failure,
to help identify parties responsible for the failure, and to assist in mitigating the to help identify parties responsible for the failure, and to assist in mitigating the
effects of the failure, they have to understand technical issues, and the effects of the failure, they have to understand technical issues, and the
professional, ethical, legal, contractual, and business practices that may have professional, ethical, legal, contractual, and business practices that may have
played a part in the failure. When forensic engineers possess that played a part in the failure. When forensic engineers possess that
understanding, they can be of significant help in the effort to know what in fact understanding, they can be of significant help in the effort to know what in fact
failed, where, when, how, and why a failure has originated, and who may have failed, where, when, how, and why a failure has originated, and who may have
contributed to responsibility for the failure. Because deficiencies and failures of contributed to responsibility for the failure. Because deficiencies and failures of
the built environment can lead to claims, disputes, and legal proceedings, the built environment can lead to claims, disputes, and legal proceedings,
forensic engineers need to have some familiarity with relevant legal processes, forensic engineers need to have some familiarity with relevant legal processes,
and need to know how to work effectively with attorneys. One feature of the and need to know how to work effectively with attorneys. One feature of the

Retrieved from www.perseus.tufts.edu Retrieved from www.perseus.tufts.edu

1 1

Guidelines for Forensic Engineering Practice


2 GUIDELINES FOR FORENSIC ENGINEERING PRACTICE 2 GUIDELINES FOR FORENSIC ENGINEERING PRACTICE

Guidelines is its coverage of a range of subjects, the understanding of which is Guidelines is its coverage of a range of subjects, the understanding of which is
necessary for the effective and successful practice of forensic engineering. necessary for the effective and successful practice of forensic engineering.

Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by 210.210.175.143 on 04/24/17. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.
Engineering outside of the forensic arena is, at its best, an exercise in Engineering outside of the forensic arena is, at its best, an exercise in
addressing the concerns and accommodating the positions of many diverse addressing the concerns and accommodating the positions of many diverse
parties involved in conceptualizing, planning, designing, constructing, parties involved in conceptualizing, planning, designing, constructing,
operating, maintaining, renovating, reconfiguring, and decommissioning an operating, maintaining, renovating, reconfiguring, and decommissioning an
engineered facility. The goal of the engineering effort can be seen as satisfying engineered facility. The goal of the engineering effort can be seen as satisfying
as many of those diverse parties in each of their areas of concern, or at least as many of those diverse parties in each of their areas of concern, or at least
dissatisfying them as little as possible. The forensic arena, however, often dissatisfying them as little as possible. The forensic arena, however, often
involves an adversarial process concerned with a particular aspect of the involves an adversarial process concerned with a particular aspect of the
facility or with a specific occurrence, where there can be winners and losers. facility or with a specific occurrence, where there can be winners and losers.
Because of that, some practicing design engineers may be of the opinion that a Because of that, some practicing design engineers may be of the opinion that a
forensic engineers role in helping identify responsible parties may itself border forensic engineers role in helping identify responsible parties may itself border
on unethical behavior, because it may merely be seen as a venal participation in on unethical behavior, because it may merely be seen as a venal participation in
the blame and shame game. The Committee does not hold that opinion. In a the blame and shame game. The Committee does not hold that opinion. In a
wellordered, just and caring society, identifying sources of failures, and holding wellordered, just and caring society, identifying sources of failures, and holding
responsible those who contribute to causing damage are worthwhile responsible those who contribute to causing damage are worthwhile
endeavors. Forensic engineers can aid in the processes of correctly endeavors. Forensic engineers can aid in the processes of correctly
characterizing the failure and of allocating responsibility. characterizing the failure and of allocating responsibility.

The purpose of this publication is to document current practice and to The purpose of this publication is to document current practice and to

Magenta_08/03/2012_11:01:17
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provide guidance for the effective and ethical practice of forensic civil provide guidance for the effective and ethical practice of forensic civil

12A_51030_ASCE_Resize.job_Process Black_08/03/2012_11:01:17
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engineering. It is intended as a primer for the novice and as a reference for the engineering. It is intended as a primer for the novice and as a reference for the
seasoned practitioner. seasoned practitioner.

