[Source: Family Law Financial Discovery]

CHRISTOPHER C. MELCHER, FAMILY LAW EXPERT, AUTHORED THE CHAPTER ON “USE OF EXPERTS AS CONSULTANTS AND WITNESSES IN FINANCIAL DISCOVERY PROCESS.

Successfully obtain all the information needed to divide community property, confirm separate property, determine support, and claim attorney fees and costs.

  • Identify and gather all financial data, including ESI
  • Leverage mandatory disclosure rules to uncover income, assets, and debts
  • Create focused discovery plans for specific property
  • Determine when and how to use key civil discovery tools
  • Learn to use experts as discovery consultants and witnesses at trial
  • Use mediation and collaborative methods without compromising discovery
  • Understand privacy and privilege-based discovery limits
  • Obtain protective orders against improper discovery

CH.6: USE OF EXPERTS AS CONSULTANTS AND WITNESSES IN THE FINANCIAL DISCOVERY PROCESS

By Christopher C. Melcher

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  6.1
  • II.  ASSESSING NEED FOR EXPERT  6.2
    • A.  Primary Factors and Issues  6.3
    • B.  Ability of Client to Provide Information and Opinion on Property Values  6.4
    • C.  Property Will Be Sold or Divided  6.5
  • III.  HIRING OWN EXPERT AND DEFINING EXPERT’S ROLE
    • A.  Persons Qualifying as “Experts”; Limitations on Testimony  6.6
    • B.  Timing of Hiring Expert  6.7
    • C.  Defining Scope of Expert’s Assignment  6.8
    • D.  Communicating With Own Expert  6.9
    • E.  Distinguishing Between Consultants and Other Experts
      • 1.  Importance of Distinction  6.10
      • 2.  Retained Experts
        • a.  Expert’s Role as Consultant  6.11
        • b.  Communications Protected From Discovery; Limitations
          • (1)  Protected Communications  6.12
          • (2)  Limitations on Discovery Protection
            • (a)  Communications Unrelated to Retention  6.13
            • (b)  No Protection for Consultant Retained by Client  6.14
        • c.  Tips for Maintaining Confidentiality of Consultant’s Opinions  6.15
        • d.  Evaluating Whether to Have Consultant Testify  6.16
        • e.  Rule Against Communicating With Other Party’s Experts  6.17
    • F.  Status of Own Consultant as Designated Expert
      • 1.  No Discovery Protection if Consultant Listed as Trial Witness  6.18
      • 2.  Exception for Limited Work Product Protection  6.19
      • 3.  Effect of Party’s Self-Designation as Expert  6.20
      • 4.  Effect of Withdrawing Expert Before Deposition by Opposing Party  6.21
  • IV.  JOINT AND COURT-APPOINTED EXPERTS; NONRETAINED EXPERTS DISTINGUISHED
    • A.  Joint Experts  6.22
    • B.  Court-Appointed Experts  6.23
    • C.  Expert Who Is Percipient Witness or Not Retained Distinguished  6.24
  • V.  USING EXPERTS TO ANALYZE FINANCIAL INFORMATION  6.25
    • A.  Real Property Appraiser  6.26
      • 1.  Qualifications
        • a.  Licensing and Liability Insurance  6.27
        • b.  Professional Standards  6.28
      • 2.  Valuation Issues
        • a.  Valuation Date  6.29
        • b.  Types of Valuations and Methodology
          • (1)  Types of Valuations  6.30
          • (2)  Methodology
            • (a)  Non-Income-Producing Property  6.31
            • (b)  Income-Producing Property  6.32
      • 3.  Cost of Appraisal  6.33
    • B.  Personal Property Appraiser  6.34
    • C.  Forensic Accountant  6.35
      • 1.  Qualifications and Limitations on Testimony as Expert
        • a.  Qualifications  6.36
        • b.  Limitations on Accountant’s Testimony as Expert
          • (1)  Opinion Must Be Within Accountant’s Knowledge, Training, or Experience  6.37
          • (2)  Accountant’s Reliance on Appraiser’s Opinion  6.38
      • 2.  Use of Forensic Accountant
        • a.  Valuation of Business Interests
