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Business Interruption

A Unique Assessment of Commercial Damages Business interruption is a form of commercial damages that may include both breach of contract and torts. While it is not common for financial experts to be hired in business interruption situations, some claims require their expertise. Unlike a traditional lost profit analysis, business interruption calculations are unique. Any expert asked to make such an analysis ...

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Evidence of Actual Monetary Loss is Required

When Calculating the Exemplary Damages Cap In a recent Texas Court of Appeals case, the jury awarded plaintiff $15,000,000 in exemplary damages; the Court reduced this amount citing section 41.008(b)(1) of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, which caps exemplary damages at two times the amount of "economic damages," plus up to $750,000 in non-economic damages. The question on appeal was whether th ...

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Alternative Benchmarks for Use in Litigation

in Light of LIBOR’s End Appraisal and litigation support professionals consider various rates to use as part of a financial model, including LIBOR. Near the end of July 2017, British banking regulators made waves in the business world by announcing the end of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, by the end of 2021. LIBOR’s end will mean the loss of a financial benchmark that is not only ubiquitous i ...

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Empathy at the Mediation Table

Understanding Another Person’s Point of View—A Fundamental Tool of Communication Empathy, when used appropriately is truly amazing. It strengthens and enriches our understanding of others, and enhances our ability to motivate them. Though there is no scientific way to measure the power of empathy, you can feel it when you use it, especially during mediation-type proceedings, when the opposing parties are fr ...

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Preventing Case Over Valuation

Why Attorneys Tend to Overvalue Their Cases and What to Do! Research indicates that most lawyers over value their cases, and what is even more fascinating, it does not matter how long the attorney has been in practice! There are a number of reasons over valuation occurs; sometimes the answer is just that the attorney did not spend enough time reviewing the case, or failed to consider getting a second opinio ...

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Revisiting Modeling and Discounting Future Damages

The Case for Use of a Risk-Adjusted Rate in Damages Cases Robert Dunn and Everett Harry laid out a process for modeling and discounting future lost profits to present value in their article, Modeling and Discounting Future Damages. Not all experts agreed with the position presented by Dunn and Harry. In March, we revisited modeling and its level of acceptance. This article revisits the more controversial po ...

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Foreseeability Standard in Lost Profits Litigation

The Objective and Subjective Tests Used to Determine Foreseeability To recover lost profits in a commercial damages case, three standards must be met. They are proximate cause, foreseeability, and reasonable certainty. Of these three, foreseeability is the lost profits standard in which a financial expert will have the least involvement. But this does not mean the expert’s work would not benefit the trier-o ...

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Persuasion

Effective Opening Statements in Mediation What is an effective opening statement? How does one prepare such a statement? In this article, Nancy Neal Yeend, an experienced mediator, shares the steps and processes that lead to an effective opening statement and how that statement can lead to resolution of disputes. ...

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Demystifying Damages in Uncertain Cases

The Role of the Forensic Accountant There are a number of instances where damage estimates are uncertain and where a customer is lost. What should one do in these instances? Losses sometimes require reasonable estimates, as well as a reasonable forecasting of the market—both for the generation of revenues and for mitigation. In the case where there is greater perceived loss than a single contract, a forecas ...

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Revisiting Modeling

For Calculating Future Lost Profits Robert Dunn and Everett Harry published their oft cited Modeling and Discounting Future Damages in 2002. The article laid out the process for assessing future lost profits and discounting them to present value. They argued modeling future losses reduced the uncertainty related to the loss calculation and therefore reduced the risk premium to be included in the discount ra ...

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Defending the Devil

An Expert Witness Tells All Martin H. Abo, CPA, ABV, CVA, CFF shares the story of a fraud engagement, where he was retained to analyze the business practices of FirstPlus Financial. Mr. Abo shares his experience getting the engagement and testifying in the racketeering case. ...

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A Case for Mediation

What do You Have to Lose? Since only a fraction of the cases filed go to trial, it seems prudent to explore settlement sooner rather than later. It is not rocket science, and statistics support the claim that the earlier a case settles the lower the expense to achieve that settlement. If this is not enough to encourage someone to consider mediation sooner rather than later, then perhaps recent court statist ...

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Mitigation of Damages

Professional Obligations for the Expert Witness Computing Damages What can a court reasonably expect of value experts? What are value experts able to contribute to the proceedings? What about mitigation of damages, i.e., how should value experts address mitigation and do so when the retaining counsel is disinterested in discussing mitigation of damages? In this article, Dr. Kreuter, a Marks Paneth, LLP part ...

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Lost Profits and Other Commercial Damages

A Case Study (Part II of II) This is the second of a two-part article. In the first part, Dr. Needham provided factual background regarding this commercial damages case where he served as plaintiff’s damages expert—the case ultimately went to trial. In this second part, Dr. Needham describes the financial data, discovery challenges, the Daubert motion to disqualify him, how the case was decided, and then se ...

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Lost Profits and Other Commercial Damages

A Case Study (Part I of II) Most commercial damages assignments call for the calculation of lost profits or lost business value. However, some cases, particularly those relating to lost profits, contain elements of additional economic damages. These situations require the expert to focus on multiple areas of loss while insuring each element does not contain losses claimed by another. In this two-part articl ...

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Damages Remedies

A Closer Look at Unjust Enrichment Financial experts typically calculate damages remedies that focus on a plaintiff's loss that is quantified either through lost profits or lost business value. In contrast, unjust enrichment is a damages remedy that measures the defendant's benefit or gain. While the three remedies all serve to quantify damages, an expert must understand the similarities and differences amo ...

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Abolition of Mediation Joint Session

Can it Hurt the Expert? Mediation is a dispute resolution process. So, what is a process? A process is a procedure, a course of action, or a methodology. Mediation has been around for several thousand years, and the joint session has always been a pivotal part of that process. Historically, the mediation process included beginning with a joint session. Mediation is after all a facilitated negotiation. When ...

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How Much Information Do You Share With Your Spouse?

In re Marriage of Schneeweis, 2016 IL. App. 2d No. 140147 Marital law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In this article, Daniel R. Stefani discusses a recent Illinois Appellate Court case where the issue before the court was whether husband dissipated assets. The term dissipation is defined and the question raised is how much information do you share with your spouse and how that can impact an equit ...

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Impact of Inadequate Discovery

in a Divorce Proceeding Not all is fair in love and war when it comes to the fight for business records within a matrimonial action. When one spouse is denied adequate discovery, his or her case can quickly begin to unravel. Usually, some records are available either because the spouse had some previous access or there was a partial document production. Business appraisers should consider all appropriate me ...

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Analyzing Lost Earning Capacity for the Self-Employed

Income of Partners and Owners of Pass-through Entities (Part I of II) This is a two-part article where the author discusses the methodology for assessing the lost earning capacity of a self-employed person. This, basically, is the same as that for a traditional wage and salary worker. Even though the methodology is the same, assessing the data for the self-employed is different. The loss calculations are no ...

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