No single author would have the details and the credibility to write on all No single author would have the details and the credibility to write on all
the topics that were necessary for the Guidelines; therefore, many of the the topics that were necessary for the Guidelines; therefore, many of the
members of the Forensic Practices Committee were involved in the preparation members of the Forensic Practices Committee were involved in the preparation
of the individual chapters. The Guidelines chapters each deal with an important of the individual chapters. The Guidelines chapters each deal with an important
aspect of forensic engineering practice, such as competencies of a forensic aspect of forensic engineering practice, such as competencies of a forensic
engineer; the standard of care of engineers, including forensic engineers; the engineer; the standard of care of engineers, including forensic engineers; the
investigation and reporting processes; ethics; the legal forum; and business investigation and reporting processes; ethics; the legal forum; and business
considerations. considerations.

Chapter 2: Competencies and Qualifications of Forensic Engineers, Chapter 2: Competencies and Qualifications of Forensic Engineers,
describes the attributes and competencies that the Committee sees as describes the attributes and competencies that the Committee sees as
appropriate for forensic engineers. The chapter brings up the problematic appropriate for forensic engineers. The chapter brings up the problematic
subjects of advocacy, objectivity, and bias, which are also addressed in subjects of advocacy, objectivity, and bias, which are also addressed in
subsequent chapters. subsequent chapters.

Chapter 3: The Standard of Care, discusses that concept and explains Chapter 3: The Standard of Care, discusses that concept and explains
that it is best understood as the boundary between negligent error and non that it is best understood as the boundary between negligent error and non
negligent error. The chapter shows that the standard of care is not a Standard negligent error. The chapter shows that the standard of care is not a Standard
in the typical engineering sense of the word, but that it is a duty of every in the typical engineering sense of the word, but that it is a duty of every
engineer, including forensic engineers, to exercise care. The concept of care is engineer, including forensic engineers, to exercise care. The concept of care is

Guidelines for Forensic Engineering Practice

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2 GUIDELINES FOR FORENSIC ENGINEERING PRACTICE 2 GUIDELINES FOR FORENSIC ENGINEERING PRACTICE

Guidelines is its coverage of a range of subjects, the understanding of which is Guidelines is its coverage of a range of subjects, the understanding of which is
necessary for the effective and successful practice of forensic engineering. necessary for the effective and successful practice of forensic engineering.

Engineering outside of the forensic arena is, at its best, an exercise in Engineering outside of the forensic arena is, at its best, an exercise in
addressing the concerns and accommodating the positions of many diverse addressing the concerns and accommodating the positions of many diverse
parties involved in conceptualizing, planning, designing, constructing, parties involved in conceptualizing, planning, designing, constructing,
operating, maintaining, renovating, reconfiguring, and decommissioning an operating, maintaining, renovating, reconfiguring, and decommissioning an
engineered facility. The goal of the engineering effort can be seen as satisfying engineered facility. The goal of the engineering effort can be seen as satisfying
as many of those diverse parties in each of their areas of concern, or at least as many of those diverse parties in each of their areas of concern, or at least
dissatisfying them as little as possible. The forensic arena, however, often dissatisfying them as little as possible. The forensic arena, however, often
involves an adversarial process concerned with a particular aspect of the involves an adversarial process concerned with a particular aspect of the
facility or with a specific occurrence, where there can be winners and losers. facility or with a specific occurrence, where there can be winners and losers.
Because of that, some practicing design engineers may be of the opinion that a Because of that, some practicing design engineers may be of the opinion that a
forensic engineers role in helping identify responsible parties may itself border forensic engineers role in helping identify responsible parties may itself border
on unethical behavior, because it may merely be seen as a venal participation in on unethical behavior, because it may merely be seen as a venal participation in
the blame and shame game. The Committee does not hold that opinion. In a the blame and shame game. The Committee does not hold that opinion. In a
wellordered, just and caring society, identifying sources of failures, and holding wellordered, just and caring society, identifying sources of failures, and holding
responsible those who contribute to causing damage are worthwhile responsible those who contribute to causing damage are worthwhile
endeavors. Forensic engineers can aid in the processes of correctly endeavors. Forensic engineers can aid in the processes of correctly
characterizing the failure and of allocating responsibility. characterizing the failure and of allocating responsibility.

