In two significant divorce cases that Peter recently litigated, he attained outcomes that tangibly reflect on how his creative due diligence benefited his now extremely happy clients. It is in the area of strategic business valuation where Peter now devotes much of his time and expertise for his clients and legal colleagues.
In a divorce action litigated before a prominent Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice, Peter was challenged by an attorney adversary who was bent on over-litigating a case in which the divorcing couple had historically mismanaged their family finances, leaving more debt than assets to divide. Each time the parties appeared before the judge, Peter made sure to point out on the record in open court the wastefulness of his adversary's approach to the litigation, who was willing to blindly jump down every rabbit hole looking for possible evidence of misappropriation that simply did not exist. After the parties finally settled their financial differences on the day trial was to begin, pursuant to terms that were substantively consistent with Peter‘s original settlement proposal, the only open issue was the wife’s attorney’s approximate $140,000 in unpaid attorney fees. Because Peter was convinced that his client had at all times acted in good faith and that his adversary had wrongfully elevated the temperature of the case and, in the process, the fees Peter had to generate in defending his adversary’s ill-conceived efforts, Peter refused to offer a single dollar of his client’s future earnings toward liquidating the opposing attorney’s bloated fees. Despite the fact that Peter’s client earned over $350,000 per year in the medical profession and the fact that his wife had never earned more than $20,000 in any year of the marriage, the judge declined to award any more in counsel fees beyond the original $7500 paid to the wife’s attorney prior to trial. The court’s decision to deny the other attorney’s application in its entirety was an extraordinarily bold decision by the presiding judge and an extremely pleasing outcome for Peter’s appreciative client.
In a second hotly contested divorce action in which Peter was engaged prior to trial for the sole purpose of challenging the values attributed to his client’s interest in six distinctive businesses owned by a controlling business entity, which were presented through the testimony of the two business valuators hired by his client’s spouse. Over the course of the approximate five trial days that Peter cross-examined the wife’s experts, in addition to choreographing the presentation of his own business valuator's expert opinion offered in rebuttal, Peter meticulously brought out why the plaintiff’s expert's arithmetic, his valuation methodologies, and the theoretical underpinnings of those methodologies, should be rejected. In the decision rendered at the conclusion of the parties' trial, the trial judge rejected the expert opinions of plaintiff's two experts in all respects, while they had opined the value of the client’s interest in the controlling business entity to be approximately $7 million, the trial court adopted the approximate $1.3 million value proffered by Peter’s forensic accountant.
Please keep in mind that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.