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ARXIS - Litigation Consulting

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February 2024


Considerations in Selecting an Expert for Wrongful Termination Matters

wrongful termination

As with other matters in which financial experts are important contributors to a successful legal team, wrongful termination cases can often hinge on the presentation of a qualified expert. Choosing a forensic accounting professional who can tip the scales in your favor is not always so easy. To aid legal counsel in the selection process, it is useful to look at many factors, including when to hire the expert, components in determining compensation, key areas of contention, and options in experts available.

Hire Early in the Case

The starting point in any wrongful termination dispute is whether there was a damaging event. Forensic accountants rarely, if ever, contribute to establishing this part of the case. However, that does not negate the importance of involving an expert early in the case, in particular:

  • A financial expert can estimate the damages to assist the plaintiff and/or their legal counsel in valuing the case.
  • Most law firms want the calculations done early in the case to prepare for the possibility of negotiating a settlement without a trial.

Establishing the economic loss sustained by the plaintiff as a result of wrongful or discriminatory action is based on the loss of income and fringe benefits both before and after trial. The calculation involves determining historic (pre-trial) losses as well as projecting future losses. The losses are mitigated by actual income earned in the historical period and in the projected period. In addition to loss of income the damage calculations will include other costs such as medical.

More Than Salary

Compensation is more than simply salary or wages. There are several additional potential benefits associated with employment that must be included in the calculation, if applicable. These include:

  • Employer payroll taxes paid for the benefit of the employee such as social security, unemployment insurance, workers compensation insurance, and other state employment taxes
  • Insurance (medical, life, disability, etc.) offered by the employer on either a matching or full-pay basis
  • Payments for holidays, sick days, vacation, paid time off, family and medical leave pay, etc.
  • Retirement benefits including matching 401k contributions, defined benefit plans, stock bonuses/ESOP's, cash balance plans
  • Any other expenses of the employer for the benefit of employees

Obviously, the financial expert must have knowledge of, and experience with, understanding the existing compensation elements and structure of the employer at the time of injury. A miscalculation of any of the above elements can have a material effect on total damages.

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Practice Profile:

Forensic Accounting Services for Contract Disputes

contract signing

Arxis Financial's "Forensic Accounting" practice offers a particular focus on quantifying the financial and economic issues in contract disputes. Our experience with breach of contract cases includes a wide variety of industries. We have completed analyses of losses arising from disputes such as supplier-purchaser contracts, partnership agreements, leasehold and other commercial real estate agreements, e-commerce transactional disputes, warranty fulfillment, construction contracts, and other breach of contract matters.

Arxis Financial's professionals are experienced in detailed investigation and analysis that is necessary to uncover essential facts and provide meaningful insights. We can perform an analysis to calculate lost revenues, lost profits, lost opportunities, and unjust enrichment. We also provide assistance in the defense against such claims. Expert analysis and conclusions are presented in depositions and trial at local, state and federal court levels as well as mediation and arbitration. We assist attorneys in interpreting the data and help counsel to understand and analyze events or issues as they develop the case and prepare discovery. Clients are pleased with Arxis Financial's abilities to clearly, persuasively, and accurately present economic and financial evidence and opinions.

TheForensic Accountingpractice is headed by partner Chris L. Hamilton, CPA, CFE, CVA. Mr. Hamilton is a Certified Public Accountant, C7ertified Fraud Examiner, and a Certified Valuation Analyst. He is a licensed life and disability insurance agent and a General Securities Representative. Mr. Hamilton has published articles in several publications, and has made presentations at national conferences, training institutes and seminars on topics including forensic accounting, fraud and business appraisal.

If you have any questions about Forensic Accounting Services for Contract Disputes, please feel free to contact us.


Upcoming Speaking Engagements for Chris Hamilton

Chris Hamilton's upcoming presentations include:

  • ""Not All Experts are Created Equal," American College of Business Court Judges webinar (February)

If you are interested in asking Mr. Hamilton to speak at your organization's upcoming meeting, please feel free to contact him.


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Chris Hamilton, CPA, CFE, CVA

Chris Hamilton,
(805) 342-0749

ARXIS Financial

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