The purpose of this publication is to document current practice and to The purpose of this publication is to document current practice and to
Magenta_08/03/2012_11:01:17
Yellow_08/03/2012_11:01:17

provide guidance for the effective and ethical practice of forensic civil provide guidance for the effective and ethical practice of forensic civil
12A_51030_ASCE_Resize.job_Process Black_08/03/2012_11:01:17
Cyan_08/03/2012_11:01:17

engineering. It is intended as a primer for the novice and as a reference for the engineering. It is intended as a primer for the novice and as a reference for the
seasoned practitioner. seasoned practitioner.

No single author would have the details and the credibility to write on all No single author would have the details and the credibility to write on all
the topics that were necessary for the Guidelines; therefore, many of the the topics that were necessary for the Guidelines; therefore, many of the
members of the Forensic Practices Committee were involved in the preparation members of the Forensic Practices Committee were involved in the preparation
of the individual chapters. The Guidelines chapters each deal with an important of the individual chapters. The Guidelines chapters each deal with an important
aspect of forensic engineering practice, such as competencies of a forensic aspect of forensic engineering practice, such as competencies of a forensic
engineer; the standard of care of engineers, including forensic engineers; the engineer; the standard of care of engineers, including forensic engineers; the
investigation and reporting processes; ethics; the legal forum; and business investigation and reporting processes; ethics; the legal forum; and business
considerations. considerations.

Chapter 2: Competencies and Qualifications of Forensic Engineers, Chapter 2: Competencies and Qualifications of Forensic Engineers,
describes the attributes and competencies that the Committee sees as describes the attributes and competencies that the Committee sees as
appropriate for forensic engineers. The chapter brings up the problematic appropriate for forensic engineers. The chapter brings up the problematic
subjects of advocacy, objectivity, and bias, which are also addressed in subjects of advocacy, objectivity, and bias, which are also addressed in
subsequent chapters. subsequent chapters.

Chapter 3: The Standard of Care, discusses that concept and explains Chapter 3: The Standard of Care, discusses that concept and explains
that it is best understood as the boundary between negligent error and non that it is best understood as the boundary between negligent error and non
negligent error. The chapter shows that the standard of care is not a Standard negligent error. The chapter shows that the standard of care is not a Standard
in the typical engineering sense of the word, but that it is a duty of every in the typical engineering sense of the word, but that it is a duty of every
engineer, including forensic engineers, to exercise care. The concept of care is engineer, including forensic engineers, to exercise care. The concept of care is
GUIDELINES FOR FORENSIC ENGINEERING PRACTICE 3 GUIDELINES FOR FORENSIC ENGINEERING PRACTICE 3

discussed, as well as the necessary components of a valid and reliable method discussed, as well as the necessary components of a valid and reliable method
an expert can use to support testimony concerning the standard of care. an expert can use to support testimony concerning the standard of care.

Chapter 4: Investigations and Reports, describes typical steps in a Chapter 4: Investigations and Reports, describes typical steps in a
forensic investigation and what the Forensic Practices Committee sees as forensic investigation and what the Forensic Practices Committee sees as
constituting appropriate investigation procedures. The chapter addresses the constituting appropriate investigation procedures. The chapter addresses the
collection and handling of evidence in legal procedures, describes proper use of collection and handling of evidence in legal procedures, describes proper use of
Codes and Standards in investigation and analysis, and outlines the process of Codes and Standards in investigation and analysis, and outlines the process of
investigation, from initial client contact and conflict check through production investigation, from initial client contact and conflict check through production
of a report of the forensic engineers opinion. of a report of the forensic engineers opinion.

