Terry Musika, an accountant and expert witness who worked in business fraud and patent damages claims, died of pancreatic cancer Dec. 18 at his Hunt Valley home. He was 64.
The co-founder of Invotex, a Fells Point business, he was a legal economics expert in lawsuits involving corporate giants Apple, BlackBerry and Samsung. He also immersed himself in Baltimore legal affairs and testified in numerous local cases.
"He was considered one of the top intellectual property damages experts in the country," said a colleague, Debbie Pavlik, his firm's marketing manager. "He was involved in many of the largest patent verdicts and settlements in U.S. history."
She said Mr. Musika testified for Apple in a case that ended in a $1 billion verdict against Samsung. He was also called as an expert witness in the 2002 BlackBerry litigation that resulted in a $612.5 million agreement between Research in Motion Ltd. and NTP Inc.
"Terry was there in my greatest litigation challenges and was inexorably connected to the client's success," said Baltimore attorney C. Carey Deeley. "While serving the case with his brilliant analysis, he routinely taught me how to examine opposing experts in a way that made me look like the lawyer I aspire to be. ... He was a man of tremendous depth, energy, integrity and strength."
Born in Coatesville, Pa., he was a graduate of Hargrove Military Academy in Chatham, Va. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Indiana University, where he also received a master's degree in public administration. He won an athletic scholarship in track at the school and was elected track team captain in his senior year.
He received All-American honors in the 400-meter dash in the Big Ten conference championship. After college he moved to Los Angeles and joined the Pacific Coast Track Club and participated in the 1972 Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore.
"While he was training for the Olympic trials, he was a substitute public school teacher," said his wife, the former Sharyn Frankel, a Baltimore Museum of Art docent. "I was a teacher too, and he followed me around. He was very persistent."
He became a certified public accountant and worked at Peat, Marwick and Mitchell, Coopers & Lybrand, where he was national audit partner in the Boston office before moving to Maryland in 1984.
"He was also an entrepreneur. He spent his career starting new businesses and developing new business concepts," said Ms. Pavlik, who lives in Millersville. "His innovation extended into his practice and even into the legal damages theories for which he became so well known."
He founded several businesses, including Maryland First Financial Services, which became Invotex, now located in a warehouse overlooking the harbor in Fells Point.
"He developed a reputation as a damages expert in complex litigation matters and soon became renowned for his prowess in intellectual property damages," Ms. Pavlik said.
Invotex's chief executive office, Raymond J. Peroutka, who lives in Towson, recalled his business partner. "Terry's love of people was equaled by his love of the game," he said. "He was a brilliant practitioner, and once Terry offered an opinion, there was no turning back. Cross-examination only enhanced his credibility. He was unflappable, his integrity unimpeachable. He carried himself with dignity, restraint and humility."
Ms. Pavlik said that in recent years Mr. Musika began to draw in younger partners. The move permitted him to tackle assignments that gave him satisfaction.
"Through his nurturing spirit and careful coaching, Terry advanced the career of many professionals," Ms. Pavlik said.
Ms. Pavlik said that over the years, he had provided expert testimony in more than 200 separate proceedings for clients including the U.S. Department of Justice, Cisco and Sony.
"Terry started with nothing," his wife said. "But he thought there were no obstacles in life, and he built several companies and built a wonderful life for his family. He was a tough, hardworking, ethical person who was a mentor to younger persons."
Mrs. Musika said he was a man of compassion and was a court-appointed special advocate for children involved in the state's courts. She said he also served on the board of the Baltimore Boys' Home. She said he made it a point to attend his children's games and performances, no matter how busy he was.
He enjoyed Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concerts and exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Plans for a memorial service are incomplete.
In addition to his wife of nearly 40 years, survivors include a son, Michael Musika of San Francisco; two daughters, Ally Musika and Jennie Riemer, both of Los Angeles; a brother, John Musika of Lansdale, Pa.; a sister, Jill Ohar of Winston-Salem, N.C.; and his mother, Olamae Musika of Harleysville, Pa.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun