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A valuation professional often serves as either an expert witness or as a consultant. Expert witnesses are often used in situations such as the following:


  • Divorce

  • Dissolution of business

  • Economic loss

  • Breach of contract

  • Partner disputes

  • Dissenting shareholders

  • Bankruptcy


Things to check before hiring an expert witness or consultant include:


  • Does the appraiser have expert witness experience?

  • What professional designations does the appraiser hold?

  • Has the appraiser received continuing education particularly in the area needed?

  • How long has the appraiser been performing business valuations?

  • Has the appraiser published articles, taught classes and lectured on business appraisal topics?



  • Reviewing the valuation clause in a buy-sell agreement.

  • Review of other expert's work.

  • Interpreting a company's financial statements and other information.

  • Exploring the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of the case.

  • Determining which discovery documents may be useful or necessary for analysis.

  • Developing questions to ask opposing expert or principals regarding valuation facts and issues.


As a consultant, a valuation professional is free to act as an advocate for the attorney. In a business appraiser and expert witness role, the appraiser must not be an advocate for either side.

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