I am a forensic economics expert with over 40 years of experience. I have evaluated damages in about 2,000 cases since 1968, recently testifying in about 4 cases per year in Federal and state courts (AK, IA, MN, ND, NV, OH, SD, WI). Clients have included attorneys for plaintiff and defendant, the U. S. Attorneyʼs office (Minneapolis) and the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.
I started consulting for lawyers through blind luck: Gene Rerat, a prominent Minneapolis plaintiff attorney, learned in the late 1960s that lawyers elsewhere were using economists as expert witnesses. In his expansive way he asked Walter W. Heller, then the most famous economist in the country after serving as chair of Kennedy’s and Johnson’s Council of Economic Advisers, to work on an FELA case; Heller suggested that his junior colleague Ed Foster might be interested. My background as an actuary helped, the case went to trial so I experienced the adrenalin rush of courtroom testimony and cross-examination, and the result was favorable to the client, so other engagements followed.
Those first referrals were all for plaintiffs; but based on my research experience I knew that it was easier to defend my position if my assumptions always tilted a little against that position. From that first FELA case to the present I have used assumptions that are neutral or that lean to favor the other side of the case; and I have used the same approach to analyzing cases for defense as for plaintiff, as demanded by the ethical principles of the forensic organizations I belong to (American Academy of Economic and Financial Experts, National Association of Forensic Economics).
Edward Foster is professor emeritus and past chairman, Department of Economics, University of Minnesota, where he taught from 1961 to 2008 and held several othere administrative positions. He has been a consultant in forensic economics since the late 1960s. He also served on the Minnesota Council of Economic Advisers (advisory to the Minnesota Commissioner of Management and Budget), 1985 - 2013, and is past president of the National Association of Forensic Economics.
Dr. Foster received his Ph. D. in economics from MIT in 1961 following a year of graduate study in actuarial science. Most of his research and publications have been in the application of economic theory to issues of public policy and in forensic economics.