Construction Expert Witness Testimony & Litigation Support Services
SHCC brings decades of forensic expertise and litigation support services to help attorneys provide their clients with the best representation possible.
In life, conflict is inevitable.
In construction, conflict often leads to a dispute, and disputes often lead to litigation. In a construction dispute, it is often beneficial to seek out expert opinion. The ideal characteristics of a construction expert consultant or expert witness:
- Experienced - An expert should have experience relevant to the topics they are offering an opinion on.
- Impartial - The expert's job is to offer opinions based on experience and on the facts and evidence of the case at hand, regardless of whom they represent.
- Cost-effective - Litigation is expensive. The cost of the expert should not be disproportionate to the value of their work.
The Solution: California Construction Expert Witness Opinion
Steve Hill has been a California-licensed general contractor for more than 40 years and has been involved in hundreds of cases involving construction defects, insurance bad faith, failure-to-disclose, breach of contract, violations of professional standard of care, and even criminal matters.
A number of homeowners found themselves burdened by problems caused by construction defects. The developer responsible for building their homes disagreed with that assessment and refused to offer a single dollar of repair. What’s worse? The builder had an onerous arbitration clause that prevented the homeowners from seeking remedy through the Courts.
SHCC was retained by the attorney representing the homeowners. Following extensive visual inspection and a carefully administered destructive testing program, SHCC was able to produce extremely detailed reports for each home identifying the various problems observed. Working closely with other experts, SHCC developed repair recommendations and by leveraging proprietary construction cost data, a highly accurate cost of repair estimate was produced.
When testimony given by Steve Hill at the arbitration was not enough to counter the efforts of the well-compensated defense counsel, the arbitrator (a retired Superior Court Judge) asked to visit the site personally. Accompanied by Mr. Hill, the arbitrator saw first hand what had been described in so many reports and hours of testimony. Based on that evidence, the arbitrator awarded the homeowners close to 95% of SHCC’s original cost of repair.
While we would prefer to assist the stakeholders in a construction project to avoid a dispute and/or litigation, we also feel that parties to a dispute are entitled to the best representation possible. Just as every construction project is unique, every construction dispute is also unique. Here are some of the services we have been providing over the last couple decades:
Visual Inspection- The property in question must be thoroughly inspected and documented. We think that more pictures and more data is better than not enough.
Destructive Testing - Most defects are concealed beneath finish surfaces. To truly understand the cause of a defective condition, it is often necessary to carefully remove finish surfaces and disassemble building components.
Data Analysis- After the investigation is complete, the work has just begun. Photos and other documentation are carefully reviewed, analyzed, sorted and cataloged.
Repair Recommendations- Unlike many other so-called experts, our experience involves actual repairs to defective conditions. Repairs should be effective, efficient and cause minimal disruption to building occupants. Common sense is also important.
Cost Estimation - In many construction disputes, it is important to assign a dollar value to the damages related to defective conditions. With experience as an actual general contractor making repairs to defective conditions, SHCC remains confident in its ability to accurately estimate costs of repairs.
Presentation- Sometimes the best way to resolve a conflict, or shorten the time required to resolve a conflict, is to present and share the information gathered. SHCC is a largely paperless office, so sharing digital information where appropriate is literally just a few clicks away.
Mediation & Expert Exchanges- With our value-based fees, the cost of SHCC attending mediation or meeting with other experts is included in our fee. Our experience has shown that involving experts in mediation procedures greatly accelerates the resolution of a dispute.
Testimony - If and when necessary, Steve Hill is readily available to present his findings and opinions in the form of deposition, arbitration and trial testimony.
About Steve Hill Construction Consulting, Inc.
Steve Hill, president and principal consultant of SHCC, has been a licensed general contractor in California for over 40 years. With hands-on experience in a variety of trades, his expertise has been in demand investigating, resolving and preventing building failures, construction defects and other issues. Learn more: