3.8: The CBV as a “Qualified Expert” in Court
Any professional providing evidence in court is required to be qualified (i.e. accepted) by the court as an expert in the subject matter. The CBV designation provides primary support for a valuator’s expertise; however, the court will also examine the CBV’s experience in valuations work to ensure that any evidence provided by the CBV is useful to the court. In contested situations the credibility of the CBV’s report is often the first line of attack for counsel that disputes the CBV’s conclusion.
The Supreme Court of Canada case, R. v. Mohan (1994), set the criteria for admissibility of expert opinion evidence, and the CBV’s role can be tabulated as follows:
Criteria per R. v. Mohan
|The CBV’s role|
|The evidence is relevant to some issue in the case||
The CBV’s report may be regarded as evidence of the value of an asset, or the quantum of a loss, that is relevant to the case
|The evidence is necessary to assist the trier of fact||
The judge would rarely be trained in business valuations: the CBV assists in determining the quantum of damages or financial settlements
|The evidence does not violate an exclusionary rule|
|The witness is a properly qualified expert||
The valuator’s qualifications and experience need to be evident and appropriate to the case
When acting as an expert, a CBV’s primary duty is to assist the court.
British Columbia’s Supreme Court Family Rules strongly favour a jointly appointed valuator in Family Law cases. This underlines the need for CBV’s to be independent and objective, requiring the appointed CBV to certify that:
“I am aware of my duty to assist the court and not be an advocate for any party. I have made this report in conformity with that duty and will, if called on to give oral or written testimony, give that testimony in conformity with that duty.”
MVI’s principal has been qualified as an expert in the BC Supreme Court in both family and corporate cases.