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Beyond the Bio: A Spotlight on Gabriela Orsak & Charles Cowan


At IMS, we believe our people are our greatest asset. In honor of our incredible team, we are thrilled to go "beyond the bio" and share the personal stories of employees across our organization.

As data analytics experts, Dr. Gabriela Orsak and Dr. Charles “Chuck” Cowan support clients and colleagues in finding innovative solutions to complex legal and business matters. They apply vast experience in data collection and statistical analysis to design reliable consumer surveys and provide insightful evidence for the court.

Gabriela and Chuck worked with our expert witness search team prior to Analytic Focus joining IMS, and they are now part of our integrated expert staff. Learn how they found the industry, how IMS found them, and which aspects of their work are the most rewarding.

Gabriela Orsak, PhD, Associate Director of Statistical Consulting

Q: How did you get into this industry?

A: In my previous role within academia, I had the privilege of engaging with theoretical concepts and research. When this opportunity in the industry arose, I recognized it as a seamless transition. The dynamic nature of the work, coupled with the daily challenges and diverse cases, resonated with me. I appreciate the constant learning and problem-solving inherent in this field.

Q: How did you find IMS?

A: I was with Analytic Focus when it was acquired by IMS. One of the key aspects that I appreciate about IMS is its remarkable synergy among its diverse portfolio of companies. This harmonious collaboration fosters an environment where each entity complements the other, resulting in collective growth and shared success.

Q: What do you like most about your specific department and/or role?

A: In my current role, I find immense satisfaction in encountering novel problems on a daily basis. Each new challenge is distinct, requiring adaptability and critical thinking. This dynamic environment keeps me engaged and continually sharpens my problem-solving skills.

Q: What internal accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: One of my most significant internal accomplishments is successfully addressing challenging research questions. Whether it involves studying hard-to-reach populations or overcoming other obstacles, finding innovative solutions to these complex issues has been immensely rewarding.

Q: What do you think sets IMS apart from competitors or other companies?

A: IMS operates as an integrated ecosystem with seamless collaboration across departments, services, and expertise. By leveraging this interconnectedness, we deliver comprehensive solutions to address multifaceted challenges. Whether those be legal, technological, or analytical, our clients benefit from a holistic approach that transcends silos. This collective knowledge enables us to navigate intricate legal landscapes, interpret complex data, and provide nuanced insights. Clients can rely on IMS as a trusted partner—one equipped to tackle intricate litigation concerns with precision.

Q: How do the IMS core values align with your own?

A: My alignment with IMS core values is evident in my appreciation for collaborative teamwork. Working alongside colleagues with diverse areas of expertise allows us to cross-pollinate ideas, validate concepts, and offer valuable feedback from our respective fields. This mirrors IMS’s commitment to excellence through collective effort.

Q: If you were an attorney-client, what would you find most valuable about the process at IMS?

A: As an expert witness, I highly value the opportunities IMS provides by connecting me with a diverse network of attorneys. This collaborative ecosystem allows me to contribute my expertise across a wide range of cases.

Q: Do you have any predictions or comments on industry trends?

A: In the legal industry, a notable trend is the increasing importance placed on understanding the collective voice of consumers. Juries now seek insights from a broader audience rather than relying on the opinions of one or two people, emphasizing the need for surveys as valuable evidence in cases. As this trend continues, integrating well-designed surveys into legal proceedings can enhance decision-making and provide a comprehensive perspective.

Q: What has been your favorite case to work on so far?

A: Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working on a diverse array of legal cases. While it is challenging to pinpoint a single favorite, I find immense satisfaction in the inherent variability of each case.

Charles “Chuck” Cowan, PhD, Senior Advisor

Q: How did you get into this industry?

A: In my junior year of college, an economics professor invited me to apply for a National Science Foundation grant. He provided me with an interesting data set that included survey data for Eastern European countries, and when I was awarded the grant, he gave me an office at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. When my grant work was completed, I was offered a job in their economics research group, doing consumer surveys. It was a great setting that combined economic theory with application, the opportunity to do independent research, and be part of a top-notch team of researchers. I have worked to provide that same environment for the people at Analytic Focus.

Q: How did you find IMS?

A: About two decades ago, a delightful alumnus of the IMS expert witness search team named Mark Silver was looking for an expert in trademark research. He called and brought me on board as an expert. Since then, Analytic Focus experts have been involved in a broad array of cases, including trademark, deceptive sales practices, fraud, toxic tort, RMBS, and disparate impact—some of which came to us through IMS. James Crane (now the IMS CEO) visited Analytic Focus in San Antonio about ten years ago, and we hit it off. So, IMS found and chose us.

Q: What do you like most about your specific department and role?

A: Analytic Focus is one of IMS’s most recent acquisitions. I have moved into the role of senior advisor, which gives me more time to work on more complex cases and mentor people who ultimately want to become testifying experts. I enjoy the in-depth interactions with attorneys and our analytic staff, and I spend much less time on administrative work.

Q: What internal accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: My internal accomplishments are measured by the work we did at Analytic Focus over the past 20+ years that made us attractive to IMS as an acquisition. We worked for all the banking regulators, the Department of Justice, about one-third of the 50 US State Attorney Generals, and more than two-thirds of the Am Law 100 firms. While heading Analytic Focus, I taught at Harvard for four terms, testified to the National Academy of Sciences about the security of the US infrastructure, and was an invited speaker at conferences in France, New Zealand, and several other countries. Analytic Focus gave me great opportunities to meet people and network around the world.

Q: Are there any stories you would like to share?

A: My favorite experience was sitting in on someone else’s deposition and seeing how the expert on the other side was manipulated by the plaintiff’s attorney, whom I was supporting, into saying whatever came to mind, not realizing he was destroying the defendant’s case.

Q: What sets IMS apart from competitors or other companies?

A: Before we joined IMS, the expert search team consistently matched us with cases and law firms where our skills were exactly right for the matter. Other firms providing expert search generally threw our name out for any case, whether we were qualified or not. This gives IMS a great advantage since attorneys know they will get a few very qualified experts and not have their time wasted.

Q: How do the IMS core values align with your own?

A: The Analytic Focus core values are very similar to those of IMS, which is another reason it was a good fit. Excellence and quality are key features of our offerings, leading law firms to consistently come back to us for repeat work.

Q: If you were an attorney-client, what would you find most valuable about the process at IMS?

A: IMS finds experts who match the case and are well-suited to the tasks needed. IMS also does a good job of briefing the experts before the attorney introduction, so they are informed about the matter. This helps the attorney not have to explain the entire case to the expert, and the expert has an opportunity to think about how they might approach it.

Q: Do you have any predictions or comments on industry trends?

A: Every firm is trying to determine how best to capitalize on the explosive growth of artificial intelligence. While AI can be very useful for some applications, in many other areas it is snake oil being offered as a panacea for all ills. It is important to ascertain where AI is advancing how things are done.

Q: What has been your favorite case to work on so far?

A: The first RMBS (residential mortgage-backed securities) case in New York was a great learning experience, working with Quinn Emanuel and seeing how a top-notch law firm operates.

Learn More

IMS is privileged to have Dr. Gabriela Orsak and Dr. Chuck Cowan on our expert staff. We are grateful for their vast knowledge, collaborative spirit, and dedication to excellence in every case.

Visit the links below to meet the IMS team and learn about our culture and career opportunities.