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Litigation and Forensic Strategy

Professional and personal relationships can occasionally lead to uncertainty, mistrust or conflict. In the most desirable of circumstances, a dispute can be avoided through thoughtful planning and frank communication. Sometimes, however, the parties in a dispute need to resolve their differences through a legal process or even the courts. In both cases, CBM has the expertise to help.

Our experienced team of litigation professionals helps clients address a variety of potential or current disputes in an objective and compassionate manner.

In the course of any engagement, we advise on and pursue the course of action most likely to help each client achieve the best possible outcome.

Whether the nature of a situation is a potential marriage or family dispute, a disagreement between business partners or another kind of interpersonal conflict, CBM’s knowledgeable conflict resolution specialists are trained to thoroughly assess the fundamentals of each dispute through an information-gathering and, if needed, a rigorous document review and analysis process. We are trained to understand a number of proven dispute resolution methods including, for example, the Thomas-Kilmann conflict model.

At the beginning of an engagement, we listen closely to understand each client’s particular goals. We identify resources available to them and offer a variety of possible financial, tax and life planning outcomes for consideration.

Some engagements are as simple as analyzing and providing objective feedback about a tax return or a budget presented by a marital or business partner. Other engagements are more complex such as when CBM is asked to serve as a mediator or a financial neutral during a divorce, to identify true up calculations based on a triggering event, or to examine more complex documents such as a valuation, partnership agreement, separation agreement, or a pre- or post-nuptial agreement.

We advise our clients based on a number of factors including the likelihood that a particular course of action could result to actual litigation. We take into account each client’s tolerance for conflict and risk in making our recommendations.

Because some engagements take on additional complexity, especially as conflict-resolution strategies can’t resolve disagreements, CBM can advise on matters related to tax planning, estate or trust planning, financial or divorce planning, forensic accounting, wealth management valuations and a wide array of other needs. CBM’s litigation support team includes certified public accountants, certified financial planners, certified divorce financial analysts, certified fraud examiners and certified valuation analysts.

Should the expertise of a legal professional become necessary in the course of litigation, CBM’s professionals also have established relationships with reputable litigation and family law attorneys whom we can recommend.

Read below for more details about our particular areas of expertise.

Tax and Financial Planning

To help clients understand the potential impacts of their decisions during a litigation engagement, CBM’s team members are cross trained to advise on financial planning matters. We can help navigate a number of areas including estates, trusts, retirement planning, education planning and wealth management. Additionally, CBM’s certified public accountants have decades of experience helping individual and business clients understand their unique tax liabilities. Should an engagement have financial consequences, CBM’s tax team can help a client understand the ramifications.

Conflict Mediation

Some conflicts can be resolved when both parties are willing to engage in an on open and frank conversation that is facilitated by an objective third party. A mediation is especially helpful when highly charged emotions make it hard to communicate about matters that can be resolved to save a personal or professional partnership, or which need to be discussed to identify the terms of a dissolution. CBM’s trained mediators facilitate the kind of dialogue that has the potential to de-escalate tough situations, and which can result in the most satisfying resolution possible given the circumstances, all without additional expenses or emotional turmoil.

Document Review and Management

The source of a dispute can often be traced back through a series of documents that have been either misunderstood, forgotten or even withheld. CBM’s litigation support team has significant experience reviewing and analyzing partnership agreements, divorce agreements, tax returns, insurance policies, court orders, settlement agreements, title records, invoices and receipts, bank and investment statements, loan statements and a variety of other documents to identify the actual facts in the face of a dispute. This can bring parties in a conflict to a shared agreement of the situation or support a client’s position if no agreement can be reached.

Forensic Accounting

Some conflicts include concerns about hidden assets and property. When a client suspects that a purchase or income stream has not been reported by another party in a dispute, CBM’s forensic accountants can search through private and public records such as titles, credit card statements and loan statements to identify the possibility that a party may have been less than forthright about their stated position, and that they may even be concealing factual information that needs to be considered as part of a dispute resolution or settlement.

Expert Witness Testimony

When a conflict ends up in the court system, CBM is available to provide expert witness testimony about documented agreements and financial matters. Our expertise researching and presenting factual information at a trial can support the legitimate position of a client or, through the presentation of documented evidence, rebut a legal action that has been taken by another partner in a dispute. CBM’s litigation team members have delivered expert witness testimony in dozens of trials including those concerning marital or partnership disagreements and when valuations have been performed for purposes of establishing business settlements.