Trends in Daubert challenges

The professionals who testify as experts – and the attorneys who retain them – are likely very familiar with the “Daubert Standard,” as challenges to experts and their testimony has become more and more commonplace since the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the 1999 ruling in Kumho …

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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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The amazing court reporters

I have testified at dozens of depositions and always had a court reporter present to transcribe my testimony. In my earlier days of testifying in a courtroom, a court reporter was always present. Today, court reporters in the courtroom are a rare sight. The courtrooms in Maricopa County Arizona Superior Court, for example, generally use …

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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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Forensic Accounting & Alternative Solutions to Resolving Disputes

As a forensic accountant, I was recently involved in the mediation process of a very complex divorce case. Due the nature of the case, preparing for trial would be a long and expensive process for my client. In addition, in order to resolve the issues satisfactorily for both parties, a creative, and somewhat nontraditional, approach …

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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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Deposition Testifying Tips for Beginners – Part II

We continue with more tips for the first-time deposition testifier. Read Part I here. More Easy Questions – You will be asked some more really easy questions related to such topics as the name of your employer, and a bit about your work history including your current position.  You may also be asked whether you …

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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 Role of the Expert Witness: Advocacy vs. Objectivity

Being a business valuator/expert witness often places the practitioner in the precarious position of deciding whether to be an advocate for their client’s position or an objective professional whose job it may be to not necessarily please the client. After many years of practice, it is very difficult for the practitioner to separate his or her …

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