What role do experts and expert testimony play in securities litigation cases?
Minneapolis attorney Scott Benson of Briol & Associates discusses how experts can testify what sorts of securities a broker should have put their client’s money when they placed it in a poor investment.
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Well, experts are pretty important. In securities cases, for example, you need to establish the level of care that the broker should have taken with the customer in those cases. For example, there’ll be cases in which the client wasn’t put in a suitable security, and in those cases, you need an expert to testify what would have been suitable for that client given the client’s age and position in life. What should that client have been invested in as opposed to what the broker put them in? And so it’s important in those cases to have an expert to testify in that regard.
Then there’s also churning cases, cases where the broker took the client’s money and basically traded it over and over and over again. And it’s important to have an expert in those cases to be able to identify was that actually too often. Was there a breach of the duty of the broker in that case as to what should have been done for that client?
In minority shareholder cases it’s also pretty important to have experts. For example, experts will talk about valuation of a business in those cases. Without the expert, it’s hard to determine what’s the value of the business and what’s the value of your client’s holding in that business, and so we often use experts in those cases. Those are the usual types of experts we have. Of course, different cases present different issues and so you might need to have experts in a whole variety of other fields as well.