Christine Davis, CPA, CFF, CVA, CGMA, has joined OnPoint Analytics to head up its growing accounting-based litigation practice. As a seasoned expert witness, we spoke to Chris about her view of the profession and her plans at OnPoint:
As a CPA, what drew you to litigation consulting?
The work is challenging and enriching. I started early in my career as a CPA, and was immediately drawn to the freedom—and necessity—to think through a case carefully and strategize the approach based on the facts and evidence. There were no audit programs that dictated the scope of work—every case was different. I also loved the investigative aspect of it, and it felt natural to apply a combination of analytical, research, and communication skills to make a difference.
What yardstick do you use to judge an expert report?
Respect for the evidence and the data: a good expert provides ample support and works with the facts as they are, rather than as we might wish them to be. Because my reports often involve very technical material, I also place a high priority on communicating simply, using plain language and intuitive graphics.
What are the key elements of successful expert testimony?
There is no substitute for thorough preparation. I enjoy working closely with counsel to make sure we are on the same page and that we understand the case in the same way. There are so many different testifying styles, but I try to exhibit respect, patience, clarity and—of course—the absolute confidence that, having done my homework, my opinions are correct!
Are there particular types of cases that you especially enjoy?
I have been fortunate because my varied background enables me to work on a wide range of cases. I testify on fraud, accounting malpractice, business valuation, financial reconstruction and economic damages. I am especially looking forward to doing more work in the intellectual property space, including on reasonable royalties and lost profits.
Why the move to OnPoint Analytics?
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at DZH Phillips which is a truly exceptional tax and audit firm. They provided a great home for my practice. But at this point in my career, I want to be in a firm that focuses principally on litigation and where I will be surrounded by highly trained economists, statisticians and data technicians. Given the interactions I’ve had with the first-rate professionals at OnPoint Analytics, I could not think of a better match for me.