News Category: expert testimony


Chancery achieves fair value with three imperfect valuation techniques

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Perhaps Chancellor Bouchard thought of Aristotle when he recently ruled in a statutory appraisal action that, even though the results of three common valuation techniques were unreliable indicators of value, in combination they established fair value. Read more >>

Tax Court revaluation means big-time savings for taxpayer

In an estate tax dispute that has lasted for over five years, the Tax Court recently revalued the decedent’s minority interest in an Oregon family business by order of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The recalculation proved a boon to the taxpayer. Read more >>

Expert report proves best defense against Daubert offense

In litigation, attacks on expert opinions are par for the course, but a sound expert report can ward off a Daubert challenge and clear the way to admission at trial, as a recent fraud case illustrates. Read more >>

How else to look at the 'Gawker' case: It's about unjust enrichment

It's not your average lost profits or lost business opportunity case. Rather, Hogan's damages experts were successful in quantifying damages under the less-common unjust enrichment theory. Rather than focusing on the damages to Hogan, the plaintiff, stemming from Gawker's misconduct, the experts calculated the gain to Gawker, the defendant, from the misuse of Hogan's assets, that is, his brand and other intellectual property. Read more >>

Tenn. appeals court muddies the waters regarding use of DLOM in divorce valuation

So much for clarity. A recent Tennessee appeals court decision hinged on the issue of whether a marketability discount was appropriate in the valuation of the husband’s interests in three real estate development partnerships. In reviewing the trial court’s analysis, the appeals court suggested that the lower court misunderstood the principle behind DLOM but ultimately upheld the lower court’s findings. The resulting decision leaves valuators in a pickle as to when to apply the discount and at what rate. Read more >>

Why Del. Chancery rejects merger price in 'Dell' statutory appraisal action

It decided to give no weight to the final merger price—$13.75 per share, and a special $0.13 dividend issued to all shareholders—but rely exclusively on its own post-transaction DCF analysis to determine the fair value of the company. In so doing, the court deviated from a number of Chancery decisions—several issued in 2015—that found the deal price was the most reliable indicator of the company’s fair value. Read more >>

Court admits expert's anti-'Georgia-Pacific' royalty calculation

There is no absolute requirement to develop a reasonable royalty based on the Georgia-Pacific framework. That's the takeaway from a Daubert ruling in which the court denied the defendant's motion to preclude the testimony of the opposing damages expert, who determined a reasonable royalty based on market data instead of the customary Georgia-Pacific factors. Read more >>

Wholesale exclusion of expert testimony contravenes Daubert, 2nd Circuit says

One error in an extensive economic analysis does not automatically call into question the entire expert opinion, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals recently said in the context of a securities fraud lawsuit involving the drug giant Pfizer. With this pronouncement the appeals court resuscitated a class action that had died after the district court excluded the plaintiffs' loss causation and damages expert under Daubert based on errors in the expert's event study. Deprived of the testimony, the plaintiffs were unable to prove two critical elements of their claim. Read more >>

Why Bankruptcy Court declines to be bound by divorce valuation

Following the divorce, the husband filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and asked for confirmation of his plan. The issue was whether the plan could meet the liquidation test applicable under the Bankruptcy Code’s section 1325(a)(4). In essence, the test requires that creditors in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy receive present value payments that are at least equal to the amount the creditors would receive in a Chapter 7 case. Read more >>

NY fair value ruling deals blow to DLOM

The case featured experts whose professional backgrounds and valuation approaches could hardly be more dissimilar. Their value determinations were light-years apart. In trying to make sense of the conflicting testimony and achieve a plausible and fair result, the court decided it could not totally trust either valuation. Although it adopted the defense expert's valuation, it made two consequential changes to it. One was getting rid of the expert's admittedly high and insufficiently explained 35% discount for lack of marketability. Read more >>

Industry-specific empirical support for passive appreciation

A survey is open for respondents to indicate which industries they would like to see analyzed for economic causal factors and their elasticities in order to better determine passive appreciation in business assets in a divorce context. The resulting analyses will be published. Read more >>

New Jersey DLOM ruling inches ancient dissenting shareholder suit to conclusion

The parties' most recent fight focused on whether the prevailing expert's DCF analysis embedded a marketability discount to account for illiquidity. If not, the trial court had to decided what the appropriate DLOM rate was. The plaintiff-selling shareholder argued in favor of a zero DLOM, the defendants-buying shareholders presented an expert valuation that specified a 35% DLOM, based on the expert's use of a market approach. Read more >>

Practice tips for valuation experts from tax court insiders

Judge Laro reminded experts to guard against domineering attorneys who insist on reviewing draft opinions and seek to nudge an expert into achieving a predetermined result. Valuation experts need to know the discovery rules (Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) rather than assume that all of the attorney-expert communication is protected. Read more >>

Destruction of financial evidence trips up guilty party's own experts

As a damages expert, what do you do when your own client has destroyed vital financial information? Two highly educated finance professionals working on a contract case solved this dilemma by relying exclusively on the opposing side's sales projections, only to see their analysis buckle under a Daubert challenge. Read more >>

Mississippi high court sets record straight on assessing economic damages

A Mississippi trial court’s cavalier approach to determining economic damages in a dispute involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and usurpation of a business opportunity triggered a petition with the state Supreme Court to clarify the applicable measure of damages. The trial court used the wrong standard and accounting procedures for calculating the loss to the plaintiff, the Supreme Court decided. Read more >>

Key ruling on enterprise goodwill from South Carolina Supreme Court

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