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Financial Expert Witness Communication: A Practical Guide to Reporting and Testimony by Bradley J. Preber

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CHAPTER 2 Roles Suited for the Financial Expert

images THE “BIG THREE”: LIABILITY, CAUSATION, AND DAMAGES

In civil disputes to be resolved by formal litigation or alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration, there are three areas that the financial expert witness may be asked to take on as assignments. They are liability, causation, and damages—the “Big Three” as listed in the sidebar. All three must be legally proven for monetary damages to be awarded to an injured party.

Liability

Civil liability is the legal determination that a party is responsible or accountable to another party for an injury caused by the first party’s wrongful act or omission. Typically, the responsible party is required to pay damages for the harm that it caused. In some cases, there are obligations other than damages, such as injunctions requiring or restraining certain parties’ actions. In layman’s terms, civil liability attaches when one party is to blame for causing harm to someone else. In legal terms, liability requires proof that the responsible party committed a wrongful act or omission that was the proximate cause of a harm or injury. In civil disputes, the plaintiff has the burden of proof, which is established by a preponderance of the evidence.

Liability is an “ultimate” issue that must be ...

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