Mark I. Harrison, Esq. has been a civil and appellate litigator for over 50 years in Tort, Antitrust, and Commercial Cases. He has extensive experience litigating and testifying in cases involving Legal Malpractice, Legal Ethics, and Judicial Ethics. Mr. Harrison frequently serves as an expert witness in cases concerning the Standard of Care, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, and the Reasonableness of Attorneys' Fees. His client representation includes lawyers, law firms, judges and other licensed professionals.
Mr. Harrison has served as a consulting and/or testifying legal or judicial ethics expert witness in more than 160 cases and has been deposed or testified at trial in more than 20 matters in the past 10 years. He has been admitted to practice before all courts in Arizona since May, 1961 - United States District Court--District of Arizona, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Federal Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court. He has also been admitted to practice in the state of Colorado since 1991.
One of the industry's leading law firm services experts, 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.
Mr. Garibaldi works closely with law firms and other professional service firms, manufacturing, wholesale/retail, medical, technology, restaurant/hospitality, artists and galleries, construction, and real estate clients where he is responsible for providing accounting, tax planning management consulting services, and financial reporting.
Mr. Garibaldi provides valuation and litigation support services, assisting attorneys and their clients with the financial aspects of a case throughout the litigation process, from contemplation of action through expert witness testimony. He brings an in-depth understanding of the business and technical aspects of valuation, finance and accounting that is required in complex litigation and arbitration cases.
Mr. Garibaldi qualifies as an expert in valuation matters in the Supreme Courts of New York, Nassau, Suffolk, Kings, Richmond, Monmouth, Orange, and Westchester Counties, and has been called upon by the courts to serve as a neutral Expert. As an instructor of the AICPA Certificate of Educational Achievement Program in Business Valuation, Mr. Garibaldi teaches his specialty to other professionals.
Michael Garibaldi is a Candidate Member of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), Member of the Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA), the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), the AICPA and the NYSSCPA. He is a past President and former member of the Board of Directors of the NYSSCPA Nassau Chapter, and has held a variety of positions on the Litigation Support Committee of the Nassau County and State Chapters of the NYSSCPA. Mr. Garibaldi has also held a number of positions on other committees and sub-committees within these organizations.
Most lawyers know how big a problem occupational fraud is in corporate America. They may even count as clients companies that have been defrauded and suffered significant losses. Yet a "not at my firm" attitude persists among many partners who take for granted the honesty and integrity of their colleagues and staff.
When a dishonest CFO or controller cooks the books, it can be devastating for the victim organization. In addition to direct financial losses, financial statement frauds erode trust between management and other stakeholders, including lenders, investors and employees who own company stock. Unfortunately, it's common for smaller companies to associate financial misstatement with large public companies that focus heavily on earnings per share.
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.
There are many more purposes for which valuations are used. Each has its unique presumptions. It must be understood that there is no one value and that the same investment can have a different value to different people and for different reasons. Each valuator must analyze such differences, understand the presumptions inherent in the purpose for which the valuation is to be used, and select and implement a method to determine proper value for the purpose.
When a client voiced strong suspicions that her soon-to-be ex-husband was hiding assets, her attorney investigated the claim but found nothing amiss. However, he hired a forensic accounting expert to help ensure his client would receive an equitable share of the marital estate. The expert turned up a trunkload of hidden treasure - undeclared cash income and property "stashed" under the names of the husband's mother and siblings.
Goodwill can be a significant asset for a professional practice. It may include both "personal" goodwill that's attributable to individual owners and "business" goodwill that can be transferred to third parties. When accountants and other types of professionals divorce, the amount of goodwill to include in the marital estate can become contentious (and may vary depending on state law). If expert testimony on the issue is inadequate, a court might look elsewhere for help, as it did in a recent Texas divorce case, Hill v. Hill.