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Colvin v. Syrian Arab Republic

In wrongful death suit arising from extrajudicial killing of famed war correspondent, court credits plaintiff expert’s “reasonable estimate” of loss of prospective income and benefits but finds expert failed to offset amount by consumption costs; court asks for updated expert report.

Court Awards Loss of Income Damages Related to Acclaimed War Correspondent’s Killing

In wrongful death suit arising from extrajudicial killing of famed war correspondent, court credits plaintiff expert’s “reasonable estimate” of loss of prospective income and benefits but finds expert failed to offset amount by consumption costs; court asks for updated expert report.

In ESOP Discovery Dispute, Court Affirms Protection of Expert Drafts Under Rule 26

In ESOP case, court, citing Rule 26 of federal rules of civil procedure, denies defendant trustee’s motion to compel disclosure of information related to DOL expert’s prior work in valuation industry and expert’s other work for DOL on ESOP-related matters.

Acosta v. Wilmington Trust, N.A. (II) (Graphite)

In ESOP case, court, citing Rule 26 of federal rules of civil procedure, denies defendant trustee’s motion to compel disclosure of information related to DOL expert’s prior work in valuation industry and expert’s other work for DOL on ESOP-related matters.

Simplified MUM approach weathers attacks in Illinois divorce case

One of the key questions in an Illinois divorce case was how to allocate goodwill between enterprise and personal goodwill.

My Imagination v. M.Z. Berger & Co. (II)

Court denies plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration, affirming earlier finding that the expert did not offer an opinion as to damages for loss of business value; expert never offered any opinion of business’s value at any time, court says.

In Gatekeeper Role, Court Trains Attention on Expert Methodology, Not Conclusions

In ESOP case pivoting on valuation, court denies parties’ Daubert challenges; court notes “gatekeeping” means focusing “on principles and methodology, not the conclusions that [the experts] generate”; parties’ objections are mostly quarrels with opposing expert’s conclusions, court finds.

Acosta v. Wilmington Trust, N.A. (I) (Graphite)

In ESOP case pivoting on valuation, court denies parties’ Daubert challenges; court notes “gatekeeping” means focusing “on principles and methodology, not the conclusions that [the experts] generate”; parties’ objections are mostly quarrels with opposing expert’s conclusions, court finds.

‘Mixed-purpose’ valuation is discoverable, New York court rules

When it comes to document discovery, the “why and “when” matter greatly, as a recent New York ruling centering on a valuation report makes clear.

Appeals Court Upholds Grocery Store Buyout Ruling and Fair Value Determination

Appeals court upholds district court’s buyout order of minority shareholder’s interests in related family businesses (grocery store chain) as well as district court’s fair value determination; district court’s valuation “falls squarely” between trial experts’ valuations, appeals court says.

Lund v. Lund (II)

Appeals court upholds district court’s buyout order of minority shareholder’s interests in related family businesses (grocery store chain) as well as district court’s fair value determination; district court’s valuation “falls squarely” between trial experts’ valuations, appeals court says.

2018 Key Business Valuation and Damages Cases

Choices for the most interesting and pivotal court cases of 2018 involving business valuation issues.

Stephanos v. Stephanos (In re Marriage of Stephanos)

Trial court adopts goodwill value determination of wife’s expert (residual method) as well as expert’s finding that none of goodwill in family business is personal to owner spouse; business’s success was not dependent on owner’s continued presence or his execution of a noncompete, court says.

Divorce Court Finds No Personal Goodwill Value in Single-Owner Business

Trial court adopts goodwill value determination of wife’s expert (residual method) as well as expert’s finding that none of goodwill in family business is personal to owner spouse; business’s success was not dependent on owner’s continued presence or his execution of a noncompete, court says.

Cargotec Corp. v. Logan Industries

Appeals court majority strikes down lost profits and diminished business value awards, finding plaintiff failed to show causation and its damages expert based his calculations on management’s business plan without substantiating the plan’s underlying (unreasonable) gross profit goals.

Court’s Majority Says Expert’s Reliance on Management Projections Was Unreasonable

Appeals court majority strikes down lost profits and diminished business value awards, finding plaintiff failed to show causation and its damages expert based his calculations on management’s business plan without substantiating the plan’s underlying (unreasonable) gross profit goals.

Tax Court’s Exelon ruling, turning on compromised appraisals, withstands appeal

In 2016, Tax Court Judge Laro ruled on the legitimacy of a series of Section 1031 transactions involving Exelon, an Illinois-based energy giant.

Louisiana Courts Wrestle With Treatment of Debt in Community Property Valuation

In community property partition case, appeals court upholds valuation of community-owned firm; firm is not responsible for debts of an acquired company that are personally guaranteed by husband but not by express corporate contract; valuation must not subtract debt amount.

Henry v. Henry

In community property partition case, appeals court upholds valuation of community-owned firm; firm is not responsible for debts of an acquired company that are personally guaranteed by husband but not by express corporate contract; valuation must not subtract debt amount.

Infogroup, Inc. v. Database USA.com LLC

Ruling on defendant’s post-trial motions, court reduces damages for copyright infringement where plaintiff’s expert included in damage calculation defendant’s profits for years for which the plaintiff failed to show “causal nexus” between profits claimed and the actual infringement.

Court Limits Damages for Copyright Infringement, Noting Lack of ‘Causal Nexus’

Ruling on defendant’s post-trial motions, court reduces damages for copyright infringement where plaintiff’s expert included in damage calculation defendant’s profits for years for which the plaintiff failed to show “causal nexus” between profits claimed and the actual infringement.

Ferraro v. Convercent, Inc.

In contract and tort case, court declines to exclude plaintiff’s damages expert, noting court’s gatekeeping function “is not a role that emphasizes exclusion of expert testimony”; expert’s background in economics and business valuation experience qualified him to value subject company.

Court Says Daubert’s ‘Gatekeeper’ Role Favors Inclusion, Not Exclusion

In contract and tort case, court declines to exclude plaintiff’s damages expert, noting court’s gatekeeping function “is not a role that emphasizes exclusion of expert testimony”; expert’s background in economics and business valuation experience qualified him to value subject company.

Failure to explain inputs gets expert excluded under Daubert

If more proof is necessary to show that courts across all legal fields dive deep into the details of valuation testimony, a recent damages case that arose in the context of a condemnation proceeding should do the trick.

Namerow v. PediatriCare Associates, LLC

In pediatrician buyout suit, court says practice’s operating agreement requires net worth calculation; court agrees with defense expert’s definition of “net worth” as the value of assets minus liabilities, as stated in the balance sheets, and rejects proposed inclusion of intangible assets.

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