TESTIMONY OF EXPERIAN'S DAVID BROWNE - EXPERIAN BACKGROUND A

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TESTIMONY OF EXPERIAN'S DAVID BROWNE - EXPERIAN BACKGROUND A

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TESTIMONY OF EXPERIAN'S DAVID BROWNE - EXPERIAN BACKGROUND AND HISTORY

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
TEXARKANA DIVISION

CYNTHIA COMEAUX . DOCKET NO. 2:02CV304
VS. . MARSHALL, TEXAS
EXPERIAN INFORMATION . OCTOBER 13, 2004
SOLUTIONS, INC. . 11:10 A.M.
EXCERPT OF TRIAL
TESTIMONY OF DAVID A. BROWNE
BEFORE THE HONORABLE DAVID FOLSOM,
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE, AND A JURY.
APPEARANCES:
FOR PLAINTIFF: MR. David A. Szwak
MS. MARY ELLEN _
Bodenheimer Jones Szwak &
_
402 MARKET ST.
Mid South Tower
Suite 1404
SHREVEPORT, LA. 71101


FOR DEFENDANT: MR. DANIEL JOHN MCLOON
Jones DAY
555 WEST FIFTH STREET
SUITE 4600
LOS ANGELES, CA. 90013

MS. LUCINDA W. ANDREW
Jones DAY
2727 N. HARWOOD ST.
DALLAS, TX. 75201


PROCEEDINGS RECORDED BY MANUAL STENOGRAPHY, TRANSCRIPT PRODUCED BY NOTE READING.
INDEX
PLAINTIFF’S ADVERSE WITNESS
DAVID A. BROWNE
DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. Szwak................... 3
CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR. MCLOON..................104

REPORTER’S CERTIFICATION...................................122


P R O C E E D I N G S
MARSHALL, TEXAS
OCTOBER 13, 2004
(OPEN COURT)



