Duties and Responsibilities of an Expert Witness in Finance

by Lalithaa

Expert witnesses play an important role in financial cases and are precious resources. However, parties must carefully consider their use. An expert witness can either help prove a point or give evidence that could lead to a different conclusion. 

Recommend a more qualified expert

If you’re considering hiring expert witness finance, you’ll want to hire someone with extensive industry experience. For instance, an expert witness with years of experience in banking could be a better choice for a case involving bank payments and kiting. They will have extensive knowledge of the processes and technologies involved in banking operations and be able to explain them clearly and easily.

While many financial experts are independent, some are affiliated with major universities or consultancies. Some have even served as Senior Financial Economists and Team Leaders at the Federal Reserve Bank. In addition, expert witnesses with this background have extensive experience in financial litigation and have published multiple professional articles.

Communicate effectively with the jury

While a jury’s average educational level is between sixth and ninth grade, it can sometimes be difficult to convey complex financial issues in layperson’s terms. Therefore, an excellent financial expert witness should understand the audience’s level of knowledge and avoid using jargon and academic jargon in their testimony. Instead, they should present complex information in easy-to-understand terms.

An expert witness should practice their presentation in front of several people before a trial. This way, they can get valuable feedback without being too direct. An expert witness should avoid wearing sexy clothes or speaking in a low, defensive tone. In addition, they should practice their delivery using a Zoom recording and ask someone else to listen to it before giving their testimony.

Evaluate technical skills

The financial world is complex, and experts in this field are vital to any dispute. Expert witnesses who specialize in one field area may have a different level of expertise. For example, an accounting expert may have more knowledge than someone specializing in taxation.

It is crucial to conduct your research before selecting a professional. You should check references and resume and analyze their history. Several commercial services can help you gather this information. It would be best if you met the expert face-to-face before committing. In addition to their technical knowledge, you should assess their presentation skills.

Evaluate professional experience

As the role of the financial expert witness increases in the litigation arena, it is essential to evaluate a potential witness’s expertise in this field. As a result, the following checklist can help you assess a potential witness’s qualifications. While the checklist is not exhaustive, it should serve as a general guide for people evaluating financial experts.

Financial experts have extensive experience in a variety of areas. Typical practice areas include damage analysis, business valuation, and forensic accounting. Experts often have experience in the retail and wholesale food industries and merger and acquisition litigation. In addition, they have experience working with various financial institutions and have contacts within the industry.

Evaluate education

There are several things to consider while analyzing the tasks and training of an expert financial witness. First, the expert witness’s opinion report must be relevant to the issues. It should be written so that an average person can understand it without using language that would be too complex for them. It should also be checked for mathematical errors, misspellings, and inconsistent use of financial terms. Such errors can negatively impact an expert’s credibility.

An expert witness in finance may have many different areas of expertise. One specialty in this field is valuation, which involves determining the financial value of a business under legal requirements. These experts are often needed for litigation involving financial reporting, acquisitions, and tax matters. They may also be required for estate planning, business-oriented accounting, and ownership interest transfers.

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