The increased use of economic experts in commercial damage cases, as well as in personal injury and wrongful death cases, has resulted in the emergence of a group of experts who offer economic services but are unqualified and ill-trained in economics.
Commercial damages occur in breach-of-contract and business-tort cases that result in claims of lost profits or diminished business goodwill or business value. Intellectual-property-infringement cases and antitrust cases also can involve such loss claims. The measurement of damages in these types of cases follows a basic methodology, with some variations in intellectual-property matters. Measurement of damages in securities-fraud cases uses a different approach.
We all have used the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) method. Many of us would agree that it is generally the best, most comprehensive, theoretically correct valuation model. It also has an empirical reason to be the best, which is that many of us calculate our discount rates using the Ibbotson data in the SBBI annual yearbooks, which are based on publicly traded stock data.
The Vermont Supreme Court’s decision in Agency of Natural Resources v. Deso11 does not, so to speak, throw the baby out with the bathwater, but rather sets forward what can be seen as constituting part of a helpful framework for distinguishing between the two. Nor does the decision contain any self-contradictory implications