EEI provides support for clients in need of “expert” opinion on matters related to natural gas and electric power issues. EEI’s team of experts is ready to assist and guide you. Our experts provide advice and consul to internal and third-party attorneys, internal law departments and outside counsel law firms on cases, both domestically and internationally. EEI’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are people who have spent their entire career becoming an expert, as recognized by their peers and the industry.
Many of EEI’s SMEs reside on international and domestic technical committees and are up to date on the latest standards, regulations and industry practices. EEI’s SMEs are not only technical experts, but many have held responsible positions throughout their career with one or more operating companies. As a result, they are excellent communicators, be it with operating company personnel, construction contractors, material and equipment suppliers, regulators, and others.
Perhaps most importantly, they possess good business judgment.
EEI experts can provide an expert’s view on matters relating to natural gas, electric power and the petroleum industry. EEI has dealt with many cases involving litigation dealing with safety, incidents, fatalities, design, operations, and other issues.
Siting, installation, and operation of new energy infrastructure – electric power lines, natural gas pipelines, or petroleum pumping stations, for example – sometimes results in differing views, which can lead to litigation. EEI’s experts can be called upon to assist parties in litigation in fully understanding the technical, commercial, regulatory, and other aspects of the case, to generate the best possible outcome for the party. Many of our experts have specific training on the procedures and parties to legal proceedings, and can assist with preparation of pleadings, packaging of content during discovery, and expert testimony (see below) during the trial and any appeals or settlement negotiations.
Example cases that EEI has been involved with include:
- A major natural gas distributor vs. an upstream supplier in Southeast Asia. This case dealt with a claim by the gas distributor that the contracted supply of natural gas was shut off without sufficient cause. This case spanned a period of several years from initial discovery to the ultimate verdict. EEI’s expertise in the processing of natural gas products was invaluable to the case. We worked closely with the Client and Client’s counsel to build a strong case.
- A major gas equipment vendor was accused of negligence in the design of one of its pieces of equipment that failed on a pipeline. The pipeline owner brought suit against the vendor. EEI stepped in to provide support to establish the technical merits of the vendor design and to establish the design as a reliable and effective design of the components. As a result, the vendor was able to defend its design successfully.
- A major natural gas distribution company vs. individuals and insurance companies. This case deals with a claim that a natural gas leak caused extensive damage to a dwelling. This case is ongoing.
EEI’s forensic process involves due diligence of all facets of the issues. EEI’s experts have decades of experience in management, engineering, design, field operations, regulatory applicability, and virtually all other aspects of pipeline and powerline infrastructure. These experts are supported in day-to-day investigations by a professional staff of technicians and researchers. When you work with EEI we provide a one-stop shop. You do not need to seek or hire several experts to look into the various issues. EEI can bring all the needed expertise to you when it comes to investigations on energy issues.
Linear transportation projects involving electric power, natural gas, and petroleum products, require rights to occupy both surface and subsurface properties. When power lines and pipelines compete with other property development needs there can be encroachments and interferences. EEI’s team of experts are skilled at investigating such matters from the competing perspectives, and working with all affected parties to recommend the optimal solutions and alternatives.
Most installations and operation of electric power and gas and petroleum infrastructure require approval by regulatory bodies. Whether the project involves Federal, State, and/or Local permits, EEI’s investigative prowess and first-hand experience with regulations, permitting, operations, maintenance, abandonment, and everything in between allows EEI to chart a path for the investigation to be conducted and concluded efficiently. Whether your project involves replacement of wood power poles, routing new high-kV transmission lines, or enlarging an existing compressor station, EEI can conduct the due diligence needed and produce a deliverable that will meet your needs.
Example cases that EEI has been involved with include:
- EEI was consulted on two unrelated major gas explosions that received national press coverage due to the huge impact and damage resulting from the incidents. In both cases, the owner of the assets contacted EEI to conduct a third party assessment of the accident and the sequence of events leading up to the explosion, to allow development of proactive preventative measures.
- EEI was contacted by an electrical firm to investigate an accident to determine if a faulty work procedure had led to an electrical fire in an electrical panel, causing injury to a worker. In this case, EEI made several recommendations, which included a safety plan, as well as outlining a training and maintenance program proposal.
When it comes to energy issues of the most complex order, EEI can provide the EXPERT opinion with the highest reliability and integrity. However, EEI does not take on all of the expert witness assignments that are presented to it. Given EEI’s experience across the gas and electric industries, and in keeping with EEI’s ethical standards, it is possible for EEI to have a conflict of interest in cases or proceedings. If EEI believes a conflict of interest exists, or the perception of a conflict of interest exists, EEI will decline the assignment. When an expert witness assignment is accepted, EEI can provide either Direct Examination or Cross Examination testimony, either in written or verbal form.
EEI has provided numerous depositions and expert testimonies over the years. Because we are singularly focused on energy matters, EEI can be counted on to provide solid subject matter expert witnesses. Many of EEI’s technical SMEs have a long and consistent track record of being successful in providing winning expert testimony for the client.
EEI’s Expert Witness services cover the full range of electric power, natural gas, and petroleum project’s life cycle. Whether your needs are specific to permitting a new electric infrastructure through regulatory agencies, building a case for an operating or maintenance procedure on the pipeline, resolving damage issues associated with power line construction and maintenance, or any other issue, EEI can provide Expert Witness services to meet your needs.
Example cases that EEI has been involved with as an Expert Witness include:
- EEI was contracted by a major national accounting firm to provide expert testimony of established industry accounting practices in the handling and processing of certain capital assets by a major investor owned utility company. For this assignment EEI provided experts that had actually testified on behalf of utility companies as a rate case witness to the accounting firm.
- A major natural gas distribution company vs. insurance companies. This case dealt with a claim by the insurance companies on behalf of their insureds that a leak from the distribution company’s pipeline caused damage to the insured’s property. EEI supplied testimony that resulted in dismissal of the case against the distribution company.