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Pre-Bankruptcy Bonuses

A Fair Payout or a Disaster Waiting to Happen In 2020 alone, approximately 7,300 companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Of those corporate debtors, 42 were found to have awarded pre-bankruptcy retention bonuses to a total of 223 executives, with the bonuses totaling approximately $165 million. These pre-bankruptcy bonuses were given to executives anywhere from five months to two days before the filing. ...

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Helping the Client Understand Technical Terms

To Create a Visual Picture Every profession has its own unique vocabulary, and although everyone in the field understands the terms or abbreviations, the public most likely does not. An easy way to help people understand technical terms or a profession's distinctive vocabulary is to create a “word picture” that links that unique word to some everyday idea or object. The author suggests that metaphors and si ...

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Lost Profits and COVID-19

A Unique Take on Causation Experts are becoming aware of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected lost profit analyses that include 2020 and 2021. The pandemic and the slow recovery have created separate causations which may or may not become the proximate cause of a damaged business’ loss. For this reason, the effects of COVID-19 must be considered as an alternative causation to lost profits. The lockdowns a ...

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The Innocent Spouse

The Pursuit of Equitable Relief, Separation of Liability, and/or Innocent Spouse Relief The consideration of innocent spouse relief, separation of liability, and equitable relief remedies are important to understand and consider for the purposes for which they were created. This article presents the different options and when one option may be more fitting than another and the relief accorded under each. Th ...

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S Corporation Valuations

Avoiding the Chaos and Selecting the Proper Methodology Over the past 20 years, business valuation analysts (and the courts) have debated whether there is an S corporation premium vis-à-vis the C corporation. This debate has led to the profusion of models and confusion. Four predominant models currently in use include: the Fannon, Delaware MRI, Van Vleet’s SEAM, and Treharne Model. Each of these models make ...

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Business Interruption Claims in a ‘Pandemic Economy’

Natural Disasters and Claims Submission Best Practices This article’s purpose is to alert practitioners to potential issues that may arise during the claims process as it relates to damages suffered from a catastrophic event, other than COVID-19, during the ‘pandemic economy. Readers need to be aware of and distinguish the two events when filing a claim. Because the influence of the ‘pandemic economy’ on bu ...

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Hack Damages

From Beginning to End The authors of this article discuss what happens when credit card data is stolen and personal identifiable information is stolen. They recount how this information is used and sold on the dark web and the issues that arise when damages are claimed. The case of Target Corporation Data Security Breach Litigation, Attias et al. v. Carefirst, Inc., and Wawa provides context and insight on ...

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Psychological and Emotional Roadblocks Hamper Negotiations

Reasons for Failed Negotiations There are many reasons for failed negotiations. Emotion is often a reason that people cannot resolve their differences. When individuals are highly emotional, they lose the ability to think clearly and to fully evaluate the risks in continuing the controversy. Pride, ego, vengeance, and many other factors combine and contribute to creating negotiation roadblocks. Many of thes ...

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Lost Profits

Questions from the NACVA Conference Regarding Discounting Lost Earnings for Self-Employed Individuals In June 2021, the author of this article made a virtual presentation at the NACVA and the CTI’s Business Valuation & Financial Litigation Hybrid & Virtual Super Conference. The presentation was “Estimating Economic Loss of the Self-Employed: Lost Profits or Lost Earning Capacity”. One of the attende ...

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Providing Expert Testimony in Business Valuation

What to Watch For and What to Watch Out For Expert testimony is not for the faint of heart. The best expert is that person who gathers trial experience well before the first testimony experience and in that time has not only developed the technical skills—meaning mastered and acknowledged the methodologies—but has also attended depositions, jury trials, and bench trials. The practitioner will also understan ...

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The Unimpeachable Rebuttal

Pearls Clutched and Loaded Have you ever read an opposing expert’s rebuttal of your expert report that left you clutching your pearls the rest of the day? With over 2,000 cases under my belt, I have had some true works of fiction written about me and still can be found clutching my proverbial pearls from time to time. This ninth article of the Unimpeachable Neutrality series discusses how to quell the no go ...

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Assessing Lost Profits

After the COVID-19 Pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic put a strain on the U.S. and global economies as well as individual lives throughout the world. As much as most people would like to put 2020 behind us, experts will have to continue to review financial returns from 2020 in the historical data for businesses claiming to have been injured by wrongful acts in 2021 and the future. As much as an expert would lik ...

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The Americans with Disabilities Act

Then and Now The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. It is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals in areas of public life, including jobs, transportation, schools, and most private and public places open to the public. The ADA has been amended over the years and this article provides an overview of the ADA, the proof that must be met to bring an action, an ...

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Is There An Ability to Recover for Business Losses

Related to Property Contaminated by COVID-19? Insurance policies for business interruption generally require the interruption of business operations to be the result of a “direct physical loss of or direct physical damage to property.” The crucial issue that business owners will face when making a claim for the losses that they will undoubtedly incur will be whether COVID-19 can constitute a “direct physica ...

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Stop, Collaborate, and Listen

Creative Settlement Strategies for Real Property Damages In challenging financial and operational times, parties need more creative tools than ever before to reach settlement and bring swift resolution before issues can become protracted litigation. Particularly in the realm of real estate and environmental damages, where mass tort and class action lawsuits are common and the stakes can be very high, Value ...

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Delaware Chancellor Rejects “Apples-to-Oranges” Damages Analysis

Dieckman v. Regency GP LP et al. This article discusses Dieckman v. Regency GP, LP, a recent Delaware Chancery Court decision. It is a reminder for valuation professionals providing damages testimony to be wary when mixing the use of the market approach and income approach when estimating damages in situations where multiple entities are involved. For example, using the income approach in valuing the allege ...

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Credit Card Rewards in Business Valuation for Divorce

Operating v. Non-Operating Assets With the growth of the digital economy, new types of assets have emerged that may be subject to property division in divorce. An increasingly common example is credit card reward points. No one may actually “own” these points, since the written agreements for rewards programs commonly state that points are not the cardholder’s property, have no cash value, and cannot be tra ...

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Creators Get a New Weapon to Protect Copyrights

A New Online Board to Punish Infringers If you are a creative person, copyright protection is important. It gives you the right to prevent others from copying your work, which is a valuable right that can be used, sold, or licensed. This article discusses the enforcement protection afforded under the Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). If you are a creative person, copy ...

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An Unimpeachable Treatise

Apropos Restrictions of Data, Time, and Financial Resources When uncertainty rises to a level—where facts appear to be indistinguishable from fiction—business valuation, forensic accounting, and litigation support must prioritize the virtues of unimpeachable neutrality, integrity, and objectivity. These three virtues provide a means of best assisting the trier of fact in distinguishing that which is mislead ...

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4 Steps to Enhance Negotiation Outcomes

Pack the Toolbox With Preparation, Information, Persuasion, and Closure It does not matter if you are negotiating with a client, attorneys on the other side of a case, co-workers, or a family member, the more negotiation tools in the proverbial "toolbox" the better the outcome. There are several key areas that one needs using this toolbox to focus on and those include: advance preparation, persuasion, acqui ...

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