Experts in Economics & Statistics

A consistent choice for industry leading companies
and the nation's preeminent law firms for over 40 years.

James E. Pearce, Ph.D.

Jim Pearce is Vice President and Senior Managing Director in the Washington, D.C. office. He moved to Washington in 2012 after serving 20 years in Welch Consulting’s Texas office.

Dr. Pearce provides expert testimony and consulting on various employment practices, class certification, and economic damages.  He also provides expert analysis in fair housing and fair lending cases, including those involving allegations of discrimination in provision of insurance.

Dr. Pearce’s research, which includes studies of mortgage markets, illegal immigration, and statistical studies of labor markets, has been published in the Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of Labor Economics, the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and the Review of Economics and Statistics. He has also conducted contract research for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and for Freddie Mac.

Before joining Welch Consulting, Dr. Pearce managed and conducted economic research at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta and at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.  Dr. Pearce received his Ph.D. in Economics from UCLA and his BA in Economics and Mathematical Sciences from Rice University.

SELECTED CASE WORK 

Testifying Expert, Fair Housing Act: Plaintiffs alleged that a restriction on the amount of homeowner’s coverage allowed on properties with low market value had a disparate impact on minority homeowners. I argued that this practice had a valid business justification, and I provided a statistical analysis showing there was no disparate impact. The judge cited my discussion of moral hazard in the order granting summary judgment.

Testifying Expert, Age Discrimination (Hiring): An industrial sales and inventory management company was sued for allegedly failing to hire older applicants into sales positions. Using data from resumes and applications, I developed an estimate of the representation of older people in the applicant pool, which was not significantly different from the representation of older people among those hired.

Testifying Expert, Age Discrimination (Reorganization): Evaluated disparate impact and damages for over 30 police officers. The plaintiffs alleged that older officers were treated adversely in a consolidation of separate municipal departments. I prepared an expert report and testified at deposition and trial.

Testifying Expert, Class Certification:  Plaintiffs’ challenged an insurer’s calculation of depreciation in settling homeowners’ claims.  I provided an expert report challenging the plaintiffs’ claim that classwide damages could be accurately allocated to individual class members.

Consulting Expert, USERRA Violation: Multi-plaintiff matter in which an airline’s vacation accrual policy was alleged to discriminate against pilots in military reserves. After modeling the airline’s complex compensation and vacation accrual systems, I computed the amount and value of additional vacation to be awarded under several scenarios. Both sides relied on my estimates in reaching a settlement.

Consulting Expert, FLSA (Misclassification): National class action in which technical support employees of an information services company alleged that they were wrongfully classified as exempt. Using data on hours billed to clients, I directed a team that estimated the amount of overtime due. We translated these estimates into damages that varied according to statutes of limitation in the various states. We provided an internal critique of the analysis by plaintiffs’ expert and supported the client’s attorneys during a successful mediation. We provided class lists and other support after settlement.

Testifying Expert, Fair Housing Act:  A non-profit entity sued a municipality after the city’s land use agency denied the entity’s application for a permit to shelter unaccompanied alien minors in a vacant property. Among its allegations the non-profit claimed that the city’s denial had a disparate impact on Hispanics.  I prepared a report rebutting the conclusions of the plaintiff’s expert.

Testifying Expert, Fraud (Damages): Multi-plaintiff dispute in which former students of a for-profit university alleged that the university failed to keep promises that a doctoral program would become accredited before they graduated. My damage calculations included estimates of the effect of plaintiffs’ reduced access to student loan forgiveness programs as well as estimates of reductions in earnings capacity.

Consulting Expert, Age Discrimination (Layoff): National class action in which plaintiffs alleged age discrimination in reductions in force over five years. I directed a team that provided comprehensive analyses of the layoffs as well as support for attorneys in their interviews with company management and depositions of named plaintiffs. We reviewed reports prepared by experts on both sides and supported counsel in deposing the opposing expert.

Project Manager, Race Discrimination (Hiring & Promotion): Plaintiffs alleged that a steel manufacturer discriminated against African Americans in promotions and hires.  We showed promotions to be neutral with respect to race once one took account of the tendency of protected class members to apply frequently, and for positions that were outside their areas of expertise. I prepared the initial report opposing class certification and two subsequent declarations. Assisted counsel in deposing plaintiffs’ expert and preparing their successful motion opposing class certification.

Project Manager, Fair Housing Act: Class action covering five metropolitan areas in which a fair housing group alleged that a national insurer’s past underwriting criteria for homeowners’ insurance had a disparate impact on minorities. After showing that observed disparities in the distribution of insurance coverages were explained by differences in income and wealth, we showed that there was no increase in the numbers or quality of policies in minority neighborhoods after the challenged guidelines were eliminated.