Aug-26-02, 07:53 PM (GMT)|
1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
2 ATLANTA DIVISION
ROBERT CHRISTIAN WOLF,
5 CIVIL ACTION FILE
6 NO. 00-CIV-1187(JEC)
7 JOHN BENNETT RAMSEY and
PATRICIA PAUGH RAMSEY,
VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION OF
ROBERT ALLEN STRATBUCKER, M.D.
13 May 30, 2002
1025 Howard Street
15 Omaha, Nebraska
Alexander J. Gallo, CCR-B-1332, CRR
1 APPEARANCES OF COUNSEL
2 On behalf of the Plaintiff:
3 (via telephonic means)
4 DARNAY HOFFMAN, Esq.
5 Law Offices of Darnay Hoffman
6 Suite 209
7 210 West 70th Street
8 New York, New York 10023
9 (212) 712-2766
10 On behalf of the Defendants:
11 JAMES C. RAWLS, Esq.
12 ERIC P. SCHROEDER, Esq.
13 Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy, L.L.P.
14 Sixteenth Floor
15 191 Peachtree Street, N.E.
16 Atlanta, Georgia 30303
17 (404) 572-6600
18 L. LIN WOOD, Esq.
19 MATTHEW WOOD
20 L. Lin Wood, P.C.
21 2140 The Equitable Building
22 100 Peachtree Street
23 Atlanta, Georgia 30303
24 (404) 522-1713
25 Also Present: J. Rollins, Videographer
1 Deposition Robert A. Stratbucker, M.D.
2 May 30, 2002
3 (Defendants' Exhibit-1, Exhibit-2 and
4 Exhibit-3 were marked for identification.)
5 THE VIDEOGRAPHER: This is the
6 beginning of videotape No. 1 of the deposition
7 of Robert A. Stratbucker, M.D., M.S., Ph.D.,
8 P.E., being taken on May 30 of the year 2002
9 in Omaha, Nebraska.
10 Counsel will now introduce themselves.
11 MR. WOOD: My name is Lin Wood. I
12 am one of the attorneys for the defendants John
13 and Patsy Ramsey. With me from my office is
14 Matthew Wood, legal assistant.
15 Go ahead, Derek.
16 MR. BAUER: Derek Bauer with the law
17 offices of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy in
18 Atlanta, also on behalf of Patsy and John
20 MR. RAWLS: Jim Rawls from Powell,
21 Goldstein in Atlanta on behalf of John and Patsy
23 MR. HOFFMAN: I am Darnay Hoffman
24 appearing on behalf of Chris Wolf by
25 teleconference phone in New York City.
1 MR. WOOD: Everybody good to go?
2 MR. HOFFMAN: Ready to go.
3 MR. WOOD: This will, in fact, be
4 the deposition of Dr. Robert A. Stratbucker, an
5 individual who has been identified as an expert
6 witness for the plaintiff Chris Wolf in this
7 case and who has submitted a Rule 26 Expert
8 Witness Report.
9 The deposition is being taken
10 pursuant to agreement of counsel and pursuant to
11 an amended notice of deposition which is dated
12 May 16, 2002, which I have marked for purposes
13 of identification, Darnay, as Defendants' Exhibit
15 MR. HOFFMAN: Thank you, Lin.
16 MR. WOOD: And the deposition will
17 be taken for all permissible purposes under the
18 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, including
19 discovery, cross-examination and, if appropriate,
20 use as evidence at trial.
21 All objections except as to the form
22 of the question or the responsiveness of the
23 answer will be reserved until the time of trial,
24 hearing, or other formal use of the deposition.
25 Are those stipulations agreeable with
1 you, Darnay?
2 MR. HOFFMAN: Yes, Lin, thank you.
3 They are agreeable to me.
4 ROBERT A. STRATBUCKER, having been
5 first duly sworn, was examined and testified as
9 Q. For the record would you state your
10 full name for the record, please, sir?
11 A. Robert Allen Stratbucker.
12 Q. And there are a host of appropriate
13 initials after your name. You are a medical
14 doctor among other degrees that you hold; am I
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And I will address you as Dr.
