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.
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.
I last wrote about walking and my personal goal to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps each day. In that post, I reported that I had walked 10,000 or more steps every day in November and did the same thing in December, up to and including New Year’s Eve. After a major setback, I am happy to announce I crossed the 10,000 step daily goal for the first time since December 31st.
My last post described an early promissory note valuation that provided me with an object lesson in humility. This post is the follow-up to show that it is possible to learn from such lessons and to lay the groundwork for future growth. The ending of this two-part series is happier than its beginning!
While working on the valuation of a series of promissory notes recently, I recalled a case involving my very first note valuation. It reminded me once again that if an appraiser (or any professional) desires an object lesson in humility, he or she just needs to look at a report (or other work product) prepared 30 (or 10, or even five) years ago.
The Reason. That’s why clients and prospects call professional service professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, financial planners, and yes, business appraisers. But when a client or prospect has a reason to seek out someone with your professional skills and experience, what is the Reason they should call you?
When I was a young business appraiser, or well, when I was a new but not so young business appraiser, the valuation of illiquid minority interests involved developing a base value for a business and then applying two big discounts, a minority interest discount (MID), and then, a marketability discount, aka DLOM. This post is about the first, now disappearing, minority interest discount.
This week’s post is about a very recent statutory fair value case involving a real estate holding company in New York. The case settled, favorably for the plaintiff/shareholder, after opening arguments at the beginning of trial. The key business valuation question was that of the appropriate marketability discount in a New York fair value determination. All the arguments are shared and analyzed. If you were the holding company, would you have settled?
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.
At the end of every year, I try to make time for introspection and thinking about the future. When the mind is open, many things are possible. Last night, while sleeping, I dreamed about priorities in a variety of ways. When I awoke, the thought at the forefront of my mind was: dream it, think it, and do it, now.