William K. Black, one of the experts inewsource interviewed for its investgation, speaking to a crowd. Photo courtesy William Black


inewsource has interviewed many experts for our ongoing investigation into Cory Briggs, including professors, authors, politicians, attorneys, developers, ethicists and law enforcement:

Jonathan Arons

Arons advises lawyers on ethics issues, defense of disciplinary charges, and problems concerning admission or reinstatement to the State Bar of California.

He also advises law firms and attorneys who want to improve their office systems for protecting against rules violations, or who need advice about a particular ethical or professional conduct problem. Additionally, he serves parties nationwide as an expert witness in lawsuits involving questions of legal ethics, professional misconduct, or attorney malpractice.

Arons has concentrated on professional responsibility issues and attorney misconduct defense since admitted to practice in California in 1983.


William K. Black

William_Black_bio_image Bill Black is an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri—Kansas. He was the executive director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007. He previously taught at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and at Santa Clara University, where he was also the distinguished scholar in residence for insurance law and a visiting scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

Professor Black was litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the FSLIC, SVP and general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and senior deputy chief counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision. He was deputy director of the National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement.

Professor Black recently helped the World Bank develop anti-corruption initiatives and served as an expert for OFHEO in its enforcement action against Fannie Mae’s former senior management.

He teaches white-collar crime, public finance, antitrust, law and economics, and Latin American development.


John Campbell

John_Campbell_bio_image Professor Campbell teaches Lawyering Process at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. His scholarship focuses on consumer issues, including arbitration and mortgage related matters and class actions. He is a frequent presenter, having presented at the University of Houston conference on Teaching Consumer Law, the Consumer Law Conference hosted by the National Consumer Law Center and at various local and regional organizations.

Campbell is also a recognized trial attorney. Prior to becoming a full-time professor, in his four years managing a consumer and class action department, the department settled dozens of class actions and individual cases which resulted in tens of millions of dollars in relief to millions of individuals.

Professor Campbell earned numerous awards for practicing law successfully and professionally. He received the John C. Shepherd Professionalism Award, given to one attorney in St. Louis each year for their exemplary behavior and reputation outside the courtroom. He was also the recipient of Missouri Lawyers Media’s Up & Coming Lawyer in 2009 and has been recognized as a Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers Rising Star every year since 2009. Professor Campbell was voted one of the “Most Influential Appellate Attorneys” in Missouri in 2011.

Linda Fisher

Linda Fisher is a Professor of Law and the James Boskey Research Scholar at Seton Hall Law School. Her recent research, publications, and litigation address predatory lending, the subprime lending crisis and its consequences for communities.

She is currently a Network Fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard and has been a Bellow Scholar of the Association of American Law Schools. Prof. Fisher teaches Land Finance, Professional Responsibility and the Civil Litigation Clinic.

She has testified before the House Financial Services Committee and the Federal Trade Commission. She received an LL.M. from Northwestern, a J.D. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Macalester College.

Richard Hagar

RH-Class Richard Hagar is a real estate agent and appraiser and “certified real estate instructor” who helped write the laws that govern the mortgage industry, including the Mortgage Brokers Practices Act in Washington state, which “has become the model for license laws in 11 other states,” according to his biography. Hagar also “profiles real estate and mortgage fraud cases for law enforcement and helps other professionals understand the intricacies of the real estate industry,” as well as serving “as a key resource for States’ Attorney Generals” and appearing as an expert witness in state and federal courts. He is president of the Hagar Institute, which provides “real estate education and fraud profiling for government agencies, regulators, auditors, law enforcement, prosecutors and real estate professionals.” The Institute’s clients include federal and local agencies and associations, as well as banks and mortgage firms. Hager is also founder and President of American Home Appraisals, a real estate appraisal company.

Ed McIntyre

Edward_McIntyre_bio_image Ed McIntyre is a trial lawyer at Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith, a law firm in San Diego. He was a member of the California State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct from 2008 to 2011. He has also served as a member of the San Diego County Bar Association Legal Ethics Committee and the American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility. He represents companies and individuals in federal and state court, focusing on “intellectual property, technology and securities litigation, and trade practice law,” according to his biography. He also “counsels and represents attorneys and their firms on issues of professional responsibility, risk mitigation and professional negligence.”
Resume here

Vance Welch

Deputy District Attorney Vance Welch has been with the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office for 14 years, with the last eight years in the Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Unit.


Brad Racino was the assistant editor and senior investigative reporter at inewsource. He's a big fan of transparency, whistleblowers and government agencies forgetting to redact key information from FOIA requests. Brad received his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in...

2 replies on “Meet the experts for the Cory Briggs investigation”

  1. Brad Racino….what was it that started you down the path of this investigation? There was a similar –well similar in the sense that Cory Briggs was the subject of the “expose” done a year or so ago by the Voice of San Diego. However, VOSD focused on Briggs method of suing small cities over perceived environmental regulation violations. Many settled rather than go to court. Your series is entirely different. What sparked inewsource interest? Were you surprised at the vigor with which he has been defended in the comments of your articles. Many attacking your journalistic credibility.

  2. Linda,

    Thank you for writing. Our investigation began last year, sparked by my colleague’s interest in Mr. Briggs and some of his questionable actions. We decided to spend a bit of time poking around, as we tend to do as investigative journalists. We quickly found red flags and decided to investigate further. That led to all of this.

    To answer your second question, no I am not surprised at the reactions. We expected it. No matter the subject of the investigation, there are always people who are angry about our work for whatever reason. By this point, I’ve learned not to take it personally. It’s just part of the job.

    Thanks so much. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at bradracino at gmail dot com.



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