The sections in Chapter 4 dealing with Reports describe reasonable The sections in Chapter 4 dealing with Reports describe reasonable
content and organization of written reports of forensic investigations and touch content and organization of written reports of forensic investigations and touch
on some of the requirements of a report in the legal forum. on some of the requirements of a report in the legal forum.

Chapter 5: Ethics is an important focus of the Guidelines. A primary Chapter 5: Ethics is an important focus of the Guidelines. A primary
objective of ASCE, TCFE, and the Forensic Practices Committee is the promotion objective of ASCE, TCFE, and the Forensic Practices Committee is the promotion
of ethical behavior on the part of forensic engineers. The chapter cites the ASCE of ethical behavior on the part of forensic engineers. The chapter cites the ASCE
Code of Ethics as it applies to forensic engineers. The chapter also continues the Code of Ethics as it applies to forensic engineers. The chapter also continues the
discussion of advocacy, objectivity, and conflicts of interest, along with other discussion of advocacy, objectivity, and conflicts of interest, along with other
ethics topics such as those related to expert opinions, fees, time constraints, ethics topics such as those related to expert opinions, fees, time constraints,
reporting unethical practices, and other sanctioning processes. reporting unethical practices, and other sanctioning processes.

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Chapter 6: The Legal Forum gives a brief overview of the US court Chapter 6: The Legal Forum gives a brief overview of the US court
system as it relates to the design and construction industry. The chapter defines system as it relates to the design and construction industry. The chapter defines
the role of the forensic engineer as an expert witness, and discusses the the role of the forensic engineer as an expert witness, and discusses the
interactions of the forensic engineer with plaintiffs, defendants, attorneys for interactions of the forensic engineer with plaintiffs, defendants, attorneys for
each side, and other witnesses. It discusses the role of the forensic engineer in each side, and other witnesses. It discusses the role of the forensic engineer in
nonadjudication forums and describes rules of evidence and case law that nonadjudication forums and describes rules of evidence and case law that
affect the qualification of expert witnesses and admissibility of expert affect the qualification of expert witnesses and admissibility of expert
testimony. testimony.

Chapter 7, The Business of Forensic Engineering, describes the non Chapter 7, The Business of Forensic Engineering, describes the non
technical management and business sides of forensic engineering practice. The technical management and business sides of forensic engineering practice. The
chapter discusses marketing of forensic engineering services within acceptable chapter discusses marketing of forensic engineering services within acceptable
ethical limits and addresses the topics of contracts, insurance, and ethical limits and addresses the topics of contracts, insurance, and
compensation for services. compensation for services.

The members of the Forensic Practices Committee believe that this The members of the Forensic Practices Committee believe that this
Second Edition of the Guidelines of Forensic Engineering Practice will be used as Second Edition of the Guidelines of Forensic Engineering Practice will be used as
much as, or more than, the first edition was, and that it will contribute to the much as, or more than, the first edition was, and that it will contribute to the
improvement of the effective, ethical, and rewarding practice of forensic improvement of the effective, ethical, and rewarding practice of forensic
engineering. engineering.

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GUIDELINES FOR FORENSIC ENGINEERING PRACTICE 3 GUIDELINES FOR FORENSIC ENGINEERING PRACTICE 3

discussed, as well as the necessary components of a valid and reliable method discussed, as well as the necessary components of a valid and reliable method
an expert can use to support testimony concerning the standard of care. an expert can use to support testimony concerning the standard of care.
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by 210.210.175.143 on 04/24/17. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

Chapter 4: Investigations and Reports, describes typical steps in a Chapter 4: Investigations and Reports, describes typical steps in a
forensic investigation and what the Forensic Practices Committee sees as forensic investigation and what the Forensic Practices Committee sees as
constituting appropriate investigation procedures. The chapter addresses the constituting appropriate investigation procedures. The chapter addresses the
collection and handling of evidence in legal procedures, describes proper use of collection and handling of evidence in legal procedures, describes proper use of
Codes and Standards in investigation and analysis, and outlines the process of Codes and Standards in investigation and analysis, and outlines the process of
investigation, from initial client contact and conflict check through production investigation, from initial client contact and conflict check through production
of a report of the forensic engineers opinion. of a report of the forensic engineers opinion.

