Dennis S. Neier, a Director of Litigation at Anchin and a Commercial Litigation Panelist of the American Arbitration Association, educated the audience on the various roles an accountant plays in a litigation and brought the room to life with flashbacks of his own experiences.
Dennis showed that accountants are not limited to litigations involving financials or tax; they play a role in every stage of a case. The purpose of the accountant might change as a case progresses, but the need for an accountant is constant. Dennis told stories of how at one stage, an accountant may try to discredit the opposing expert witness, and at another, he or she may try to mitigate the penalties of the client. After captivating the audience with all the possibilities of the Litigation practice, Dennis explained the qualifications of becoming an Expert Witness and the secrets of his success.
To be an expert witness, you must be educated, trained, certified, or possess the relevant skill or experience. Dennis differentiated an expert witness and a successful expert witness. To be a successful expert witness, you position yourself as an independent expert witness while in court. The wording of the answer you give is crucial and should not be taken lightly. Another word of advice Dennis gave was to answer the question asked, and to never divulge information beyond the scope of the question. Last but certainly not least, to be a successful expert witness, listening is key, especially when the lawyers are talking, be it directly or indirectly to you.
By John Chen, Edited by Crystal Lam