Evaluating the Competence of a Financial Expert Witness
New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants
The CPA Journal
The financial complexities involved in most modern business disputes often necessitate the need for financial expert witnesses to provide testimony for inclusion as evidence in legal trials. These experts can be called upon to aid in the compilation, testing, and evaluation of financial evidence, as well as to communicate the results to a judge and jury. Because completing these tasks can be an important prerequisite for the successful resolution of litigation, a qualified financial expert represents an invaluable asset for any side in a legal dispute. Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence establishes the qualifications necessary for an expert witness to testify in a court of law. The quantity and quality of the education and professional credentials possessed by an expert witness can serve as a sign of the individual's expertise, as well as a signal of the expert's quality to potential jurors. Given the increasing role of the financial expert witness in the resolution of complex litigation, it is critically important to understand the characteristics that a qualified witness must possess.