In Cross-Examining a Financial Expert, fraud expert witness Mr. Henry J. Kahrs, CPA/ABV/CFF, CMA, CFE, CM of RGL Forensics writes:
The best way that attorneys can prepare for this important moment in the courtroom is to start with three primary steps. First, gain an understanding of the basic methodologies used in forensic damage analysis and the generally accepted processes employed in the application of the methodologies. Second, become familiar with records and resources available to the opposing expert in your case. And finally, take a comprehensive discovery deposition of the expert that locks down the opinions that will be offered at trial. Prepared with this foundation, you will be well armed to face the opposing financial expert.
Generally, there are three approaches to the cross-examination of a financial expert:
· Exclude or discredit the financial expert’s opinion
· Put into question the expert’s credibility or integrity, or
· Support your own legal theory or assumption by using the opposing expert’s opinions or calculations.
Regardless of the approach you adopt in cross-examination, your success is dependant on understanding the basic approaches and methodologies employed by financial experts. Because the specific methodology will vary from case to case, this article cannot address the plethora of details and variations that you will encounter in your career. What is presented here are some basics of forensic financial analysis to help you develop a plan and approach to cross-examining these experts.