*****************
DAVID A. BROWNE, PLAINTIFF’S ADVERSE WITNESS, SWORN
DIRECT EXAMINATION
BY MR. Szwak:
Q GOOD MORNING, MR. BROWNE.
A GOOD MORNING.
Q WOULD YOU PLEASE STATE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS FOR THE RECORD, PLEASE?
A YES. MY NAME IS DAVID BROWNE. MY ADDRESS 475 ANTON BOULEVARD, COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA, 92626.
Q ARE YOU EMPLOYED BY THE DEFENDANT IN THIS CASE, EXPERIAN?
A YES.
Q AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN EMPLOYED BY EXPERIAN?
A SINCE I BELIEVE SEPTEMBER OF 1996 WHEN IT FIRST BECAME EXPERIAN.
Q YOU ARE NOT EMPLOYED BY ANYONE ELSE, IS THAT TRUE?
A THAT IS CORRECT.
Q IN SEPTEMBER OF 1996, WHO WERE YOU EMPLOYED WITH PRIOR TO EXPERIAN?
A IT WAS TRW.
Q TRW IS A PUBLICLY HELD COMPANY WITH MULTIPLE DIVISIONS, IS THAT TRUE?
A YES.
Q SOME AEROSPACE. THEY MAKE TIRES. THEY MAKE ALL SORTS OF ELECTRONICS EQUIPMENT, RIGHT?
A WELL, THEY WERE BOUGHT OUT SUBSEQUENTLY BY ANOTHER COMPANY, SO I AM NOT SURE THEY ARE STILL TRADING AS TRW.
Q NOW, IN 1996 TRW WAS STILL OPERATING ITS CREDIT REPORTING DATABASE DIVISION FOR CONSUMER CREDIT REPORTS, CORRECT?
A YES.
Q AND YOU WORKED FOR THAT PARTICULAR DIVISION OF TRW, IS THAT TRUE?
A YES.
Q NOW, IN SEPTEMBER OF 1996, ISN’T IT TRUE THAT TRW SOLD THAT DIVISION OF ITS COMPANY TO A NEWLY FORMED ENTITY CALLED EXPERIAN?
A I DON’T THINK THAT’S — IT WAS VERY COMPLICATED, AND I DON’T THINK THAT’S EXACTLY HOW IT HAPPENED. MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT IT’S THE SUCCESSOR COMPANY, BUT IT WAS A — IT IS RATHER COMPLICATED LEGALLY, AND NOBODY REALLY EXPLAINED IT TO ME IN DETAIL.
Q WELL, YOU KNEW ONE DAY YOU WERE WORKING FOR TRW AND THE NEXT DAY YOU CAME TO WORK YOU WERE WORKING FOR EXPERIAN, RIGHT?
A WELL, I THINK THE NAME DIDN’T COME IN FOR SOME LITTLE WHILE, BUT I DON’T REMEMBER THE TIME FRAME.
Q MY POINT IS, YOU NEVER LOST YOUR JOB, CORRECT?
A THAT’S CORRECT.
Q OKAY. HOW MANY YEARS DID YOU WORK FOR TRW?
A APPROXIMATELY NINETEEN YEARS.
Q NOW AS PART OF THE TRANSITION BETWEEN TRW AND EXPERIAN, IS IT TRUE THAT THE DATABASE, THE CONSUMER CREDIT REPORTING DATABASE, WAS SOLD TO EXPERIAN?
A IT WAS SOLD TO ANOTHER ENTITY BEFORE IT FINALLY CAME TO REST WHERE IT IS TODAY.
Q WAS THAT ANOTHER EXPERIAN ENTITY OR WHAT?
A WELL, MY UNDERSTANDING, AND I STAND TO BE CORRECTED IF I MAKE A MISTAKE, IS THAT IT WAS BOUGHT OUT BY A VENTURE CAPITAL COMPANY, OR MAYBE I BELIEVE TWO OF THEM.
Q SOME PARTNERS HAD FORMED TOGETHER, PURCHASED IT AND THEN RESOLD IT TO EXPERIAN, IS THAT TRUE?
A THEY SOLD IT TO A COMPANY CALLED G.U.S.
Q AND THAT’S THE PARENT COMPANY OF EXPERIAN AT THIS TIME, IS THAT TRUE?
A YES.
Q THAT’S A PUBLICLY HELD BRITISH COMPANY, IS THAT TRUE?
A YES.
Q NOW, AS PART OF THIS TRANSITION BETWEEN TRW TO EXPERIAN, ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES OF TRW WERE AT WORK ONE DAY WEARING A TRW HAT, AND THEN THE NEXT DAY CAME TO WORK BASICALLY WEARING AN EXPERIAN HAT, IS THAT TRUE?
A I AM NOT SURE THAT THAT APPLIED TO EVERYBODY. I BELIEVE IT DIDN’T APPLY TO EVERYBODY.
Q I AM SORRY?
A I DON’T BELIEVE IT APPLIED TO ALL THE EMPLOYEES.
Q SUBSTANTIALLY ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES?
A PROBABLY.
Q NOW, ALSO THE FACILITIES, THE BUILDINGS THAT HOUSED THIS MONSTROUS COMPUTER SYSTEM AND DATA FILES AND WHATNOT, THOSE WERE ALL TRANSFERRED FROM TRW TO EXPERIAN, RIGHT?
A THAT’S MY UNDERSTANDING.
Q AND CERTAINLY AS WE HAVE GONE OVER ALL OF THE FILES, ALL THE PHYSICAL DATA, THE COMMODITY OF TRW WAS SOLD TO EXPERIAN, IS THAT TRUE?
A I REALLY — I CAN’T SAY THAT EVERYTHING WAS, BUT I BELIEVE MOST OF IT WAS.
Q OKAY. AND I AM SORRY TO SORT OF SIDETRACK WITH THIS ISSUE OF TRW TO EXPERIAN, BUT WE NEED TO MAKE CLEAR THAT THE COMPUTER, THE CREDIT REPORTING DATABASE SYSTEM HAD BEEN OWNED BY TRW AND NOW IS THE SAME DATABASE AND THE SAME FILES AND THE SAME INFORMATION THAT CAME INTO THE POSSESSION OF EXPERIAN IN SEPTEMBER OF 1996, RIGHT?
A THAT’S MY UNDERSTANDING.
Q YOU ARE STILL WORKING ESSENTIALLY IN THE SAME FACILITY. NO, I THINK YOU GOT A NEW FACILITY, IS THAT TRUE, RECENTLY?
A YES.
