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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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The Court Has Spoken

You’re In or You’re Out (Part VII of VII) Will your testimony be admissible? Inadmissible? This series was written to help newly minted (and experienced) experts be mindful of Daubert, or a state’s own variation of Daubert or Frye throughout the litigation process. The key points made include: remember to only accept cases that you are qualified for, ensure you have a sound methodology in which to form your ...

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The Income Tax Treatment of Economic Damages Awards

Part 1: The Income Tax Treatment of Personal Economic Damages Awards Financial experts are frequently asked about the tax impact of damage awards, both paid and received. The complexities of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) and judicial interpretations thereof make determining the taxability of receipts or payments difficult. The same is true when dealing with the taxability of economic damages awarded to ...

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Lost Profits versus Lost Business Value

Differences Between the Two Values Damages remedies often focus on lost profits and lost business value, with such remedies typically calculated by financial experts. There continues to be a trend in the courts to preclude experts from testifying, or to disregard them altogether because their opinion does not meet the reasonable certainty standard. Either of these outcomes can be a devastating result for th ...

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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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Evaluating the Valuation Expert

Challenges and the Emergence of Peer Review Judges are often required to pick apart complicated expert analysis to assess the validity and reliability of an expert’s work when its admissibility is challenged. But in the professional domain, we would not expect a tax auditor to be able to analyze a report on macroeconomic theory. Why, then, do we ask courts to perform these analyses in fields from accounting ...

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