Complex litigation and subrogation cases involving product liability and/or technical issues frequently require opinion testimony in the form of expert witnesses. The role of the expert is to educate lay judges and juries who lack knowledge about a particular issue or technology involved in a case. This includes everything from the design of a complex product to the standard of medical care in the treatment of a patient to the reasonableness of attorneys’ fees or medical bills. To be effective, an expert must not only be knowledgeable, but must also be able to convey his opinion and the technology involved in an understandable and convincing manner. While the selection of the right expert is important in every case, it is critically important in subrogation cases because subrogation must be “cost-effective” in order to be successful. All too often we see a poor choice of experts result in a poor subrogation result. Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. has spent more than 20 years compiling a database of more than 25,000 experts throughout North America, broken down by geography, area of expertise, and cost. Our clients know that it is important to have the right expert the moment a claim is made and subrogation is apparent, so one of the services we offer our clients is locating potential experts when requested to do so. Every other month, our Meet The Expert feature will highlight a qualified expert who scores high in all categories and with whom we have had success in the past. This month we invite you to meet Charles C. Roberts, Jr.
Charles C. Roberts, Jr., Ph.D., P.E.
Dr. Charles C. Roberts has been providing professional engineering services from the north-central Illinois area and the surrounding states since 1979 with C. Roberts Consulting Engineers, Inc., but has long been involved in engineering design and analysis and providing expert advice for his clients.
Dr. Roberts has a diverse engineering career, starting with Alden Hydraulic Laboratories in the mid-1960’s, designing and analyzing hydraulic systems and performing hydraulic modeling. From there, he transferred his knowledge to Jamesbury Corporation and then the Yuma Proving Grounds. At Yuma, Dr. Roberts gained insight into not only automotive engineering and motor vehicle testing, but also accident reconstruction, human factors engineering, vehicle thermal analysis, failure analysis, and environmental testing. After Yuma, Dr. Roberts moved to Bell Laboratories where he was involved in the physical design of electronic switching equipment and computers, also delving into building environmental systems and structural analysis.
Finally, prior to starting his own consulting firm, Dr. Roberts worked for Packer Engineering, assisting clients in a number of areas, including accident reconstruction, failure analysis, metallurgical engineering, biomechanics analysis, aircraft accident analysis, turbine rotor reliability analysis, computerized structural analysis, heat transfer analysis, safety engineering, infrared thermography, metallurgical engineering, and engineering design. He continues those efforts with C. Roberts Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Along the way, Dr. Roberts taught various engineering courses at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Wisconsin, and he continues to author numerous articles on engineering subjects that are of immense interest to the subrogation community.
Dr. Roberts’ areas of mechanical expertise and experience are immeasurable and can’t be completely summarized in one article. From agricultural equipment to “nuts and bolts” engineering analysis to fire investigation, Dr. Roberts can assist with any number of issues and situations.
In his free time, Dr. Roberts enjoys both snow and water skiing, achieving International recognition in instructing Alpine skiing and earning an expert rating in slalom and trick water skiing.