18 Stratbucker, which is appropriate.
19 Dr. Stratbucker, I've introduced
20 myself to you. I'm Lin Wood and along with
21 Mr. Rawls and Derek Bauer, we represent John and
22 Patsy Ramsey, the parents of JonBenet Ramsey who
23 was murdered in December of 1996 in Boulder,
24 Colorado. You understand that, don't you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you understand that you have
2 been retained as an expert witness for an
3 individual named Chris Wolf, who is the
4 plaintiff in a lawsuit alleging libel filed
5 against Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey that pends in the
6 federal court in Atlanta, Georgia. Do you
7 understand that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. When were you retained in this case,
11 A. About eight months ago.
12 Q. Can you date that for me with --
13 A. Well, I would have to check my
14 record to be precise about it.
15 Q. If you would do that, I would
16 appreciate it. I would like a precise date.
17 A. Well, the most precise date I can
18 give you is February 26 of this year, 2002,
19 which is the date of my report; however, I was
20 engaged prior to that. And the precise date of
21 that I can only estimate. I would say it was
22 about two months prior to that. It would be
23 about eight months ago.
24 Q. So you dated -- your best date, it
25 would be December 2001 or January 2002?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you recall the manner in which
3 you were first contacted?
4 A. I was contacted by telephone by Mr.
6 Q. Let me tell you that I understand
7 that you are an extremely busy expert for Mr.
8 Hoffman, and I understand that you had to do a
9 fair amount of juggling of your schedule to
10 change this deposition from the date of the
11 28th, I believe, to today, the 30th to
12 accommodate my desire to do some family things
13 over the weekend. I appreciate that.
14 How many depositions have you given
15 this month?
16 A. This month I have not given any.
17 Q. How many court appearances have you
18 made this month?
19 A. None this month.
20 Q. How many active cases are you
21 presently engaged in as an expert witness?
22 A. Probably four.
23 Q. And what do you do with your time
24 other than your consultant work as an expert
1 A. Well, I maintain a part-time medical
2 practice. I am retired from full-time medical
3 practice at this point. And I have a number
4 of other biomedical engineering type enterprises
5 that I am involved in, principally a
6 development, research and development company of
7 my own which does development of medical
8 devices, diagnostic and therapeutic medical
10 And, for example, over the last
11 month, I have had occasion to be in Mainland
12 China for probably three weeks and other travel
13 related to that activity.
14 Q. What type of diagnostic and
15 therapeutic medical devices have been developed
16 by your company?
17 A. Cardiologic, primarily.
18 Q. So there is no misunderstanding, what
19 do you mean in lay terms when you say
21 A. Devices that relate to the diagnosis
22 of heart disease and therapeutic devices that
23 relate to the treatment of heart disease.
24 Q. You have served as an expert witness
25 in civil litigation in the past as well as
1 criminal matters; is that true?
2 A. Yes, I have.
3 Q. Give me your best estimate, Dr.
4 Stratbucker, I am not trying to hold you to a
5 precise figure, but give me your best estimate
6 as to the amount of money, gross revenue that
7 you received in the year 2001 in your capacity
8 as a consultant/expert witness in civil or
9 criminal litigation.
10 A. I would say $75,000.
11 Q. How are we doing this year, 2002?
12 A. About on -- about average, about the
14 Q. How long has that figure been about
15 the average, $75,000 a year?
16 A. I would say it is higher now. It
17 has been increasing over the years; but as an
18 average, I would say for a good ten years,
20 Q. Are you on a regular retainer as a
21 consultant/expert for any company?
22 A. I have been with some companies and
23 now with different companies.
24 Companies are acquired, and those
25 things change from time to time; but it has
1 been a relatively constant average.
2 Q. As we sit here today, what company,
3 or companies, pays you a regular retainer to
4 serve as a consultant/expert witness?
5 A. Within this last month, we have
6 managed to negotiate a contract with the
7 Department of Defense, which is actually
8 channeled through TASER International in Phoenix,
9 Arizona, a research project for the Marine
10 Corps. And that is a sizable research program
11 that I am very much involved in and one of the
12 reasons I have been so tied up this month.
13 Q. Are you paid by check from the
14 United States Treasury or are you paid by check
15 from TASER International?
16 A. I am paid by check from TASER
17 International. They are the fiscal repository
18 for the grant funds.
19 Q. And that only came up within the
20 last month?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Let me hand you what has been marked
23 for purposes of identification to your deposition
24 as Defendants' Exhibit-2.
