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Experts Sabotaging Themselves in Court—The Judges Tell All

 Experts Sabotaging Themselves in Court—The Judges Tell All
CPE Credit

Program Type: VideoCast (Audio,Video, PPT Presentation)
Program Level: Overview
Prerequisites: Learning activity level that provides a general review of a subject area from a broad perspective
Advanced Preparation: None
Delivery Method: Group Internet-Based
CPE Credits: Two (2) Hour
Fields of Study: Business Law
Item Number: 17PFFCHI0609A
Shipping Weight: 0lbs. 0oz.
Price: $110.00
Program Description

The official role of the valuation or financial forensic expert is to assist the trier of fact in interpreting and understanding the financial evidence. Many experts, however, are blindsided in the courtroom when they find out that their professional opinions are laden with landmines in the form of unverified evidence, unreasonable assumptions, risky leaps of faith, inappropriate protocol, and inadvertent departures from professional standards. In this webinar, Judges Gonzalez, Platt, and Yates will share the challenges that they have encountered with financial professionals and offer guidelines and approaches to solidify our opinions and persuasiveness in the legal environment.

Learning Objectives

After completing this session, attendees will be able to:

- Identify the criteria that judges use in evaluating the credibility of an expert and veracity of the expert's opinions
- Explain the legal parameters defining the role of the expert
- Identify toxic influences that erode a financial expert's credibility
- Formulate check point tests to ensure compliance with professional standards
- Outline the risks related to unchallenged assumptions and leaps of faith
- Create a working protocol to facilitate objective and unbiased analysis and opinions free from the advocacy driving the legal disputes

Who Should Attend

Valuation experts, financial forensics professionals, CPAs, attorneys, expert witnesses

Honorable Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez
Ms. Elizabeth Gonzalez is the Presiding Judge of the Civil Division of District Court, handling business, civil, and criminal cases. She was appointed to the district court in July 2004. Prior to taking the bench, she practiced predominantly in complex civil litigation that included business, mass tort, and construction defect litigation. From 1986 to 1998 she was employed with the law firm of Beckley, Singleton, Jemison & List where she focused on these areas of litigation and served as the firm’s president from 1997 to 1998. From 1998 until taking the bench, she operated her own firm.

Judge Gonzalez currently is the President of the American College of Business Court Judges. She previously served on the Judicial Council of the State of Nevada, Supreme Court Jury Improvement Commission, the Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, and the State of Nevada Ethics Commission.

Judge Gonzalez is the former President of the Board of Directors of Clark County Legal Services and a former member of the Eighth Judicial District Bench Bar Committee on Pro Bono. She has long been dedicated to the provision of legal services to all members of the community. Ms. Gonzalez was first recognized for her support of pro bono by the Clark County Pro Bono Project in 1992, and in 2002 was selected Attorney of the Year by the State Bar of Nevada Access to Justice Committee. She served on the Clark County Legal Services Board, which now coordinates the provision of pro bono services for all of Clark County, for over ten years.

The Trial by Peers Program is a partnership of the judiciary, the juvenile justice system, and the Clark County Bar Association diverting certain youthful offenders from the juvenile court system. In 2007 and 2010, Judge Gonzalez was selected as Judge of the Year by the Trial by Peers program.
Judge Gonzalez attained a BA in History, with honors, from the University of Florida in May of 1982 and received her law degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1985. She was admitted to the State Bar of Nevada in 1985.

Since her admission to the Bar, Judge Gonzalez has served on many bar committees, including service as the Regional Chair for the State Bar of Nevada Fee Dispute Committee and a member of the State Bar of Nevada’s Functional Equivalency Committee. She also serves as a Master Emeritus of the Nevada American Inn of Court which has as its purpose the enhancement of Nevada lawyer’s practical skills, professional awareness, and ethical responsibility.
Judge Gonzalez has given numerous seminars on business and construction defect litigation including the subjects of evidence, civil discovery, insurance issues, dispute resolution, and construction defect issues.

Honorable Judge Steven I. Platt (Ret.)
Judge Steven I. Platt (Ret.) retired as a full-time Circuit Court Judge in Maryland on January 15, 2007. He has since been approved by the Court of Appeals to be recalled in all eight Circuits and the Court of Special Appeals to try cases and conduct settlement conferences as a recalled judge. He is also engaged in private mediation, arbitration, and neutral case evaluation of complex civil litigation, including medical malpractice cases, legal malpractice cases, product liability cases, construction litigation, and business disputes.

