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Forensic Systems Engineering by William A. Stimson

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14Measuring Operations

A manufacturer or service provider offers goods and services to the public, often through a contract of performance. In the course of exercising the contract, the receiving party may determine that the performer has breached the contract in issues of time, cost, or quality of performance and product. If litigation follows and the dispute concerns the performance or management of operations, then the systems used in the operations will be challenged. But the totality of these systems is exactly the performer’s quality management system (QMS). Therefore, forensic systems engineering and analysis may play a key role in the plaintiff’s strategy. In this chapter, I discuss the role of the QMS in litigation and demonstrate one approach to assessment.

Discovery is a legal process used in civil lawsuits to obtain evidence not readily accessible to the applicant for use at trial, and to ascertain the existence of information that might be introduced as evidence in court. Public policy considers it desirable to give both plaintiff and defendant access to all material facts not protected by privilege to facilitate fair administration of justice. Discovery serves to level the playing field.

Tort law concerns relief for persons who ...

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