Expert witnesses must be credible in the eyes of the court or arbitrator. They must explain their opinions in simple terms so the trier of fact can understand them.
This includes demonstrating their expertise in lost profits, economic damages, and damage assessment calculations. Additionally, financial experts must be prepared to answer questions from the opposing attorney during cross-examination.
An expert witness finance can provide critical insights whether you’re handling an insurance claim, a corporate litigation case, or an intellectual property dispute. These experts can suggest economic damages, testify on causation, and help a jury understand complex financial matters.
They are in high demand, especially for complex litigation cases. But they are also being challenged more and more by courts, particularly concerning their methodologies and relevance. As a result, attorneys and their experts need to be more stringent in preparation.
The Enron scandal, for example, revealed a web of accounting manipulation and fraud perpetrated by the company’s top executives. Forensic accounting experts played a key role in untangling these issues and quantifying the massive financial losses suffered by shareholders. These experts often divide their time between consulting, teaching, and research. Their experience, reputation, and knowledge help them withstand challenges in court and depositions. They work hard to condense complex financial procedures into simple terms that a jury can easily understand.
In the case of Enron, forensic accounting expert witnesses uncovered a complex web of financial manipulation and accounting irregularities that shocked the business world. Their testimony was critical in securing convictions and prompting significant corporate governance reforms.
Courts are increasingly focused on ensuring that damage experts’ methodologies and analyses are sound. To avoid excluding their opinions, attorneys must ensure that their expert’s damages calculations are well-supported and defensible.
Moreover, suppose the expert is testifying based on experience. In that case, she must be able to explain why her experience provides sufficient grounding for her opinion and how her expertise can reliably apply to the facts of the case. Otherwise, the judge will likely reject her testimony as unreliable under Daubert. Forensic accountants who specialize in analyzing complex financial issues and auditing companies in various industries can help strengthen the credibility of an expert’s testimony.
Expert witnessing includes producing reports that contain evidence, opinions, additional details, conclusions, data, and more. These reports are used to help the court resolve disputes.
Often, a financial expert’s litigation support work involves preparing and reviewing documents for trial or arbitration. This can include reviewing financial statements, drafting expert reports, and providing expert testimony.
The expert’s experience and education in banking, corporate securities, and forensic accounting allow them to translate complex financial procedures into terms the judge or jury understands. This also helps them to anticipate questions from the opposing party and provide rebuttals. This enables the expert to maintain the court’s attention.
The expert’s understanding of the value and importance of a detailed, visual approach to expert testimony also benefits clients. This enables them to create an easy-to-understand roadmap for the judge, jury, or arbitrator. This is especially important when addressing technical matters.
Expert witnesses are often called upon to testify in court or arbitration. Their opinions are critical in financial disputes, and they can help attorneys suggest economic damages, provide testimony on causation, and help a jury better understand complex finance-related matters.
These experts must be credible and have excellent communication skills. They must also be able to clearly explain financial concepts and transactions in ways that are easy for lay people to understand.
They must stand up under cross-examination and be ready for challenging questions from opposing counsel. They must be able to provide detailed explanations and logical perceptions while remaining objective throughout the deposition process. In addition, experts must follow the rules of evidence regarding expert witness testimony. Under Rule 702, expert witness testimony is considered valid if it is based on sufficient facts, reliable principles, and methodologies and aids the trier of fact in determining a matter in controversy.