Judge Platt has been a member of the Bar for over 30 years. He was in private practice for 10½ years from 1976 to 1986, during which time he also served as a Judge of the Orphans Court. He was appointed to the District Court for Prince Georges County in 1986 where he was designated Administrative Judge in 1988 and to the Circuit Court (7th Circuit) in 1990. While a Circuit Court Judge, he had management responsibility for all “Complex Civil Non-Family Cases” in the Court, which included the supervision of all settlement conferencing, mediating, and scheduling of these medical malpractice, legal malpractice, business litigation, and products liability cases. He also presided over many of these cases. He was the vice-chairman of the legislatively created commission which studied and recommended the establishment of the Maryland Business Technology Case Management Program and the chairman of the committee established to be the judiciary to implement that program. The Maryland Business Technology Case Management Program has been cited as a model for the nation in articles appearing in the Business Lawyer, a publication of the Section of Business Law of the American Bar Association, in Case in Point, the periodical of the National Judicial College, and in the Maryland Bar Journal.

Judge Platt is a trained mediator having completed the basic 40-hour course, as well as advanced courses. He serves as a panel arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association (AAA), International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), Resolute Systems (RS), and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), as well as his own company, The Platt Group, Inc. In addition, he has taught the use of mediation and arbitration in resolving business disputes to judges and lawyers in both Maryland and nationally through both the Judicial Education Program of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)/Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, on whose Judicial Advisory Board he has served, and through the American College of Business Court Judges of which he is a past-president.
Judge Platt is a founding and managing member of The Platt Group, Inc. A group of Retired Trial Court Judges, an Appellate Court Judge along with senior and experienced practitioners, a PhD Neuropsychologist, a former Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation, and a former Maryland and County elected official who can provide mediation, arbitration and public policy facilitation services depending on their area of expertise in all areas. More information and contact information on The Platt Group, Inc. can be found on their website at:

Judge Platt was named, “one of the best Judges in the Washington Metropolitan area” by the Washingtonian Magazine in an article entitled, “Best of the Bench” in its September 1996 issue. He has received many awards and much recognition, including an award for “Leadership in the Law” and “Innovator of the Year” from the Daily Record Legal and Business
Newspaper. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in government and public administration and obtained his JD from American University, Washington College of Law.
Finally, Judge Platt’s experience extends beyond our borders, including consulting and presenting to judicial and legal authorities and audiences in Russia, the Middle East, and the Hague during the last 15 years.

Honorable Judge Christopher P. Yates
Judge Christopher Yates was appointed to the Kent County (Michigan) Circuit Court on April 22, 2008. He has served in both the Criminal/Civil Division and the Family Division of that court. He currently runs the specialized business docket for the court. Judge Yates received a BA from Kalamazoo College in 1983, and a JD and an MBA from the University of Illinois in 1987. As an attorney, Judge Yates served as a law clerk to a federal trial-court judge and a federal appellate judge, as a federal prosecutor in Detroit, as an attorney-advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, as Chief Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Michigan, and as a partner in two private law firms.

Michael Kaplan
Mr. Michael G. Kaplan has more than 40 years of experience in the areas of forensic accounting, business valuation, and litigation consulting. He is principle of Kaplan Forensic Valuation Consultants. Mr. Kaplan is called upon regularly to serve as a forensic expert in litigation matters, including business litigation, professional malpractice matters, fraud and embezzlement, intellectual property, marital dissolution, loss of earnings, employment matters, and partner and shareholder disputes. He has qualified to testify in court as an expert witness in approximately 250 matters. Mr. Kaplan has also served as a court-appointed expert and accounting referee.

Mr. Kaplan is actively involved in the educational field. He has served on the faculty of the Marshall School of Business and Leventhal School of Accounting at the University of Southern California. He has lectured to various bar association groups, CPA groups, appraiser groups, and other professional organizations. Mr. Kaplan has also lectured at regional and worldwide conferences of international associations of accounting firms. He has developed and presented continuing education programs in financial and management accounting, economic damages, forensic accounting, business valuation, and the CPA's role in litigation. He has also authored publications in the areas of business valuation, lost profits, litigation practice marketing, valuation practice management, and expert testimony.

Mr. Kaplan is a principal member of the training development team of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts™ (NACVA®) and the Consultants’ Training Institute™ (CTI™). He is the recipient of NACVA’s Circle of Light award (the highest distinction awarded to NACVA instructors), Instructor of the Year award, Instructor of Exceptional Distinction awards, and Outstanding Member award.

He is the lead instructor of the Litigation Bootcamp for Financial Experts, Foundations of Financial Forensics, and Expert Witness Bootcamp.