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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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Lost Profits

Moving Forward During COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic has brought difficulties and major lifestyle changes for most of us. This is particularly true for the business world. Some firms have been negatively impacted. Some businesses have benefitted from the change in our lifestyles. Because causation is an important consideration in commercial damages cases, experts assigned to estimate lost profits must consi ...

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Are Terminal Values Typically Too High, Too Low, Or Just Right?

Beyond the Tale of the Three Bears Terminal values deserve substantial attention for the reason that that is where (most of) the value is found. Some approaches to terminal value tend to result in higher values, whereas other approaches tend to result in lower values. This article provides some insight into the implied assumptions and relative biases of these approaches. Terminal values deserve substantial ...

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Construction Claims Damages

The Proof is in the Accounting Principles When presenting or rebutting construction claims, there is merit in the forensic accounting adage, “Follow the money trail you will find what happened” The reasonableness and reliability of the construction damages claimed on a project is in the accounting principles. The message in this article is how a forensic accountant can benefit the construction claims proces ...

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Case Study

Changing Assignments from Fairness Opinion to Business Valuation Commercial damages matters can be challenging and require a flexible mind when “wrapping your brain” around the issues and facts of a particular case. Beginning in the first quarter of 2019 and running through October 2020, I had an assignment which began with a simple fairness opinion letter and ended with my testifying at trial to defend my ...

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Intended and Actual Losses

Briefing on Criminal Fraud Economic Loss Calculations One of the more exciting and challenging parts of our profession is learning about our judicial system. Professionals whose practice involves economic loss calculations should consider educating themselves on the similarities and differences between “actual” and “intended” losses prior to providing expert testimony or offering an opinion. In my research, ...

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Distance Mediation

How to Increase Settlement Rates Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, distance mediation was used; however, not extensively and historically, settlement rates were significantly lower than traditional “face-to-face” mediations. With social distancing now in place, mediating by phone and/or video conferencing is getting a closer look. Although the mediation process essentially remains the same for distance med ...

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COVID-19 and Bottom-Line Impacts in Trademark Litigation

A Q&A with Joel Steckel The immediate economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic extend beyond their most visible manifestations in the shutting of businesses and the dramatic rise in unemployment. A more subtle consequence that has arisen in the marketplace pertains to companies’ reputations. Brands and the public’s perception of them are impacted not only by a firm’s own actions but also by the actions ...

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The Internal Revenue Code’s §170

Charitable Contribution Deductions (Part II of II) The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and subsequent tax acts, such as the CARES Act, have complicated charitable giving and estate planning. This second part of this two-part article provides an overview of the limits placed on conservation easements. (Read Part I here.) In this second of a two-part article, the limits on the value and legality of conservation ...

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