In EFFECTIVE VALUATION & LITIGATION SUPPORT IN CORPORATE SECURITIES LAWSUITS, forensic accounting expert witness Richard M. Squar, CPA, CVA, ABV, CFF, MBA-Taxation, writes:
CASE LITIGATION SUPPORT AREAS
• Early case involvement • Assisting in coordinating, selecting and supervising other experts on the case • Assessing the case • Critique of the opposition • Expert testimony • Rebuttal • Assistance in preparing briefs • Discovery • Data management • Preparation of interrogatories • Depositions • Research • Damage calculations
The effectiveness of the valuation expert’s relationship with the client and legal counsel is improved when clients work closely with the expert from the beginning of the case. Assessing the merits of the case by estimating a reasonable range of values and in weighing the risks involved in going to court can be helpful in determining settlement positions to negotiate. A decision to go to court will be based on sound assessment of the situation from a valuation viewpoint. The preparation for the litigation will usually be more organized and thorough.
The effective valuation expert can help coordinate other experts on the case where many are needed, such as in damage analysis cases. The valuation expert can assist in selecting and supervising other experts by providing contacts to find additional experts required to complement the valuation effort.
In assessing the case, the valuation expert determines the appropriate levels of value to consider. Relevant questions are developed that require answering by the valuation expert. There is added benefit in helping the client and attorney focus on relevant questions, in defining the case to the client’s advantage, and to achieving a successful outcome.
Critique of the opposition can occur at any time during the case. By reviewing the opposing expert’s report, the valuation expert determines a level of soundness to the report and position the opposing expert is relying upon. If the opposing expert’s work appears very sound, this might be influential in the client and attorney considering settlement proceedings seriously. If the opposing expert’s report is weak, then there may be excellent foundation for the client to pursue litigation in court.
Expert testimony is obviously a critical service to provide. Rebuttals to the opposing expert’s work can take various forms, including noting mathematical errors to the court and providing substantial authority through research disputing an assumption or position taken by the opposing expert.
Richard M. Squar has over 23 years experience in public accounting providing expert advice in the areas of business valuations and litigation support; corporate, partnership and individual tax planning and representation before taxing authorities; and profit enhancement.