When business appraisals come under the scrutiny of courts, lawyers on both sides reach out to appraisers to testify as expert witnesses. Who gets selected? Usually, attorneys tend to pick the professionals who offered such expert opinions in court before.
But how does an appraiser get selected for the first time? Clearly, an attorney decides to take a chance on a new appraiser. Usually, it is someone who is known in the field of business appraisal with a track record of writing, teaching and consulting over the years. The idea is that it would be hard for the adverse party to assail the expert’s background in court.
Some appraisers become expert witnesses almost exclusively. As a result, they do little in the way of business valuation work. Rather, they focus on the intricacies of court proceedings. They become very skilled at taking part in a cross-examination, for example.
You may wonder if such limited experience makes these experts truly valuable in court. After all, would not an experienced appraiser who does valuations regularly make a better expert witness?
To be sure broad hands-on experience with business valuations should be very useful and allow the expert to pass judgment on a business appraisal prepared by someone else. On the other hand, being able to communicate your position convincingly in front of the court requires additional skills. If the expert feels uncomfortable under a barrage of unsettling questions from the opposite side, they may be unable to state their opinion clearly and convincingly. Moreover, many professionals may be upset by what they perceive as an attack on their qualifications.
Regardless of what clients think on this issue, the lawyers have the final say here. They are responsible for getting results for their clients. So their choice of who is the best pick as an expert witness tends to prevail.