Richard T. Nagaoka             
Viticultural Consultant
St. Helena, CA, in the heart of the Napa Valley
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  EXPERT LEGAL TESTIMONY


Courts in various jurisdictions have designated Richard Nagaoka as an expert authority in a wide range of litigation involving wine grapes.  He has testified before a jury and the bench and has been deposed in cases arising in Napa, Sonoma, San Luis Obispo, Yolo, San Joaquin, and Santa Barbara counties.  His areas of legal expertise include:

  • Property condemnation.
  • Grape purchase agreements and breech of promise.
  • Irrigation issues and annual water use estimates.
  • Vineyard soil and water suitability.
  • Crop loss from off-site herbicide drift.
  • Safe agricultural spray practices.
  • Pest and disease effects on vineyard productivity and longevity.
  • Determination of reasonable yields by variety, region, and soils.
  • Effects of vineyard cultural production practices on the environment.

Nagaoka is retained by litigants who recognize his three decades of experience as a viticultural consultant and extensive familiarity with all aspects of vineyard development and operation, whether in relation to production, pests and disease, or new vineyard development and feasibility.  As a licensed California wine grape broker, he is also familiar with wine grape price and market issues.

Nagaoka employs investigative skills and scientific methods in gathering evidence to ensure that his deductive conclusions are solidly supported by factual data.  Having published or co-published scientific papers on various vineyard problems including phylloxera spread and the effects of thinning and rootstock on grape yield and wine quality, he is well qualified to develop the scientific data necessary to support his expert testimony.

Nagaoka conducts ongoing research for national pesticide researchers regarding the efficacy of fungicides, nematicides, and phylloxera controls in wine grapes, apples, and walnuts.  He has initiated, developed, and implemented contract efficacy and residue trials for Dow AgroSciences, Mycogen, Elanco, Uniroyal, Unocal, and Zeneca at various vineyards and orchards.

Nagaoka's expert witness and consulting projects have included the following:

Client Event Location/Date Dispute
CalTrans 
Legal Department
Lodi and Coachella Valley, 1997-current Effects of Garlon herbicide drift on wine grape yields, and evaluation of growers' claims of crop losses.
CA Dept. of Water Resources Edna Valley, 1998-current Impact of impaired subsurface drainage on vineyards in San Luis Obispo County.
Coldwell Banker Napa and Lake Counties, 1998 Effects of adverse soil magnesium on viability and yields in vineyards.
Sanitation District, Sonoma County Carneros, Sonoma County, 1990 Land valuation dispute turning on possible suitability of condemned saline tidelands for vineyard use.
Nuns Canyon Vineyard Kenwood, Sonoma County, 1990 Water rights dispute involving determination of vineyard irrigation requirements.
Leeward Winery Edna Valley, 1989 Breech of grape delivery contract.
Joseph Phelps Winery Napa County, 1985 Evaluation of agricultural spray operation following bicyclist's personal injury claim.

Receipt of a signed retainer and a fifty percent advance against the estimated investigation fee are customary to initiate services and are considered authorization to undertake and complete the assignment.  Invoices for outstanding balances will be submitted monthly and are due upon receipt.  Invoices not paid within thirty days are deemed past due and are subject to a late payment fee equal to two percent (2%) per month on the unpaid balances.


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1999 by The Grape Doctor, Richard T. Nagaoka, Viticultural Consultant
1171 Edwards Street, St. Helena, CA, 94574-1208, USA -- www.grapedoctor.com -- www.grapebroker.com
Email:  grapedoctor@grapedoctor.com