Your browser is currently set to block JavaScript.

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.

After enabling javascript, please refresh the page to go back to experts.com site with full functionality

Would you turn off/on JavaScript?

It's a widely used language that makes the web what it is today, allowing for websites to be more responsive, dynamic, and interactive. Disabling JavaScript takes websites back to a time when they were simple documents without any other features.

What are the advantages of using JavaScript?

Speed. Since JavaScript is an 'interpreted' language, it reduces the time required by other programming languages like Java for compilation. JavaScript is also a client-side script, speeding up the execution of the program as it saves the time required to connect to the server.

banner ad
Experts Logo

articles

How Independent Is Your Expert?

By: Michael Garibaldi, CPA, ABV, CFF, CGMA
Tel: 516-288-7400
Email Mr. Garibaldi


View Profile on Experts.com.


It may be detrimental to an expert witness's credibility if even the appearance of a lack of independence exists. In today's legal environment, discrediting an expert based on his or her relationship with counsel, the client or the judge is common. Let's examine how to identify an expert's independence.

Standard Procedures To Identify Independence

Consider the following four procedures to verify your expert's independence:

  1. Ask the expert to contact all members of his or her firm to make certain that no member has potentially problematic relationships with any party involved in the case. These relationships may include:
    • Financial, such as partners in other businesses,
    • Family, either directly or by law, and
    • Any close personal relationships.
  2. Avoid billing relationships that are not your expert's standard practice. These may include premium billing rates or fixed-fee retainers regardless of actual time spent.
  3. Identify previous services provided to any party in interest.
  4. Keep in mind that if your expert typically represents only one side of an issue, he or she may lack independence. For instance, an expert who works only for plaintiffs or only for spouses employed outside the home could present the appearance of a lack of independence.

Naturally, the larger the firm, the more difficult the task of proving independence. And in smaller markets independence just may not be possible. But procedures should be in place to identify potential issues.

Even if the expert has determined he or she has no conflict of interest, the expert should disclose to you all relationships, past and present, with all parties that might appear to affect independence.

Turn an Expert Into a Consultant

What if your potential expert witness has great credentials but also independence issues? Consider using him or her as a financial consultant and finding another expert witness.

Using a financial consultant in addition to testifying experts gives you many advantages. As a consultant, the financial professional is free to act as an advocate for you and your client and to work actively toward a winning solution for your side. As an advocate, the consultant can pursue options that will provide the best results for your client and determine a strategy for achieving those results. With a financial advocate on the litigation team, the outcome of the case is more likely to provide positive results.

Can Your Expert Witness Pass the Independence Test?

Ultimately, you must decide whether a conflict of interest or an independence issue exists that may affect the ability to use your expert in court. A little protection up front can help you avoid serious repercussions down the road.


Michael J. Garibaldi, CPA, ABV, CFF, CGMA, has a strong background providing efficient and affordable solutions to the many complex issues facing the legal profession today. A Certified Public Accountant licensed by the State of New York, Mr. Garibaldi is Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). He is recognized as a Chartered Global Management Accountant by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

©Copyright - All Rights Reserved

DO NOT REPRODUCE WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION BY AUTHOR.

Related articles

Greg-Gerganoff-OSHA-Safety-Expert-Photo.jpg

10/17/2017· Expert Witnessing

Do Your Expert Witness Reports and Testimony Comply with 2015 Amendments to CRCP (Colorado Code of Civil Procedure)?

By: Greg Gerganoff

The employ of expert witnesses in litigation is typically undertaken to help the decider of fact (judge or jury) decipher an area of specialized knowledge which is key to the case. The expert report serves the primary purpose of "educating" deciders of fact on topics not commonly known to the general public. However, a noncomplying expert report can wreak havoc on a case, increase costs or worse, have the expert's testimony precluded in whole or part from use at trial. This of course is contrary to the purpose of retaining an expert in the first place. Understanding the parameters of compliance (C.R.C.P. 26 (a) (2) (B) (I)) and how sanctions for non-compliance (C.R.C.P. 37 (c) (1)) may be applied is important not only for legal counsel but the expert as well under the 2015 rule updates and the recent Colorado Supreme Court case, Catholic Health Initiatives Colorado v. Earl Swensson Associates, Inc.

stephen_raffle_photo.jpg

5/29/2009· Expert Witnessing

The Role of the Expert in the Courtroom

By: Dr. Stephen M. Raffle

My teacher and mentor, Dr. Bernard Diamond, pondered the question about the role of the psychiatric expert and other experts in the courtroom. My first public presentation was to the American Criminology Society on this topic, and it has continued to occupy my attention to the present

Samnik-Ballard-tree-Consultants-logo.gif

2/6/2014· Expert Witnessing

Go Forth and Testify

By: Joe Samnik

At first blush you may think that this article is about a small, albeit ugly armored animal and you would be justified in doing so. After all, the name Armadillo Partners conjures up a mental image of a corporate holding of armadillos, presumably for sale. Such would not be the case however. In fact, this article is about an arbor area and trees located at a shopping center called Armadillo Square in Broward County, Florida.

;
Experts.com-No broker Movie Ad

Follow us

linkedin logo youtube logo rss feed logo
;