The majority of the family law cases we handle are referred to us by lawyers. It is particularly gratifying to have some of California's most prominent lawyers and law firms entrust their clients' matters to us. Gaining a solid understanding of their goals and concerns in these cases is always the principal consideration in our initial case review.
We can be a valuable extension of the attorney's team by spotting key issues in the early stages, thereby getting the case off to an advantageous start and positioning for the best and fastest resolution. Our experience in community property valuations, business valuations, apportionment and tracings enables us to quickly identify and recognize the pivotal aspects of a case so we can work efficiently based on a defined strategy. The result is a work product that is thorough and focused.
We employ a team approach to effectively manage our clients' cases. An initial client meeting helps us gain a full understanding of all the issues so we can properly organize and staff the case. We assign specific individuals to cases based on the most streamlined staffing plan. On most engagements, the staff will include the lead principal, a manager and normally one or two para-professionals. All members assigned to the matter are highly-trained in family law issues. Complex cases will often require an additional principal to assist in particularly complicated valuations.
Our team of experienced professionals is supported by invaluable technology. Our firm has developed a case management system that enables us to track the progress of each matter including documents requested, received and produced. This approach, coupled with our technology tools, results in more effective case management and enhanced communications with attorneys and clients as a matter progresses.
Our firm has performed professional practice and business valuation services for over 1,000 businesses and professional practices of all types. The size of the entities ranges from just a few employees to hundreds of employees, and $100,000 in annual revenue to $100's of millions in annual revenues. Additionally, the operations of these various concerns have been local, regional, national and international in nature.
For a more complete listing of the types of businesses and professional practices appraised, click HERE.
We have been involved in a significant number of business apportionment cases. They have ranged from the common Pereira and Van Camp type of apportionment to highly-complex apportionment methods that are non-traditional in nature. Selecting which method of apportionment is appropriate in any specific case is of central importance to the accuracy and validity of the resulting apportionment. Based on the facts of the case and our considerable experience, we can select the most credible and authoritative mode of analysis.
Our firm has a wealth of experience performing community property valuations and tracing and identifying separate and community property assets. When tracing assets maintained over a period of time, we have been successful in following transactions backward in time over lengthy periods, often to and from various and multiple accounts, until the exact origin becomes evident.
We have performed tracings of every conceivable magnitude and complexity, from single transactions to thousands of lines of input, comprising hundreds of millions of dollars. We have traced assets through multiple transactions and accounts, including foreign accounts, where currency exchange rates are a material consideration.
Significant tracings are document-intensive and require legal interpretations to be made by an attorney in order for an effective tracing to be performed. Our professionals are familiar with the complex issues and concerns raised by a significant tracing of funds.
We have performed numerous real property apportionments involving issues related to Moore/Marsden, Walrath, Branco and variations of these apportionment methods.
We have performed personal property apportionments on passive investments in partnerships, limited liability entities and corporations as well as interests in all types of deferred compensation/retirement accounts.
Our firm has handled numerous cases where the allocation of stock options has been based on traditional methods currently employed under the Hug, Nelson and Harrison cases. In addition, we have resolved unique issues raised in a number of "executive" stock option cases with non-traditional facts. These cases required a creative approach in order to establish final allocations.
Fiduciary issues are becoming ever more prevalent in family law cases. We have been able to assist attorneys and their clients in various aspects of fiduciary issues. We can assist in the determination of which documents to request, and we offer review and analysis of those documents to determine the financial impact.
Our firm is commonly involved in assisting attorneys and their clients to determine the parties' income and cash flow for both temporary and permanent spousal and child support. In certain cases, the determination of the parties' income and cash flow can be highly involved and challenging as well as a significant point of contention between the parties. At times, the lifestyle of the parties is a key factor in establishing support. We understand the importance of this issue and have a track record with a significant number of lifestyle analyses.
Our firm provides consulting services to attorneys, their clients and their experts in all areas of family law. At times, an attorney may decide our firm can best serve them as consultants rather than as the designated expert. This can occur when: (a) work has been performed by another expert and a review of their conclusions is needed; (b) various issues arise that need to be discussed to determine whether there is work that should be performed by an expert; and (c) assistance is needed by designated experts in certain matters involving complex valuation and/or separate versus community property issues.
In many instances, our firm is retained as the joint expert for the parties in a marital dissolution. When this occurs, it is important that all parties understand that all communications with our firm will not be privileged and all strengths and weaknesses in our conclusions will be communicated with all parties.
Our firm has been retained in numerous matters as the mediator's consulting expert. We find that this form of alternative resolution can reduce the cost of litigation and result in a fair and equitable division of community property.