The sections in Chapter 4 dealing with Reports describe reasonable The sections in Chapter 4 dealing with Reports describe reasonable
content and organization of written reports of forensic investigations and touch content and organization of written reports of forensic investigations and touch
on some of the requirements of a report in the legal forum. on some of the requirements of a report in the legal forum.

Chapter 5: Ethics is an important focus of the Guidelines. A primary Chapter 5: Ethics is an important focus of the Guidelines. A primary
objective of ASCE, TCFE, and the Forensic Practices Committee is the promotion objective of ASCE, TCFE, and the Forensic Practices Committee is the promotion
of ethical behavior on the part of forensic engineers. The chapter cites the ASCE of ethical behavior on the part of forensic engineers. The chapter cites the ASCE
Code of Ethics as it applies to forensic engineers. The chapter also continues the Code of Ethics as it applies to forensic engineers. The chapter also continues the
discussion of advocacy, objectivity, and conflicts of interest, along with other discussion of advocacy, objectivity, and conflicts of interest, along with other
ethics topics such as those related to expert opinions, fees, time constraints, ethics topics such as those related to expert opinions, fees, time constraints,
reporting unethical practices, and other sanctioning processes. reporting unethical practices, and other sanctioning processes.
Magenta_08/03/2012_11:01:17
Yellow_08/03/2012_11:01:17
13A_51030_ASCE_Resize.job_Process Black_08/03/2012_11:01:17
Cyan_08/03/2012_11:01:17

Chapter 6: The Legal Forum gives a brief overview of the US court Chapter 6: The Legal Forum gives a brief overview of the US court
system as it relates to the design and construction industry. The chapter defines system as it relates to the design and construction industry. The chapter defines
the role of the forensic engineer as an expert witness, and discusses the the role of the forensic engineer as an expert witness, and discusses the
interactions of the forensic engineer with plaintiffs, defendants, attorneys for interactions of the forensic engineer with plaintiffs, defendants, attorneys for
each side, and other witnesses. It discusses the role of the forensic engineer in each side, and other witnesses. It discusses the role of the forensic engineer in
nonadjudication forums and describes rules of evidence and case law that nonadjudication forums and describes rules of evidence and case law that
affect the qualification of expert witnesses and admissibility of expert affect the qualification of expert witnesses and admissibility of expert
testimony. testimony.

Chapter 7, The Business of Forensic Engineering, describes the non Chapter 7, The Business of Forensic Engineering, describes the non
technical management and business sides of forensic engineering practice. The technical management and business sides of forensic engineering practice. The
chapter discusses marketing of forensic engineering services within acceptable chapter discusses marketing of forensic engineering services within acceptable
ethical limits and addresses the topics of contracts, insurance, and ethical limits and addresses the topics of contracts, insurance, and
compensation for services. compensation for services.

The members of the Forensic Practices Committee believe that this The members of the Forensic Practices Committee believe that this
Second Edition of the Guidelines of Forensic Engineering Practice will be used as Second Edition of the Guidelines of Forensic Engineering Practice will be used as
much as, or more than, the first edition was, and that it will contribute to the much as, or more than, the first edition was, and that it will contribute to the
improvement of the effective, ethical, and rewarding practice of forensic improvement of the effective, ethical, and rewarding practice of forensic
engineering. engineering.

Guidelines for Forensic Engineering Practice