We apply financial and economic analysis to issues that arise in the changing energy and commodities markets, including those related to allegations of market manipulation and price fixing, breach of contract, merger reviews, trading disputes, asset valuation, and environmental impact.

View Selected Experts

We examine every case to identify the most effective expert witnesses.

We examine every case to identify the most effective expert witnesses.

Jeffrey A. Dubin

Adjunct Professor of Economics and Statistics,
Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences,
University of Southern California

Jeffrey Dubin is an expert on damages in intellectual property, antitrust, mergers, and other matters involving econometric, statistical, sampling, and survey analysis. He has extensive experience providing testimony before courts and regulatory bodies, including U.S. district courts, the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, state utilities and transportation commissions, and state superior courts. Professor Dubin has testified at trial and depositions.

His research focuses on microeconomic modeling. Professor Dubin’s current work concerns energy economics, sampling and survey methods, the valuation of intangible assets, and tax compliance.

He has written five books and has authored many articles on econometric and statistical analysis on a variety of topics, including consumer choice, energy markets, and tax avoidance. Professor Dubin has received the Econometric Society’s prestigious Frisch Medal for coauthoring the best applied paper published in the previous two years in the journal Econometrica.

He has taught courses on applied economics, antitrust, and competition. Prior to becoming an adjunct professor at USC, he was a tenured professor of economics at the California Institute of Technology, where he taught for twenty-five years.

We examine every case to identify the most effective expert witnesses.

Daniel Sumner

Frank H. Buck Jr. Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics,
Director, University of California Agricultural Issues Center,
University of California, Davis

Daniel Sumner is an expert in national and international competition in agricultural markets as well as agricultural economics and policy. His research and writing focus on the consequences of farm and trade policy for agriculture and the economy. Professor Sumner has analyzed markets for beef, dairy, wine, olive oil, rice, wheat, cotton, and many other agricultural products.

He has testified in numerous matters involving agriculture, including cases related to antitrust, false advertising, class certification, and cross-border trade. Professor Sumner has experience as an expert witness in depositions and trials in state and federal courts in the United States, with regulatory agencies, and before the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, and dispute settlement panels and the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization.

As director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center, Professor Sumner oversees and conducts a university outreach program related to public issues concerning agriculture. Prior to his current positions, Professor Sumner was the assistant secretary for economics at the United States Department of Agriculture, where he was involved in policy formulation and analysis on the whole range of topics facing agriculture and rural America, from food and farm programs to trade, resources, and rural development. In his role as supervisor of the Department of Agriculture’s economics and statistics agencies, Professor Sumner was also responsible for data collection, outlook, and economic research. He has also served as a senior economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Professor Sumner is the author or coauthor of more than one hundred academic publications, including articles in the Journal of Political Economy, Agricultural Economics, and the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He has also coauthored and contributed to a number of books and has written widely for industry outlets.

We examine every case to identify the most effective expert witnesses.

José Alberro

Senior Advisor

José Alberro coheads Cornerstone Research’s international arbitration and litigation practice. His expertise focuses on applied economic and financial modeling across a variety of industries, with particular depth in oil and natural gas, petrochemicals, consumer goods, industrial inputs, and telecommunications. He specializes in damages estimation in the context of international arbitration; mergers and antitrust; tariff design in network industries (electricity, natural gas transportation and distribution, water); and economic impact analysis.

Dr. Alberro has provided expert testimony on four continents, involving both investor-state and commercial disputes. He has testified in proceedings under ICSID, UNCITRAL, ECT, and ICC rules. He has been an expert in cases related to investments in oil and gas assets, mining, construction, sweeteners, alcoholic beverages, and port operations. Most recently, Dr. Alberro was chosen as a damages expert by the Costa Rican government in an ICSID arbitration.

He was the founding CEO and president of Pemex Gas, a large Mexican gas and liquids company, and served as Pemex’s chief representative during NAFTA negotiations. He has consulted for the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Dr. Alberro taught at universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. His research and analyses have been widely published, including in the GAR Guide to Damages in International Arbitration, the ICSID Review, the Journal of Damages in International Arbitration, and the International Arbitration Law Review. Dr. Alberro is named as one of the world’s leading expert witnesses and thought leaders by Who’s Who LegalFinancier Worldwide has recognized him as an exceptional expert and “power player” in the field of international arbitration.

Energy and Commodities Capabilities

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Cornerstone Research has been involved in many high-profile energy and commodity market manipulation investigations. The combined experience of our staff and experts in energy markets, antitrust, and finance brings a multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation of market manipulation allegations.

Our consultants have analyzed the effects of mergers, price-fixing allegations, and other potentially anticompetitive behavior in the energy industry. Such analysis typically requires applying the sophisticated techniques common in antitrust cases.

We have worked on litigation involving a variety of agricultural commodities, including grains, ethanol, dairy, tobacco, high-fructose corn syrup, and meatpacking. This includes extensive experience in the delivery procedures on physically delivered futures contracts involving shipping certificates and warehouse receipts. In these agricultural matters, we have analyzed antitrust issues, market manipulation, breach of contract claims, and mergers.

Analysis of economic issues and expert testimony on punitive damages form the basis of our work on environmental impact cases. These include litigation involving groundwater contamination, seafood poaching, and product liability.

Building on extensive experience in financial valuation, Cornerstone Research utilizes the financial asset attributes of commodities to develop valuation techniques for energy commodities, assets, liabilities, and risks, and to determine the implications of energy market dynamics for the valuation of firms participating in the industry.

We have applied industry expertise to numerous contract disputes involving energy and commodities. The issues involved in these matters include contract pricing provisions, regulatory impact, insurance coverage, and valuation of derivative contracts.

Cornerstone Research has worked on liability and damages issues in high-profile accounting cases in the energy industry. We address cases with a combination of economic analysis, understanding of industry dynamics, and knowledge of accounting principles.

Featured Cases

Featured Publications

26 October 2021

Characteristics of U.S. Natural Gas Transactions: FERC Form 552 Submissions as of July 2021

Marketed production of natural gas decreased slightly in the United States in 2020 but remained near the previous year’s record-high levels.

3 June 2020

Financial Strategies for Oil and Gas Cos. During the Slump

The authors discuss how the oil price decline due to COVID-19 could lead to changes in the oil and gas industry in this Law360 article.

5 May 2020

“Contango With Me”: COVID-19 and the U.S. Crude Oil Market

This article looks at how the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on crude oil storage in the United States.

27 June 2019

Battle of the Benchmarks: Brent Crude Oil and West Texas Intermediate

This article examines the evolution and relationship between these two benchmarks and what factors have impacted their prominence as a benchmark.

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