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Premises Liability – Hospitality (Bars, Nightclubs and Associated Facilities) - Lodgings - Cruise Ships
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Federal Court, in a detailed opinion, finds the methodology Mr. Witherspoon uses to assess his cases to be "reliable" as required by FRE 702, under the rubric of Daubert and Kuhmo Tire.

Download printable PDF (Adobe Reader required.)





Forensic Litigation and Expert Consulting Services

We provide consultations (including, if requested, helping counsel identify document and other evidentiary needs during discovery, and assisting in developing relevant questions for interrogatories and depositions, plus questions for opposing experts); plus, when requested, providing expert reports and testimony in civil actions involving negligent/inadequate security and use of force claims. These services are equally available to both Defense and Plaintiff law firms.


Issues typically involved in these type cases include: crime/incident foreseeability;  industry custom and practice;, and any Standards of Care policies and procedures; actions/ inactions of security and other personnel; and overall adequacy of security or specific security measures.


Currently we focus on litigation involving:

  • the hospitality industry                          
    • bars/taverns/lounges/nightclubs (including adult entertainment clubs), plus their parking areas/facilities.
    • Note: We also consult directly to club owners (who are not currently in litigation) on their existing or proposed security [where state law permits] 


Ralph Witherspoon's assessments and opinions are based on his training and education, and on his many years of practical, hands-on security and loss prevention experience. In forming his opinions Ralph uses a proven methodology (IAPSC Forensic Methodology) that a U.S. District Court in accepting it, found to be "reliable" (FRE 702 and as established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Daubert et al.). (Download a printable PDF of the District Court's opinion.)


courthouseRalph has conducted hundreds of security surveys and assessments for premises liability at many types of properties and facilities throughout the United States (including industrial, commercial, retail and hospitality). He also conducted hundreds of criminal investigations and supervised many hundreds more. While currently concentrating on forensic litigation consulting, Ralph is available to consult to club owners and operators in most states on security planning and management, policies and procedures, and on security officer training, and especially, on litigation avoidance (pre-litigation assessments). For over a quarter century (after writtn examination and re-certifications every three years) Ralph has been designated a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) denoting Board Certification in Security Management. Ralph has also, after written examination, been awarded Board Certification as a Certified Security Consultant (CSC).
Ralph has consulted to attorneys on well over 300 negligent /inadequate security or intentional tort (assault) litigation cases in more than 35 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Almost 100 of those cases involved bars, lounges and nightclubs. He has a broad understanding of the case law in the premises security/loss prevention field. Ralph has been qualified and/or testified at deposition or trial in state courts in over 30 states, and in federal courts in five states and Puerto Rico.

Some Attorney Comments

Asked about Ralph's consulting services, Attorney Katherine M. stated:

"Your knowledge of the issues bearing on crime foreseeability and the case law of many states was key to our [achieving a successful outcome]."

Attorney Michael M. wrote about Ralph's case analysis and Expert Report:

"Thank you for your report on the B__ case, it was very insightful and helpful. We [were able] to settle the case last Wednesday."

Attorney Mitchell F. stated about Ralph's testimony:

"I was genuinely pleased with your performance at trial and the presentation of your opinions to the jury. The court clerk (an experienced observer of witnesses and jury reactions) was very impressed with how well your testimony came across to the jury. He said the jury seemed both to like you and to accept your opinions."

If you have a current security litigation or Arbitration case, or anticipate such a case, please call us to determine if our expertise matches your issues, and to see how we might be able to assist you. There is no fee for a brief initial telephone discussion.

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