11 Tasks A Valuation Expert Consultant May Be Involved With
In litigation, it is often necessary for the attorney to hire an expert as a consultant to help win the case at trial if any, or reach a fair settlement during mediation for their clients.
Because the consulting expert’s work is generally not discoverable (unless in exceptional situations where one party hires all available experts) as oppose to a testifying expert whose work is discoverable, the consulting expert may have to be involved in the following 11 tasks:
1- The Initial Analysis of The Case.
Retaining a consultant early in the process helps determine the probability of success of the case. The consultant expert could conduct preliminary investigations and analyses that could help counsel make informed decisions about how to proceed with prosecution, defense, or settlement of the case.
2- Assist in The Formulation of Questions For Interrogatories.
Because interrogatories are often the first step in the collection of information necessary to determine the scope of the economic issues, value or damages to the plaintiff, valuation experts are in good position to help counsel in the formulation of questions or answers to interrogatories as they relate to the issues at stake.
3- Assist in The Development of Testifying Experts’ Valuation Document Lists.
Putting together a list of documents needed by the testifying expert is best done with the assistance of an expert. Counsel will be well served to use one who will help gather the appropriate information pertinent to the value of the entity.
4- Review of Documents for Relevance or Veracity.
Valuation experts-consultants can provide needed expertise in determining whether or not the documents provided through discovery are complete and trustworthy. Not all documents are useful or even truthful.
5- Assist in the Selection of Testifying Expert Witnesses.
A valuation expert consultant can help counsel select the appropriate valuation analyst to testify as expert witness. As an expert, he/she knows other well-respected experts in the community who are credible in giving testimony.
6- Help Counsel Develop Depositions Questions.
Here, the valuation expert-consultant can really have a significant impact on the types of questions the counsel may ask the opposing experts during depositions, to track down all pertinent opinions and their foundation. The formulation of those questions is critical to achieve the objectives of counsel.
7- Assist Counsel In Reviewing Other Experts’ Opinions.
Wise counsel may ask the valuation expert consultant to perform a thorough review of appraisal reports or other work products of experts retained by other parties and analyze its usefulness concerning counsel’s legal strategy. The consultant can help discover errors or complicated issues such as valuation or selection methods that could cost the report credibility at trial. Review for compliance with applicable valuation standards is more than useful for counsel.
8- Assist Counsel In Preparing For The Direct Testimony Of Testifying Expert Witnesses.
Good direct testimony is the first line of defense to cross-examination and the consulting expert is qualified to assist by testing the methodology employed by the expert witness and helping the expert anticipate cross-examination. It is uncommon for expert witnesses to have access to good consultants in the preparation of their direct testimony. Given the opportunity, most expert would jump at it.
9- Assist Counsel In Preparing To Make And Defend A Daubert Challenge.
The valuation expert consultant can help counsel find significant flaws in the valuation performed by an opposing expert, or if the expert witness lacks relevant qualifications, he/she can provide specifics for use of counsel to attempt to exclude that expert’s testimony. It is called a Daubert Challenge.
10- Assist Counsel In The Development Of Plans For Cross-Examination Of Opposing Experts.
The expert consultant role is to assist counsel by preparing questions targeted to give light to the issues in dispute by the expert retained by both sides, and focus on the weaknesses, if any, in the opinion proffered by the other side.
11- Participate In Preparation For Settlement Meetings Or Mediation.
The consultant’s ability to look at a case without a report to defend and with substantial expertise in valuation can provide the client with the information that can let the client decide how to manage risk.
Business valuation consultants work with attorneys in a litigation setting to support their efforts to win cases for their clients. Most counsels seek the expertise and competence of Certified Valuation Analysts (CVA) who provide litigation support as part of their services. It is advisable to bring an expert early in the process to maximize his or her impact on the case.
Achille Ekeu, MBA, CVA
The Washington Valuation Group
Achille is a Certified Valuation Analyst and Member of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) in the DC-MD Chapter. He provides valuation services for Estate and Gift Tax, Buy Sale, Debt Financing, Buy-Sell Agreements and Litigation Support in Divorce cases. He can be contacted by phone at 240-274-9570 or by email at email@example.com.