In Uncategorized on 12/19/2019 at 16:47

Another installment of my arithmetic equivalency series is Jesus J. Rivas & Oralicia Valdez, Docket No. 26456-17, filed 12/19/19. It’s Jesus’ story, mostly about his unreported income and his unsubstantiated deductions in his landscaping bsuiness.

I want to bring forward Jesus’ trial expert, Mr. Rappoport, whose report Judge David Gustafson bounces, along with Mr. R’s testimony.

“His report does not set forth any ‘facts or data’ on which he relied. Fed. R. Evid. 702(b); Rule 143(g)(1)(B). He estimated the expenses of the landscaping business on the basis of what he called ‘industry average profit margin of 10% and indirect overhead expense of 10%.’ His report includes no source for these figures. The report makes no reference to any receipts, invoices, canceled checks, bank or credit card statements, or other documents to substantiate the expenses actually incurred by petitioner husband’s landscaping business.

“The report is also deficient in its explanation of the ‘principles and methods’ that Mr. Rappoport employed in performing his analysis. See Fed. R. Evid. 702(c). The 17 sample projects show aggregate income of$192,606, but Mr. Rappoport derives his expense estimate by assuming total income of $704,725 from all construction projects during the four years at issue. The report does not disclose how Mr. Rappoport determined the total income from all of the projects, nor does he explain why he believes the 17 projects to be representative of the entire universe. His report thus fails to establish that he ‘reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.’ See Fed. R. Evid. 702(d).” Order, at p. 3.

Judge Gustafson is willing to allow that Mr. R is an expert. “Petitioners contend, and we assume arguendo, that Mr. Rappaport is ‘an undeniable subject matter expert, with forty years of experience.’” Order, at p. 3.

That said, it isn’t enough. “…while an expert can be qualified on the basis of his experience, he cannot cite his experience as the sole basis for estimating four years’ worth of business expenses.” Order, at p. 3.

Forty won’t get you four.

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