Serving as a Financial Expert in Litigation*
(a) Financial Expert Services Provided by CPAs and Others
Disputing parties and their legal counsel frequently engage experts to provide assistance in evaluating the financial and related business aspects of the issues in dispute. The financial expert has a responsibility to explore the facts and to reach an opinion on the financial and related business matters at hand, and to communicate that opinion to the trier of fact. The manner in which financial experts conduct their work and the way this process plays out depends on a number of variables including, most notably, the dispute resolution venue and its rules and procedures governing expert witnesses. For many years, the most common venues for civil litigation in the United States have been the federal and state court systems. This chapter will discuss financial expert services in the context of civil courts; however, many of the principles and frameworks outlined herein apply as well in other venues.
An expert opinion undergoes intense scrutiny and cross-examination by an opposing party, its counsel and experts, and the trier of fact. The processes, principles, and professional and legal standards discussed in this chapter and throughout this handbook ensure that financial experts deliver services in a professional manner that gives all parties an opportunity to test, challenge, support, or controvert the opinion(s) ...