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What is a Financial Expert Witness?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 May 2018
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A financial expert witness is a person who works with legal professionals to provide testimony in a court case that pertains to financial matters. This type of witness may have some legal experience, though his or her area of expertise is in financial matters. He or she will typically provide his or her knowledge for one of the parties involved in the legal dispute, usually a civil case. A financial expert witness will typically work within the financial industry in some way and have an educational background in finance as well.

The most common type of court cases that a financial expert witness is likely to work on are civil cases such as negligence lawsuits or bankruptcies. Certain types of criminal cases, especially those involving illegal handling of money such as embezzlement or fraud, might also benefit from the assistance of a financial expert witness. Such a witness may be able to better explain complicated fiscal matters for a jury or judge, or provide insight into why a person may have acted a certain way during financial dealings.

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A financial expert witness will usually work within the private sector in finances in some way. He or she may be a bank manager of several years, an investment or financial broker or money manager, or a university professor who teaches economics or business. While a financial expert witness will have an extensive background in fiduciary matters, he or she may also have a strong understanding of various business practices. This allows such a witness to testify with regard to how a business was run, as well as how money was handled.

Some sort of education in business or finances is also quite common for a financial expert witness. Especially high paid or prestigious witnesses will often have a master’s degree or PhD in business or finance to further establish their expertise in a field. There are also a number of different fields in which a financial expert witness might specialize in order to provide further insight into specific areas such as bankruptcy, fraud, taxes, or investments. An expert witness in financial matters will typically specialize in financial laws and practices for a particular country or region, and witnesses can usually be found based on where the legal hearing is being held.

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