          • (1)  Party’s Active Participation in Business Presents Special Need for Accountant  6.39
          • (2)  Valuation Date  6.40
          • (3)  Measure of Value and Methodology  6.41
          • (4)  Replacement Value of Owner’s Services  6.42
        • b.  Determination of Income for Support  6.43
        • c.  Tracing  6.44
        • d.  Reimbursements and Credits  6.45
        • e.  Equitable Apportionment  6.46
    • D.  Tax Accountant or Tax Attorney  6.47
    • E.  Vocational Examiner  6.48
    • F.  Actuary  6.49
    • G.  Pension Attorney or Accountant
      • 1.  Determining Employee Benefits in General  6.50
      • 2.  Determining Employee Stock Options and Executive Compensation  6.51
    • H.  Insurance Broker  6.52
    • I.  Computer Expert
      • 1.  Need for Expert  6.53
      • 2.  Related Privacy and Privilege Issues  6.54
    • J.  Questioned Document Examiner  6.55
  • VI.  EXCHANGING EXPERT WITNESS INFORMATION
    • A.  Need to Follow Procedure for Simultaneous Exchange of Information  6.56
    • B.  Making Demand  6.57
    • C.  Response to Demand
      • 1.  Motion for Protective Order
        • a.  Motion Preferable to Simply Objecting to Demand  6.58
        • b.  Basing Motion on Untimeliness or Conditions Relating to Demand  6.59
        • c.  Basing Motion on Designating Multiple Experts on Single Issue  6.60
      • 2.  Compliance With Demand  6.61
    • D.  Supplemental Expert Witness Designation  6.62
    • E.  Motion to Augment or Amend Expert Witness Disclosure  6.63
    • F.  Leave to Submit Late Designation of Experts  6.64
    • G.  Right to Call Impeachment Experts  6.65
    • H.  Right to Call Other Party’s Experts  6.66
    • I.  Sanctions for Failure to Comply With Exchange Requirements  6.67
  • VII.  CONDUCTING EXPERT WITNESS DISCOVERY
    • A.  Creating Discovery Plan  6.68
    • B.  Deadline for Conducting Expert Discovery  6.69
    • C.  Depositions of Experts
      • 1.  Timing, Scheduling, and Priority  6.70
      • 2.  Place of Deposition  6.71
      • 3.  Deposition Questions  6.72
      • 4.  Demand for Production of Documents at Deposition  6.73
      • 5.  Video Recorded Depositions  6.74
      • 6.  Deposition Subpoena  6.75
      • 7.  Deposition Fees
        • a.  Timing of Payment  6.76
        • b.  Travel or Preparation Fees  6.77
        • c.  Charging for Actual Time; Daily Fees  6.78
        • d.  Fees Caused by Tardy Counsel  6.79
        • e.  Fees May Not Exceed Actual Charges to Party  6.80
        • f.  Objecting to Reasonableness of Expert Fees  6.81
    • D.  Remedies for Failure to Comply With Discovery Obligations
      • 1.  Motion to Compel  6.82
      • 2.  Exclusion of Expert Opinion  6.83
        • a.  Expert Unprepared to Express Opinion at Deposition  6.84
        • b.  Expert Changes Opinion After Deposition  6.85
    • E.  Protecting Expert Discovery From Pretrial Disclosure to Third Parties  6.85A
  • VIII.  EXPERT FEES
    • A.  Fee Payment Permitted by Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders  6.86
    • B.  Liability of Counsel for Expert Fees  6.86A
    • C.  Fee Contribution by Other Party  6.87
    • D.  Court Must Fix and Apportion Fees for Own Expert  6.88
  • IX.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Stipulation and Order for Appointment of Joint Expert  6.89
    • B.  Form: Demand for Exchange of Expert Witness Information  6.90
    • C.  Form: Designation of Expert Witnesses  6.91
    • D.  Form: Expert Witness Declaration  6.92
    • E.  Form: Notice of Deposition of Expert Witness  6.93
    • F.  Form: Notice of Intent to Videotape Deposition and Use at Trial  6.94
    • G.  Form: Stipulated Protective Order With Provision for Necessary Disclosure to Parties’ Experts  6.95

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