American Barrister®
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Accounting-Intensive Litigation can be defined as any legal dispute in which accounting records are material and/or potentially dispositive of the legal and factual issues before the court, requiring the court to decide or rule on, among other things:

  • Accounting Principles, including:
    • Applicability of particular accounting principal to facts before the court;
    • Choice between two or more apparently conflicting accounting principles or methods;
    • Whether non-compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) constitutes fraud.
  • Accounting Records, including:
    • Admissibility as evidence;
    • Comparative reliability of conflicting accounting evidence;
    • Persuasive value to proponent's/opponent's position, including;
      • Whether proponent has satisfied burden of proof;
      • Whether opponent has successfully overcome opposing accounting evidence;
    • Conclusions to be drawn from:
      • Accounting records admitted into evidence;
      • Missing or incomplete accounting records.

Types of Cases: It is not possible to list eery possible type of litigation in which accounting evidence, or the lack thereof, can significantly affect or actually determine the outcome of the dispute before the court. But there are broad categories into which most accounting-intensive litigation fall:

  • Insurance Claims Defense and Subrogation:
    • Property Damage
    • Business Interruption
  • Fraud:
    • Internal: Theft Committed by Employees against:
      • Employer;
      • Employer's Customer's or Suppliers
    • External: Committed by an Individual or Entity Against Investors and Lenders:
      • Financial Statement Fraud
      • Ponzi Schemes
  • Purchase-Pricee Disputes: Legitimate disputes as to amounts to be paid pursuant to contract as determined by events naturally occurring after contract date, i.e. percentage of annual sales
  • Matrimonial
  • Estates & Trusts
  • Taxation, Civil & Criminal:
    • Income Taxes:
      • Business Entity
      • Personal
    • Trust Taxes Unremitted:
      • Sales Tax
      • Employee Withholding
  • Voluminous Accounting Information: Cases in which the claim or defense is based on voluminous similar, but not necessarily identical, transactions which must be gathered from multiple sources, including the adverse party, third-parties, govermment agencies and the client, then sorted, evaluated and summarized for the court. This can be any commercial litigation, including the above-listed examples.

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