Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Eagle ITG Blog

Eagle ITG, Houdini Esq and OTB Consulting

In November 2011, I was asked by OTB Consulting to provide expert testimony regarding a client migration from Time Matters to a competing software, Houdini Esq.  I was unaware at the time of a blog by the proprietor of that software, Mr. Frank Rivera where he strongly stated his opinions in the matter.  Recently Mr. Rivera's blog has been updated to include my name in his references with a stern warning about testifying on behalf of OTB Consulting.

My role on this matter is that of an expert who is knowledgeable in not only the functionality and customization of Time Matters but also as an expert in SQL programming and data conversion, period.  As I have maintained since the beginning of my involvement in the case, my responsibility is NOT to take one side or the other, regardless of who is paying the bill, but as an unbiased party who is analyzing nothing more than the data presented to me.  For the sake of Mr. Rivera I would like to say that I do not have a pony in this race, a victory by either side does not benefit Eagle ITG in the least and I see my role as someone to simply provide the facts based on the two key pieces of data given to me and nothing more.

I have always maintained that I will not testify that one side is wrong and one side is right in this, I will simply testify as to what data was copied and leave it to the court to decide if the data "belongs" to one side or the other.

If the court determines that there is a contractual obligation by the defendant that precludes them from copying customization provided by OTB Consulting then my testimony simply shows that the defendant violated that agreement.  Should the opposite prove true, that there is no such restriction then my testimony serves little purpose in the outcome of the case.  Either way, the court will decide.  The only way my testimony would be harmful to Mr. Rivera is if the court upholds the Plaintiff's claim of ownership and my data analysis is used to demonstrate that the data in question was, indeed, copied.

There are no ties between Eagle ITG and OTB Consulting with the obvious exception of this case.  While I know the plaintiffs in passing, I have never developed a strong relationship with them nor have I done business with them.  My only link to Tom Rowe is that he is the person who certified me in Time Matters many years ago (and at that time he had certified the vast majority of Time Matters consultants, so this was not unusual).  Likewise, I do not know the defendants nor have had any personal experience with them and until my involvement in this matter had only heard Houdini Esq mentioned once or twice before and knew absolutely nothing about the software or Mr. Rivera.  Like any good consultant, I would consider Houdini Esq as another possible tool for my clients who may need the features that Houdini Esq uniquely provides, but it would appear as though I will be unable to make any recommendation one way or the other as I have been disallowed any use of the software as a result of my involvement in this case.

In response to Mr. Rivera's warning that I do not tie myself to OTB Consulting lest I lose all my credibility as a consultant, I say that I have always done my level best to maintain the highest level of professional and personal integrity and this is no exception.  It is my opinion that while an expert witness may prove beneficial to one side or another, it is not the job of an expert to slant their findings in any particular direction but rather to provide the truthful facts that are directly related to their area of expertise.  My expertise is in Time Matter and SQL, not in the definition or determination of trade secrets or copy protection.  I believe it is for this reason that I was asked to be an expert witness by OTB Consulting in the first place, because my non-existant history with OTB Consulting prevents my testimony from being seen as biased, and I believe it is important to OTB Consulting that someone completely independent of them is able to confirm their findings as to what data was copied from Time Matters.

Mr. Rivera has seen the script, I do not think my testimony will be telling anyone on this case anything that they did not already know.

 

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When the iPad first came out my first thought was "oh, look, a gigantic iPhone, that's worthless." My tune has changed a bit, although I still have some reservations.

 

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