25 And also while you are looking at
1 that, let me hand you what has been marked for
2 purposes of identification as Defendants'
3 Exhibit-3 and ask you to just look through
4 those. A couple of quick questions to ask you
5 about them.
6 A. All right.
7 Q. In fact, Defendants' Exhibit 2, that
8 is a true and correct and complete copy of the
9 Rule 26 expert report that you have prepared,
10 signed, and submitted in this lawsuit, true?
11 A. It is nearly complete. I noted in
12 one of the copies that's here that there was a
13 page missing out of the autopsy report that is
14 contained in this. And I have supplemented that
15 with a page from another source.
16 Q. Page 4 was missing from your report?
17 A. Page 4 was missing, yes.
18 Q. With the addition of page 4 of the
19 autopsy report on JonBenet Ramsey, does, in
20 fact, Defendants' Exhibit 2 represent a true and
21 correct and complete copy of your Rule 26 Expert
22 Witness Report?
23 A. Yes, it does.
24 Q. And you stand by your report; do you
25 not, sir?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Is there anything that you would
3 like to change in that report before we question
4 you about it today?
5 A. No.
6 Q. You also, as part of that report,
7 have supplied us with a copy of your most
8 recent CV, your curriculum vitae; have you not?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it is a true and -- I was
11 impressed with the thoroughness of it. You even
12 went back to age 19 when you were working at
13 WOW TV or radio, the Johnny Carson Show. It's
14 very thorough in terms of describing your
15 professional endeavors and work experience; is it
16 not, sir?
17 A. I hope it is, yes.
18 Q. And you intended it to be; did you
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So that we can go there and we can
22 find out where you worked professionally, right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. We can find out who you worked for
25 in terms of your professional endeavors; can we
1 not, sir?
2 A. I think you can, yes.
3 Q. Do you stand by that CV as being
4 complete and accurate?
5 A. It might have a typographical error
6 here and there, but --
7 Q. We will forgive that.
8 A. -- for the most part, it is accurate
9 and complete.
10 Q. Well, you say for the most part.
11 Is there any part, other than typographical
12 errors, that you have some concerns about in
13 terms of it being accurate and complete?
14 A. Only that I think it has not been
15 updated for about -- I had it retyped, but I
16 didn't update it in preparation for this
17 deposition because of some requirements of the
18 type of display, the font size and so forth.
19 When I did that, it changed the pagination and
20 so forth of the thing. It is different than
21 it was. But I did not update it to include,
22 for example, the items that I've just testified
23 to in connection with the Marine Corps and some
24 of the things that have happened within the last
25 few months.
1 Q. I want to get those updated. So
2 tell me, other than -- and you say the Marine
3 Corps. Is that the Department of Defense
4 deal --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. -- that's channeled through TASER
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. And that has been only in the last
10 month, right?
11 A. Well, it has been in preparation for
12 a long time. But, I mean, it is a research
13 and development contract that has been in
14 preparation for well over a year, but the award
15 had only been made within the last month.
16 Q. Anything else that you want to add
17 to your CV in terms of updating it other than
18 the Marine Corps, Department of Defense, TASER
19 International contract that you've just described
20 for me?
21 A. Well, there are a number of other
22 items that I referred to in connection with my
23 travels and so on. I am actively pursuing
24 those. Those are -- for example, there is a
25 proposition outstanding with a major Chinese
1 company to take on the manufacturing of a device
2 that I have developed here in Nebraska and have
3 got patent coverage and trademark coverage on
4 and so forth which lends itself to manufacturing
5 in the Chinese economy. And I have been very
6 active in the development of that line of
8 Q. What is that device?
9 A. It is the -- the trade name of it
10 is an Omnitrode, O-M-N-I-T-R-O-D-E. It is a
11 specialized piece of actual apparatus that a
12 patient wears in order to supply a very
13 comprehensive and complete line of cardiac data
14 to a computer system that in turn does various
15 kinds of pattern recognition, data compression
16 and so forth on the signal. It is integrated
17 into a complete system.
18 My colleagues in Houston have been
19 working primarily on the electronic aspects of
20 it, and I have been working on the front end
21 or data acquisition aspects of it for a number
22 of years, and I am very actively involved in
24 Q. So we have the Omnitrode and we have
25 got the contract with the government through
1 TASER International. Any other things that you
2 need to give me to make sure that we have
3 updated your CV before we leave here today?
