Finding an Economic Damages Expert Witness

Finding an Economic Damages Expert Witness

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Working with economic damages expert witnesses can be crucial in legal proceedings involving financial claims. These professionals play a vital role in quantifying and presenting economic losses incurred by individuals or businesses. This guide aims to provide an overview of how best to work with economic damages expert witnesses, the areas on which they can opine, tips for finding the right expert witness, and how to maximize the value of their testimony.

What Is an Economic Damages Expert Witness?

An economic damages expert witness is a professional with expertise in assessing and quantifying financial losses in legal cases. They can provide objective analysis and testimony to help courts understand the economic impact of alleged wrongful acts or events.

What Types of Cases Typically Require Economic Damages Expert Witnesses?

Economic damages experts lend their expertise to a wide array of legal cases. These types of cases can include:

  • Personal Injury: Economic damages experts quantify financial losses resulting from personal injury, including medical expenses, lost wages, and future earning capacity.
  • Business Disputes: They assess economic losses arising from breaches of contract, intellectual property disputes, or business interruption claims.
  • Wrongful Death: They can assess the economic losses suffered by the deceased’s dependents, including loss of financial support and services.
  • Employment Litigation: They evaluate damages related to wrongful termination, discrimination, or wage disputes.
  • Insurance Claims: They assist in assessing economic damages in insurance disputes, such as property damage, business interruption, or loss-of-income claims.

Areas That Economic Damages Expert Witnesses Can Opine On

With their specialized knowledge, economic damages experts offer insights into various aspects of economic losses, including valuation, statistical analysis, and mitigation strategies. Some key areas they can opine on include:

  • Economic Losses: Quantifying past and future financial losses, including lost earnings, benefits, and business profits.
  • Valuation: Determining the value of businesses, assets, or intellectual property affected by the alleged damages. They can have expertise in valuation methods such as discounted cash flow analysis, comparable company analysis, and asset-based valuation.
  • Economic Principles: Explaining fundamental economic principles such as supply and demand, market dynamics, and economic forecasting methods to a judge and jury.
  • Financial Analysis: Explaining financial analysis techniques, including financial statement analysis, cost-benefit analysis, and cash flow modeling to a courtroom.
  • Statistical Analysis: Utilizing statistical methods and econometric modeling to forecast future economic damages or assess the probability of certain outcomes.
  • Present Value Calculations: Adjusting future monetary losses to their present-day value using discounting techniques.
  • Mitigation: Using knowledge of strategies to mitigate economic losses, including the evaluation of alternative income sources, cost-saving measures, and business continuity planning; to assess if the affected party took reasonable steps to mitigate their losses.

Finding the Right Economic Damages Expert Witness

Finding an expert witness can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you identify and select the right expert for your case:

  • Review Credentials and Qualifications: Look for experts with relevant academic qualifications and extensive experience in economic damages assessment. These experts commonly hold advanced degrees in economics, accounting, or finance, and a PhD or master’s degree in economics. Some experts also hold a Certified Public Accountant designation, Certified Valuation Analyst credential or Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
  • Prioritize Specialization: Choose experts with specific expertise relevant to your case, whether it’s personal injury, intellectual property, or commercial litigation.
  • Evaluate Communication Skills: Assess their ability to convey complex economic concepts clearly and persuasively to judges and juries.
  • Review Testimony History: Has your potential expert witness provided testimony in court before? Review any prior testimony to avoid conflicting opinions.
  • Consider Availability: Ensure that the expert witness you choose is available to work on your case within your required timeline.

A Case Study: Economic Damages Expert Witness for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team

In a landmark case highlighting gender pay disparities in professional sports, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) sought fair compensation commensurate with their outstanding achievements and contributions to the sport. The USWNT claimed that the U.S. Soccer Federation violated the Equal Pay Act and Title VII.

To bolster their case, the law firm representing the USWNT came to GLG to start a rigorous search for an economic damages expert witness capable of quantifying the financial impact of gender discrimination on the team’s earnings potential and overall economic value. The GLG team partnered with the law firm to determine the background and knowledge that the right expert witness would need, and custom-recruited candidates to present to the client.

The law firm chose Dr. Finnie Cook, a PhD economist with experience assessing economic damages. Dr. Cook submitted a report that estimated the back pay owed to the players under Title VII if they had been compensated under the Men’s National Team’s collective bargaining agreement. She also included interest and liquidated damages with these figures.

For willful violation of the Equal Pay Act, Dr. Cook estimated the liquidated damages would be $29.7 million and that back pay and interest owed under Title VII would be $66.7 million. A judge dismissed the equal pay assertion in May 2020, but the case was appealed in December 2021 and the USWNT settled their class-action lawsuit for $24 million and reached a new collective bargaining agreement.

Read the full case study about finding an economic damages expert witness for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

Maximizing the Impact of Economic Damages Expert Witness Testimony

To get the most out of your expert witness testimony, consider the following tips:

  • Engage Early: Involve the economic damages expert early in the case to provide strategic guidance, help you understand their findings, and ensure they understand legal strategies and case nuances.
  • Collaborate: Work closely with the expert to develop a comprehensive understanding of the case facts, legal theories, and potential damages.
  • Prepare and Cross-Examine: Thoroughly prepare the expert for deposition and trial testimony, including mock cross-examinations and review of case materials.
  • Simplify Testimony: Help the expert simplify complex economic concepts and terminology for the benefit of the judge and jury.

By following these guidelines, attorneys can effectively leverage economic damages expert witnesses to strengthen their cases and achieve favorable outcomes in litigation involving financial claims.

GLG has a network of experts across all industries and disciplines who can offer their testimony to support your case. We connect lawyers with the right experts for their cases quickly and efficiently so you can focus on litigating and winning.

If you are a lawyer in need of an expert witness, submit your request below, and our team will get to work finding the right match.

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