The Important Role of Personal Financial Statements in Divorce

High dollar, contested divorce litigation engagements often involve complex financial issues.  In turn, those financial issues usually include business valuations and voluminous amounts of documents and financial information.  How does an attorney or business appraiser determine what is crucial to the case and what is trivial or secondary information?  One such piece of financial information that varies wildly in its interpretation and importance to the case is a personal financial statement.

Observations of New Tax Reform Law on Personal Goodwill in Family Law Cases

Most professionals have seen countless reports of the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA) on national news and been bombarded with requests to discuss the impact and various changes in the new law.  For the family law community, obvious takeaways are the change in the deductibility, or lack thereof, in alimony payments after 2018, elimination of personal exemptions, and expanded use of 529 plans to include secondary and lower-level education expenses.  Can a provision in the TCJA actually provide some insight into the presence of personal goodwill?

Personal Goodwill Can Have a Big Impact on Fair Market Value

When WADL-TV 38 founder Franklin Z. Adell died, he left behind what would prove to be a complex estate. This is a bellwether case on personal goodwill and its impact on fair market value of a business. Is it worth $92 million dollars like the IRS’ initial estimate or $4.3 million dollars liquidation value as opined to in the estate’s second valuation?

10 Ideas for Experts When Preparing for Depositions

An expert deposition is a formal proceeding. In this article, Chris Mercer presents a list of deposition preparation items from his experience both in having his deposition taken and in attending a number of depositions of other experts or parties to various matters.

Wisniewski v. Walsh and the Bad Behavior (Marketability) Discount in New Jersey

In this article, Chris Mercer addresses a case with the application of a 25% marketability discount in a statutory fair value determination. The New Jersey Appellate Division issued an unpublished decision in Wisniewski v. Walsh, 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3001 [App. Div. Dec. 24, 2015]. The case is interesting in that it attempts to determine a marketability discount in relationship to the “bad behavior” of a selling shareholder.

New York’s Largest Corporate Dissolution Case: AriZona Iced Tea

After several years of litigation involving a number of hearings and trials on various issues, a trial to conclude the collective fair value of a group of related companies known as the AriZona Entities occurred. This article presents an in-depth discussion of the case and the valuation issues present.

New York Statutory Fair Value: Matter of Giaimo

An epic corporate governance and stock valuation battle between rival siblings, fighting over a Manhattan real estate portfolio worth upwards of $100 million, generated an important ruling last week by New York County Supreme Court Justice Marcy S. Friedman.

Customary and Not-So-Customary Services in the Litigation Arena

This article relates our experience in the litigation support arena and highlights not only those services well known to attorneys, but other services that business valuation professionals can provide with which some attorneys may not be as familiar.

Good Things Come to Those Who Don’t Wait

Having been retained for a number of significant litigation engagements over the years, Mercer Capital has had the opportunity to observe a variety of theories on the best time for attorneys to retain experts for their lawsuits.

Mediation As an Alternative to Litigation

Will the number of cases appearing before probate judges increase dramatically in the next several years – specifically estate and trust disputes as well as fiduciary cases?

Damages in Breach of Contract Cases

Damages calculations in breach of contract cases are nothing more than an attempt to determine the amount of money that will make a plaintiff “whole” after suffering some alleged wrongdoing (breach of contract) at the hands of a defendant. In general, this means calculating the present value of the lost profits of the plaintiff caused by the alleged breach of contract.

Dispute Analysis Issues: When to Call in a Business Appraiser

There is no doubt that valuation advisory services can provide the peace of mind and thoughtful documentation required to conduct those transactions that may be scrutinized by regulators, courts, tax collectors and a myriad of other lurking adversaries.

Divorce Engagements: Valuation Terms Defined

With the evolution of mediation requirements, divorcing parties and their advisors are discovering the importance of early involvement by a qualified valuation professional.

Federal Rules of Evidence & Expert Testimony

Litigation often boils down to the “battle of the experts.” Due to the significance of expert testimony in the litigation process, potential expert witnesses and those employing expert testimony should be cognizant of recent judicial trends regarding its admissibility.

“Wait and Formulate” as an Expert Witness

I have been an expert witness in the business valuation and corporate damages areas for many years. When I wrote my first book, Valuing Financial Institutions, in 1992, I explained the steps I took before each testimony experience to assure, to the extent possible, that the outcome of each testimony was successful.