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Don’t assume causation, AICPA panel warns damages experts

Causation presents one of the most vexing problems for damages experts. But ignoring causation and simply working off the assumption that it exists may end up being the biggest problem for an expert. Read more >>

Trial court’s IPO valuation in fair value proceeding holds up on appeal

A recent case shows just how difficult it is to value a startup. Here, there was an extra challenge because the subject was a pharmaceutical venture that required years of funding for the development of two drugs working toward FDA approval. The trial court needed to determine the fair value of the plaintiff’s interest prior to the company’s ultimate success. Read more >>

In unusual business tort case, court exhibits flexibility in terms of calculating damages

The 8th Circuit recently upheld a sizable damages award in an unusual business tort case litigated under Nebraska law. One noteworthy aspect in terms of determining economic damages was that the court allowed expert testimony regarding the loss of value to the plaintiff even though the plaintiff did not fail completely upon the wrongdoing. Read more >>

New edition of Understanding Business Valuation now available

In addition to revisions to existing material and examples, there’s new material on valuing stock options, preferred stock, debt, and startup ventures. Read more >>

ASA BVers convene in Houston for the Advanced BV Conference

The conference sessions were an excellent mix of theory and practice—ideas that you can use in your practice right away. Read more >>

Federal Circuit drills down into Panduit, apportionment, and lost profits

The Federal Circuit recently examined a paramount damages issue that comes up in patent cases: whether, in terms of calculating lost profits, the patent holder’s ability to meet the Panduit factors makes a separate apportionment analysis unnecessary. Read more >>

Management forecasts receive close scrutiny from courts

In assessing the soundness of valuations, courts in a variety of cases have been paying close attention to the management projections appraisers have used or decided not to use in performing their value analyses. If courts are scrutinizing projections for reliability and plausibility, experts hoping to prevail in the litigation context must do so as well. Read more >>

Management projections take center stage in bankruptcy case

In a complex bankruptcy case involving players in the petrochemical industry, the court trained its eyes on the management projections underlying a merger that led to the formation of a company that went bankrupt only a year after the close of the transaction. Read more >>

Chancery’s fusion valuation triggers remand and some words of wisdom by Del. Supreme Court

The Delaware Supreme Court recently overturned a 2016 ruling by the Delaware Court of Chancery that arrived at fair value by weighting the results of three valuation techniques equally. The high court's Chief Justice Strine, who once headed the Chancery, found this approach was problematic and used the decision to provide valuation advice to his successor, Chancellor Bouchard, who had overseen the appraisal proceeding. Read more >>

NJ court’s goodwill ruling comes in for harsh criticism from appellate panel

The flashpoint in a protracted New Jersey divorce proceeding was the valuation of the owner spouse's equity partner interest in a large law firm. A critical issue was whether the value of the interest should include an additional amount stemming from the firm's enterprise goodwill. The trial court's decision elicited stinging criticism from the appellate court. Read more >>

WA court’s goodwill analysis looks a lot like appreciation analysis

A recent Washington state divorce case included a noteworthy discussion of goodwill where the owner spouse’s business arguably was separate property. Divorce experts will notice that the court’s goodwill analysis has much in common with an appreciation analysis. Read more >>

‘Fanciful’ projections make DCF unreliable valuation tool in Delaware appraisal case

Management projections are the sine qua non of a discounted cash flow analysis, and, in a recent statutory appraisal action involving the pet product giant PetSmart, the Delaware Court of Chancery found they did not cut the mustard. The court called the projections, “at best, fanciful,” and concluded the most accurate measure of fair value was the merger consideration. Read more >>

Trial court leans on peer review service for Daubert determination

When, in a Mississippi accounting malpractice case, the trial court used an outside "technical advisor" to determine the admissibility of the parties’ proposed expert testimony, the Daubert hearing assumed a whole other dimension. It was no longer simply a battle between the opposing experts, but an occasion for outside experts to judge the work of the parties’ experts. Read more >>

Court adheres to earlier ESOP liability and damages rulings

In a controversial ESOP case that turned on the trustee’s oversight of the pretransaction valuation work, the defendant trustee recently filed a motion for reconsideration. It argued the court had committed errors related to its liability and damages findings. Although the court owned up to some mistakes, including a misunderstanding of the concept of beta, it ultimately stuck to its earlier decision. Read more >>

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