New Jersey Litigation Services
At Robert A. Bonavito, CPA - A Professional Corporation, we understand what it takes to build a winning case. We have a unique combination of experience and expertise in accounting and law necessary to assist you with all forms of litigation consulting services, forensic and fraud services, divorce matters, bankruptcy, and business valuation services. We have also assisted hundreds of attorneys in successfully trying or settling cases, benefiting plaintiffs and defendants alike.
In matters that require damage calculations, our precise assessment and measurement of financial damages or losses can provide you with an independent and well-documented expert. Why Litigation Services?
We employ meticulous New Jersey forensic accounting techniques to determine lost profit damages, contractual damages, fraud and embezzlement losses, as well as damages due to wrongful death. These same techniques also accurately determine loss of income due to personal injury, or business interruptions and related financial matters.
Our New Jersey litigation services also provide expert, specialized assistance for:
- Trial services
- Income Tax matters
- International taxation
- Estate and trust matters
- Small business
- Intellectual property
- Financial planning
- Construction Industry
- Business Valuation
- Marital dissolution
- Forensic and fraud services
Members of our New Jersey Litigation Services Group include Certified Public Accountants who are MBAs, Certified Valuation Analysts (CVA) or Personal Financial Specialists (PFS). They have represented both plaintiffs and defendants and are frequently court-appointed throughout New Jersey and/or agreed-upon by the parties and their counsel. When you need an expert in or out of court, you can count on us.
What is the role of a forensic accountant in litigation?
Typically, the New Jersey forensic accountant provides three key services in litigation.
Pre-discovery forensic accounting is critical and perhaps the most important part of a forensic accountant’s services. The forensic accountant will undertake an investigation of potential damages, gather important documents and discuss his preliminary findings with counsel and the client. Often this aspect of the forensic accountant’s duties is overlooked. It is at this time that a forensic accountant can have the biggest impact on a case. Sometimes counsel and the client will think there are damages or values that simply do not exist.
2. Discovery in this stage of the litigation process the forensic accountant will be critical in utilizing their background and techniques in order to fully investigate and corroborate potential damages. The forensic accountant will rely heavily on interrogatories and subpoenas as well as his private databases and library to build the foundation for damages or valuation issues.
Expert witness phase of the forensic accountant’s litigation services includes his assistance in trying to settle the case, writing reports and testifying in court.
What types of litigation services are offered in New Jersey?
Anything involving money damages can benefit from the work of a New Jersey forensic accountant. Some areas that forensic accountants are typically relied upon are matrimonial divorce issues, business valuations, litigation support, damage calculations, tax fraud, shareholder disputes, employee theft and fraud issues, bankruptcies, insolvency’s and reorganizations, money laundering and many other areas involving misallocation and theft of assets.
What types of documents do I need to present in court?
Documents that a forensic accountant will utilize depends on the type of case you are involved in. It is important to be organized and have copies available for the forensic accountant, including a narrative that includes specific dates, times, names, etc. Some of the basic documents that a forensic accountant will utilize are historical financial statements, income tax returns, bank statements including both savings and checking, images of checks, credit card statements, general ledgers accounts, accounts receivable ledgers, fixed asset ledgers and accounts payable ledgers.
How can I prepare for trial?
President Eisenhower once said when talking about war, plans are useless, but planning is critical. What he meant by this was that if you try to anticipate what is going to happen in all probability, you would be wrong, but planning for different scenarios would be very useful when going to trial. Your counsel will have a general outline of how he thinks the trial will unfold. In addition, he will have a general list of questions and answers that he anticipates from each witness and/or expert testifying. From there you should have various scenarios and a list of how you plan to respond to specific facts or circumstances presented at the trial. For you to be prepared for trial you should have a general understanding of the questions you will be asked and how to answer those questions.
How long do court proceedings last?
When you go to court there is usually a court docket that anticipates a certain amount of days that the trial will take. This should give you a general idea of how long you will be at trial. Generally, the more complicated the case the longer the trial. Trials can go for one day or for years. Most trials however can be started and finished within five days.
Will I need to provide witnesses?
Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case you may need to bring in expert witnesses or fact witnesses to testify on specific events that occurred. It can be very helpful to hire a New Jersey forensic accountant if you feel that some of the issues are complex and need to be explained by someone who has dealt with these issues before. Fact witnesses can basically back up what the expert witness is testifying on.
Can my forensic accountant serve as a witness in court?
Forensic accountants can testify as expert witnesses if they have the background and training and have performed an analysis. This analysis can be presented to the court in the form of a report and explained through testimony at trial.
Should I settle out of court?
A result of the complexity, time and expense of trials most cases settle before going to trial, and a good percentage settle on the first day of the trial. Your attorney is aware of negotiation tactics that can help facilitate a settlement. One of the best I have come across is BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement). This negotiation technique works because it is based on the best alternative to a settlement at trial. For example, if you can sell your company for $100,000 you are not going to settle at trial if you must sell the company to a partner for less than that amount. If this is the case, he probably would want your attorney to at least get $150,000 to $200,000 for the company.
Does a New Jersey forensic accountant provide discovery assistance services?
A good part of the job as a New Jersey forensic accountant is to obtain sufficient relevant data in order to back up opinions. One of the main functions a New Jersey forensic accountant serves is to provide discovery assistance to clients and attorneys.
Can a forensic accountant help me with insurance litigation?
New Jersey forensic accountants regularly testify on insurance related issues. Not only that, many insurance companies retain forensic accountants on a regular basis. Therefore, it is advisable that you hire a forensic accountant to assist you with your litigation involving any insurance company. The strategy behind hiring a forensic accountant is backed up through Game Theory and the Nash equilibrium theory.
I am filing for divorce; can I resolve a marital business dispute outside of divorce court?
There are many avenues to settling a marital dispute outside of court. As part of a marriage dissolution, the business dispute can be part of the New Jersey forensic accountants’ duties, and assistance with settling this dispute prior to going to court can be accomplished through his services. New Jersey forensic accountants can be hired as arbitrators or mediators to review the relevant information concerning premarital lifestyle, assets, business issues and pensions. Based on their analysis they can attempt to provide each party with an equitable solution that may be able to save a great deal of time and money, if the case is settled.
Can I appeal a court decision?
Yes, most cases can be appealed or have motions to reconsider filing if you are not happy or if there are some fact issues that were improperly handled by the judge.