4 A. Those are the principal technical
5 aspects of things, and I still maintain a number
6 of local business enterprises that take up a
7 significant amount of my time. We happen to be
8 sitting in one right now.
9 Q. The bank?
10 A. Well, the building.
11 Q. You own this building?
12 A. Not the bank, but the building that
13 the bank is in is a building where I rent
14 space and operate some commercial enterprises.
15 Q. You do your fruit and vegetables
16 deal on Saturday, still?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. Your dad Herman, right?
19 A. Exactly right. Thank you for being
20 so perceptive.
21 Q. You still work in the land? I know
22 you went back in, what, '91, to help him out?
23 A. That is correct, yes.
24 Q. And do you still do that?
25 A. Very much so.
1 Q. Still do the corn, half yellow, half
3 A. Yes. Still deal with people in
4 Georgia for plants and so on.
5 Q. Good for you.
6 You recognize, Dr. Stratbucker, from
7 your involvement as an expert witness what your
8 role is; do you not?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How would you describe your role as
11 an expert witness in the litigation?
12 A. Well, I describe my role as being
13 somewhat similar to my role as a teacher for
14 most of my professional life. And the purpose
15 of an expert witness is to teach the judge
16 and/or jury, the court, on matters which may be
17 unfamiliar with them and to make it possible to
18 properly assess evidence and so forth in the
19 face of unfamiliar, particularly high technology
20 sorts of things.
21 Q. Areas of expertise that are generally
22 considered to be beyond that of the knowledge of
23 a lay person?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And one of your roles, and I think
1 you view it as an important one, is to educate
2 the court, the jury, on scientific information?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. You also are called on, you
5 recognize, to take a certain set of facts and
6 to render opinions from those facts, true?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you recognize that as an expert
9 witness it is not your role to create facts; am
10 I right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You are not and would not
13 misrepresent facts or mislead anyone with respect
14 to the facts upon which you give your opinions,
16 A. That is very true.
17 Q. And you are not taking sides here;
18 are you, sir?
19 A. No.
20 Q. I mean, you come into this dedicated
21 to the concept of your role is to be fair,
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. To be honest, right?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. To be unbiased and objective, true?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And if I were to present you with
4 factual information, photographic or otherwise,
5 and you felt like the information that I have
6 presented you with established that JonBenet
7 Ramsey had marks on her body that are consistent
8 with the application of a stun gun, you wouldn't
9 hesitate to say that; would you, sir?
10 A. If I -- if it is all as you just
11 represented, that is correct. If all of the
12 evidence that you are referring to is
13 scientifically defensible, I would not have any
14 reservations about it, no.
15 Q. You do not have any agenda here,
16 hidden or otherwise; do you, sir?
17 A. No, sir, I do not.
18 Q. How much money does TASER
19 International pay you each month?
20 A. It's difficult to say because we are
21 just embarking on this now for the first time;
22 and I bill my time at a hourly rate, which
23 happens to be $125 an hour. And I have yet
24 actually to submit a bill. I need to do that
25 in the next probably day or two to finish out
1 this month, which is the first active month of
2 this program.
3 Q. So you have never received any money
4 from TASER International?
5 A. No.
6 Q. They don't pay you in your job as
7 medical director for TASER International?
8 A. Well, that is a very recent
9 description or title. And, in fact, I have not
10 been paid a cent for that up to this point.
11 Now, I have some anticipation that that will
12 change, particularly since the Marine Corps grant
13 or contract, actually, was approved.
14 Q. How recent has that title been
15 bestowed upon you, Medical Director for TASER
16 International, Inc.?
17 A. Well, I think it has been talked
18 about now for a couple of months. As to
19 whether it was a proper designation of the kind
20 of activity that I will be involved in, I have
21 actually commenced over the last probably 60
22 days to take on the role of an on-call medical
23 advisor, medical director, if you will, to
24 handle problems that come up in the field
25 related to their devices that they market, the
1 TASER in particular.
2 And because I have -- I thought when
3 I finished and retired from medical practice
4 that my on-call days and weekends and nights and
5 so forth were going to be freed up some, but I
6 have now jumped right back into the fire from
7 the frying pan, I think, carrying a full-time
8 pager so that I can be reached at a moment's
9 notice and that sort of thing.
