Family Law

Family Law News 2017, Issue 3, Volume 39, No. 3

Forensic Expert Testimony and the Value of the Side-by-Side

Marie Ebersbacher

Marie Ebersbacher has been a Mayer Hoffman McCann shareholder since 2006, and has served as the CBIZ Forensic & Financial Services National Practice Leader since 2010. Her practice primarily involves high net worth marital estate dissolutions, including multi-year and multi-account complex tracings, apportionment analyses, and business valuations. She also holds the designations of ABV (Accredited in Business Valuation) and CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics), presented by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; and CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), presented by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. She is the Chair of CalCPA’s Forensic Services Section State Steering Committee through 2018.

There are (at least) two sides to every story, and trials are often necessary because of two differing interpretations of the same statute, law, or precedent. The court makes the ultimate determination of which party is more credible and which interpretation more correctly fits the facts of the case at hand.

Before the expert is ever hired, counsel has met with the client and gathered an understanding of the facts. Counsel then forms a legal theory, applying the client’s facts to an interpretation of case law. Forensic CPAs are often called upon as experts to testify for the court, combining their understanding of complex financial concepts with the anticipated testimony and the attorney’s legal interpretation.

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