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Brooklyn Bar Association hosts Business Evaluation CLE

June 23, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Bar Association hosted a panel of two judges and four lawyers for a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar on Business Valuation Monday night. Standing from left: Jeffrey Golkin, Dewey Golkin and Edward F. Esposito. Sitting from left: Hon. Carolyn E. Demarest and Hon. Pam Jackman Brown. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese.
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The Brooklyn Bar Association hosted a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar “An Introduction to Business Valuation: What Attorneys Need to Know,” at the Bar Association on Remsen Street on Monday.

The course was designed to help new and established attorneys to better understand the situations that give rise to a business valuation and provide an introduction to the technical aspects of business valuation.

Hon. Carolyn E. Demarest, presiding justice of the Kings County Commercial Division, and Hon. Pam Jackman Brown, justice of the Queens County Supreme Court Matrimonial Part, were on hand for the lecture that was run by Dewey Golkin, Esq. of the Law Offices of Dewey Golkin and featured his brother Jeffrey Golkin, Esq., of Jeffrey Golkin Partners, and Edward F. Esposito, a certified public accountant who is accredited in business valuation.

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“This is the quintessential litigation problem that we all face,” said D. Golkin. “There are different interests and you get appraisals to meet that interest. The appraisals are not an exact science.”

D. Golkin gave tips on handling business valuation cases including being mindful of discovery rules and rules required for producing expert testimony. He also said that the best way to protect your clients is to advise them to come up with an exit strategy before going into business with a partner, a pre-nuptial agreement of sorts, to avoid expensive litigation costs down the road. Finally, he advised against malpractice issues that arise when businesses keep improper books.

“If you have an identifiable means of valuing the business it can be a very simple transaction which avoids very expensive and very contentious litigation,” D. Golkin said. “As much as I love the judges here, I don’t want to see them because no one leaves happy. A judge told me once, ‘when everybody leaves unhappy, I’ve done my job.’ That’s a very scary thing.”

Esposito gave a thorough introduction to business valuation and discussed cases and scenarios. J. Golkin, who was brought in as the tax expert, tried to explain what exactly needs to be valued, how and why. He also went over different methodologies for the various concepts.

The two judges lent their expertise to various topics throughout the discussion and often weighed in with how hypothetical scenarios would play out in their courts. Both judges jumped in toward the end when J. Golkin mentioned that credibility is often the most important factor when it comes to a business valuation case.

“If you have an expert or an appraiser who comes in and gives all kinds of convoluted formulas and makes up theories to support the client’s position, they may think they’ll gain by confusing the court, but they lose credibility,” Demarest said. “If you give me something I can understand in straight forward format, you’ll be a lot better off than if you try to spin it in a way that doesn’t make any sense to anybody.”

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