10 Q. By TASER International?
11 A. Yes. Well, by -- and by -- and
12 their customers.
13 Q. Well, let me, because you indicated
14 that you had talked about the title for a
15 couple of months and as to whether it was a
16 proper designation that you will be involved in
17 or not.
18 Just plain and simple, do you hold
19 the position as the medical director for TASER
20 International, Inc., the manufacturer of the Air
21 TASER stun gun?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. How long have you held that
24 position, sir?
25 A. I would say, to be precise about it,
1 it was formally announced at a meeting in Las
2 Vegas two weeks ago.
3 Q. Is that when you took on the role,
4 two weeks ago?
5 A. Well, I haven't been paid yet, so I
6 don't know whether -- if it means I got a
7 check from them, I haven't got a check from
9 Q. Sir, it doesn't mean whether you got
10 a check from them or not. You have a number
11 of degrees. You are an educated man. You
12 have been a businessman all of your life. It
13 is a simple question.
14 When did you become the medical
15 director for TASER International, Inc.? Two
16 weeks ago, two months ago? Tell me.
17 A. Oh, I am not sure that I can say
18 that I am even yet because I don't have cards.
19 I don't have any -- I don't have an official
20 statement from them. I don't have a letter.
21 I don't have anything other than the
22 presentation of myself as the newly appointed
23 medical director of TASER International at their
24 big annual meeting here a few weeks ago in Las
1 Q. So you would not have --
2 MR. HOFFMAN: Lin, may I ask you a
4 MR. WOOD: No. Ask me a question?
5 MR. HOFFMAN: Yes. Are you asking
6 him when he actually began performing any duties
7 as a medical director for TASER?
8 MR. WOOD: I am not. I am asking
9 him when he became the medical director for
10 TASER International, Inc., period. That's my
12 MR. HOFFMAN: Okay. Thank you.
13 Q. (By Mr. Wood) So you would not
14 have represented yourself as a medical director
15 for TASER International, Inc. until two weeks
16 ago when the announcement was made in Las Vegas,
18 A. It certainly would have been an
19 unofficial or in the context of being that that
20 was a discussion that was ongoing and it was
21 highly likely that it would occur.
22 Q. But it had not occurred prior to two
23 weeks ago?
24 A. Prior to two weeks ago, it had not
1 Q. And you had not, as Mr. Hoffman
2 suggested a good question, you had not taken on
3 any actual job responsibilities as the medical
4 director until two weeks ago; is that true?
5 A. The job responsibility --
6 Q. Is that true?
7 A. That is true, yes.
8 Q. And you don't know how much they are
9 going to pay you for that job; do you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How much?
12 A. They proposed to pay me $1,000 a
13 month as a retainer. The other activities will
14 be over and above that.
15 Q. And what about stock options, do you
16 have any stock options in TASER International,
18 A. No, I don't.
19 Q. Do you own any stock in that
21 A. No.
22 Q. Have you been made any promises that
23 you would receive any such benefits --
24 A. No.
25 Q. -- from being associated with them?
1 A. No, I have not.
2 Q. Have you ever had any stock options?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In TASER International, Inc.?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Tell me about those.
7 A. I was compensated by stock option
8 exclusively for work that I did for them several
9 years ago on animal studies for their device.
10 Those options matured and were executed.
11 Q. You purchased the stock?
12 A. Yeah. And I purchased the stock,
13 and I sold the stock. Actually I divided it
14 up amongst my relatives is what I did with it.
15 Q. How many shares of stock are we
16 talking about?
17 A. About 3,000.
18 Q. How much profit did you make on that
19 sale, gross?
20 A. About $40,000.
21 Q. $40,000 gross profit on the sale of
22 the stock of TASER International, Inc.?
23 A. Over the exercise price, yes.
24 Q. Over the exercise price. TASER
25 International, Inc. stock, right?
1 A. Right.
2 (Defendants' Exhibit-4 was marked for
4 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Defendants' Exhibit-3.
5 Let me have back No. 2.
6 A. You want three?
7 Q. I want No. 2. I want you to look
8 at No. 3.
9 In your Rule 26 report, you
10 indicated that you had examined the nine-page
11 autopsy report, correct?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And you had also examined four
14 monochrome laser printer images, correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The four monochrome laser printer
Alert | IP ||
Printer-friendly page | Edit |
Reply With Quote | Top |