Archive 2015-92: Expert Testimony




Archive 2015-92: Expert Testimony: Where Truth and Advocacy Collide

**Webinar92 Live Broadcast Date: December 15, 2015 1:00-3:00 pm EST**

VPS StraightTalk Webinar Series: Expert Testimony: Where Truth and Advocacy Collide with Michael G. Kaplan, CPA/ABV/CFF, CVA, MAFF

Business Valuation and Financial Forensics Experts are commonly presented at trial to testify as to their opinions of the value of various business interests. Notwithstanding their similar education, training and experience, opposing experts often present divergent and conflicting opinions. The differences may result from reliance upon different evidence, embracing different assumptions, or different perspectives as to objectivity and advocacy. In this session we will explore the dynamics introduced by counsel, the litigants, the profession and the legal system that challenge the expert’s objectivity and create risk to the expert’s credibility. We will also identify strategies that financial experts can employ to insulate themselves from toxic influences and maintain their objectivity and credibility.

Webinar Outline:

  • What do judges and jurors really think about expert witnesses?
  • The “problem” from the perspective of the judge, the jurors, the expert and the attorney.
  • The expert’s “Truth vs. Advocacy” dilemma.
  • The four facets of expert testimony.
  • Reasons that experts are more malleable than fact witnesses.

  • Critical points in the business valuation engagement.

  • Counsel’s approaches to biasing an expert’s opinions
  • Strategies to defeat counsel’s attempt to shape expert opinions.
  • Using professional standards to bolster credibility.
  • Uncovering advocacy in the opposing expert’s work.
  • Warning signals
  • Best practices

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify how the line between objectivity and advocacy can become blurred.

  • Reconcile the divergence between the expert’s role of objectivity and counsel’s role of advocacy.

  • Recognize the actions of counsel and the litigant that are directed toward reshaping the expert’s opinions.

  • Explain how counsel may attempt to influence the expert’s perspectives and opinions through selective document production and discovery.

  • Proactively apply professional standards to insulate experts from influences of advocacy.

  • Identify and respond to the challenges faced by judges and juries in evaluating the opinions of conflicting experts.


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