While I have always focused on trying to make presentations for judges as understandable as possible, I have been thinking about this topic a good bit during the past year. By the time the year is over, I will have spoken on this topic of simplifying complex financial information for judges and juries a number of times around the country. Sometimes, it is a single graphic that helps convey the reasonableness of a complex series of opinions. This post is about one such graphic.
The issue of a premium for an S corporation at the enterprise level has been tried in a tax case, and the conclusion is none. This case marks a virtually complete valuation victory for the taxpayer. It also marks a threshold in the exhausting controversy over tax-affecting tax pass-through entities and applying artificial S corporation premiums when appraising S corporations (or other pass-through entities). This post provides an extensive review of the case.
How should an expert explain the basics of valuation to a judge or a jury or a business owner or an attorney who needs to understand something about value for court, for personal reasons, or for clients? This post provides seven ideas to discuss the essence of business valuation in terms that have proven successful for me.
Peter Mahler of New York Business Divorce Blog wrote a post today titled “Disclosure of Estate Tax Stock Appraisals in Shareholder Disputes.” The question addressed is if or whether, in the context of contested stock valuation procedures stemming from elections to purchase in statutory dissolution or dissenting shareholder cases, pre-litigation appraisals rendered for estate tax purposes (or other purposes) should be discoverable. That’s a good question. In this post, I’ll comment briefly as a business appraiser and businessman.
In May, I’ll be speaking at the AAML/BVR National Divorce Conference in Las Vegas. My topic is “How to Present Complex Finance to Judges.” Given that every divorce trial I’ve seen has been a bench trial, the topic focuses on judges. However, many of the same presentation techniques are certainly applicable to juries, as well.
The idea for this post is simple. I’m asking readers to provide me with examples of the best demonstratives they have seen to present complex financial and valuation issues in court. I’ll also be talking about concepts and ideas, so any thoughts regarding conceptual approaches or philosophical approaches to court testimony would also be helpful.
Video depositions, which were an infrequent event during my career for many years, are being used much more frequently these days. I’ve had depositions taken by video on many occasions to date. Until last week, I had never seen myself on the screen at a trial. I’ve only ever seen a video clip of another expert’s deposition one time, which was quite a few years ago.
Over the last 35 years or so, I’ve testified, at deposition or trial, about 200 times.
And so, I confess. My 10 “confessions,” though, do not reveal any startling secrets, but they do provide insight into how one (reluctant) expert views the job of expert witnessing after many years in the trenches.
Over the years, I have been called upon to review the work of other appraisers and damages experts. To a certain extent, the requirements for appraisal review come with the territory of being an expert witness. Appraisers for a side in litigation are often asked to review the work of the opposing expert. In the […]
Because of the large difference between the two appraisers, courts may assume that business valuation experts are being advocative. This judicial attitude is fairly widespread based on my experience, and accounts for many decisions where courts “split the valuation baby.” Perhaps, there’s more to the story. In this post, we discuss six sources of differences in valuation opinions between opposing experts.
When I began testifying, I looked for guidance, which I found in the booklet, “Testifying with Impact,” by a former professor and speech coach. Foremost, I learned the objective of testimony is not to read words or testify without notes, but to communicate thoughts, ideas, and knowledge. In this post, I reflect on the other simple but powerful lessons I learned from this booklet.