CPAs who testify – can they be advocates for their clients?

I was approached by a prospective client a few years ago requiring forensic accounting services in connection with his divorce. The prospective client made it clear to me what his ultimate objective was. He told me, “I want you to review documents I’m going to show you and conclude with me that my wife stole …

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Testifying for the first time – minimizing the jitters

In my former life – that is, before I became an accountant – as a police patrolman and detective on the Tucson, Arizona Police Department, I had the opportunity to testify on several criminal-type cases. Back in those days I would get pretty nervous before each of my court appearances. The mere pressure of waiting …

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Why CPA Testifying Experts Can’t Accept Contingent Fee Engagements

Attorneys are often asked to take on a litigation assignment where there is a potential for a large monetary amount to be awarded to their clients by the court. They may take on the work solely based on a contingent fee arrangement with their client. What this usually means is that if the attorney wins …

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Save Courtroom Time & Promote Collaboration Between CPA Experts

When I have to testify regarding my opinion of value regarding the ownership interest in a business, I have found a particular strategy that speeds up my time on the witness stand. The strategy often helps settle not only business valuation differences between appraisers, but those relating to economic damages cases as well – before …

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In Federal Tax Court Your Report Is Your Testimony

The level of detail and the manner of explanation in a valuation report for tax compliance purposes is extremely important as the report serves as the expert’s direct testimony in Federal Tax Court. It’s interesting to observe the important steps that families take to protect their assets – hiring top wealth management teams, tax consultants, …

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Testifying Awareness – Why CPA Experts Should Be Careful of What They Write

CPAs who have been retained as testifying expert witnesses often prepare a written report, sometimes with accompanying exhibits, in support of their opinions to be expressed in the courtroom.  Experienced CPAs who do this sort of thing typically include a statement of their qualifications as a part of their reports.  This statement of qualifications, or …

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Testifying Awareness – Black Hats in the Courtroom

When I was a young boy watching western movies, you could always tell who the good and bad guys were.  It was easy.  The good guys always wore white hats and the bad guys always wore black hats – well, most of the time anyway.  The black hat guys were just plain mean and ornery …

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The Importance of Courtroom Demeanor When Testifying

It was a bit unnerving to me when I looked over at the jury and saw two of the jury members dozing. This actually happened to me early in my career providing litigation support services as a CPA expert witness.  As a former police officer and detective on the Tucson, Arizona Police Department I had …

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