Q BUT ESSENTIALLY, YOU WENT BACK TO WORK AT THE SAME LOCATION DAY-TO-DAY. THERE WAS JUST A TRANSITION IN THE NAME?
A WELL, I CERTAINLY WENT BACK TO THE SAME PLACE EVERY DAY AFTER.
Q VERY GOOD. NOW, IS IT ALSO TRUE THAT WHILE YOU WERE EMPLOYED BY TRW, YOU WERE REPEATEDLY CALLED AS A WITNESS TO TESTIFY ON BEHALF OF THE COMPANY IN LITIGATION?
A THAT IS CORRECT.
Q AND CURRENTLY NOW WITH EXPERIAN YOU ARE IN THE SAME ROLE, YOU ARE REPEATEDLY CALLED TO TESTIFY AS AN EXPERT IN LITIGATION INVOLVING EXPERIAN?
A THAT’S PART OF THE WORK I DO FOR THE COMPANY.
Q AND ISN’T IT TRUE THAT AT ONE POINT IN TIME YOU GAVE AN ESTIMATE THAT YOU HAD TESTIFIED MORE THAN 75 TIMES ON BEHALF OF YOUR EMPLOYER IN LITIGATION?
A OVER ABOUT EIGHTEEN, NINETEEN YEARS, THAT’S CORRECT.
Q AND THOSE WERE ACTUAL LAWSUITS INVOLVING EXPERIAN AT TRIAL, IS THAT TRUE?
A I HAVE TESTIFIED IN CRIMINAL CASES ON BEHALF OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, BUT THE PREDOMINANCE WOULD BE IN CREDIT REPORTING MATTERS RELATING EITHER TO MY COMPANY OR PERHAPS AS A NON-PARTY WITNESS IN LITIGATION INVOLVING OTHERS.
Q YOU HAVE ALSO GIVEN A LARGE NUMBER OF DEPOSITIONS OVER TIME ON BEHALF OF YOUR EMPLOYER, IS THAT TRUE?
A I HAVE.
Q AND THOSE WERE CASES INVOLVING LITIGATION AGAINST THEM WHERE THEIR FINANCIAL INTEREST WAS AT RISK, IS THAT TRUE?
A YES.
Q NOW, IS IT ALSO TRUE THAT YOU HAVE SIGNED HUNDREDS, MAYBE THOUSANDS OF AFFIDAVITS TO ASSIST YOUR EMPLOYER DURING LITIGATION WHERE THEIR FINANCIAL INTEREST WAS AT RISK?
A WELL, I WOULDN’T SAY THOUSANDS. I DON’T — I DON’T — I HAVE NEVER TRIED TO COUNT THE NUMBER OF AFFIDAVITS, BUT IT COULD EASILY BE A HUNDRED, I’D SAY, OVER THE COURSE OF NINETEEN, TWENTY YEARS.
Q OKAY. NOW, AS YOU ARE HERE TODAY IN THIS TRIAL INVOLVING MS. COMEAUX’S CLAIMS, YOU ARE THE CORPORATE REPRESENTATIVE OF EXPERIAN, CORRECT?
A I BELIEVE I AM HERE AS AN EXPERT WITNESS. I AM NOT SURE THAT I AM ALSO THE CORPORATE — I BELIEVE I AM, YES, I THINK I AM.
Q DO YOU HAVE SOME UNDERSTANDING THAT AS A CORPORATE REPRESENTATIVE THAT YOU ARE THE MOUTHPIECE FOR YOUR CLIENT HERE TODAY?
MR. MCLOON: OBJECTION, YOUR HONOR. THIS IS A LEADING QUESTION.
THE COURT: I WILL SUSTAIN. HE IS THE CORPORATE REPRESENTATIVE.
MR. Szwak: THANK YOU, YOUR HONOR.
Q (BY MR. Szwak) NOW, AS PART OF YOUR — IF YOU COULD FIRST TELL ME PLEASE, WHAT IS YOUR TITLE AT EXPERIAN?
A MY TITLE, I AM REALLY A COMPLIANCE MANAGER, BUT I HAVE A JOB GRADE WHICH I DON’T USE VERY OFTEN, SO IF YOU WILL FORGIVE ME, I WILL LOOK IT UP. IT’S ON MY BUSINESS CARD. IT’S CALLED COMPLIANCE POLICY SPECIALIST.
Q OKAY. ESSENTIALLY, YOUR JOB DUTIES HAVEN’T CHANGED WITH YOUR TITLE CHANGE RECENTLY, CORRECT?
A THAT’S CORRECT.
Q DO YOUR DAY-TO-DAY DUTIES INCLUDE EVALUATING LAWSUITS THAT ARE FILED AGAINST EXPERIAN?
A IT’S NOT NECESSARILY ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS. BUT I DO EVALUATE SOME OF THEM. IT IS NOT THE MAJORITY OF THEM. IT’S JUST A SUBSET.
Q ARE YOU INVOLVED IN EVALUATING ANY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS BY GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES INVOLVING TRW, NOW EXPERIAN?
A I AM NOT SURE I UNDERSTOOD THAT. COULD YOU EXPLAIN THAT?
Q WELL, LET ME ASK YOU, HISTORICALLY, HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN EVALUATING ANY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS BROUGHT AGAINST TRW AND THEN NOW EXPERIAN ON BEHALF OF YOUR EMPLOYER?
A WHEN YOU SAY EVALUATING ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS, COULD YOU EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN BY THAT?
Q WELL, CERTAINLY. LET ME BE VERY SPECIFIC, THEN. WERE YOU INVOLVED --
MR. MCLOON: OBJECTION, YOUR HONOR, THIS IS OUR MOTION IN LIMINE WE HAVE ALREADY ADDRESSED. MAY WE APPROACH, YOUR HONOR?
THE COURT: VERY WELL.
(BENCH CONFERENCE, NOT TRANSCRIBED.
(OPEN COURT)
David A. Szwak
Bodenheimer, Jones & Szwak, LLC
416 Travis Street, Suite 1404, Mid South Tower
Shreveport, Louisiana 71101
318-424-1400 / Fax 221-6555
President, Bossier Little League
Chairman, Consumer Protection Section, Louisiana State Bar Association

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