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Acct 620 Week 1 Assignment 1 Misty Myers

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For what crime was Al Capone convicted and sent to prison?

Tax Evasion 1925-1927 and failure to file income tax returns 1928 and 1929

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What is meant by forensic accountant’s mindset?

It is the accountant’s mental state which developed from education, experience, prejudices, and
overall thought process.

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Discuss the types of litigation services provided by forensic accountants.

Expert Witness Service- This category is broken into two types, a fact witness and an expert
witness. An expert witness is a person who possesses scientific and technical knowledge. They are there
to help the judge and jurors’ understand the evidence presented. A fact witness only gives first-hand
knowledge related to the facts presented.

Consulting (non-testifying) Service- These witnesses do not provide testimony in front of a jury.
They share their knowledge with the attorney representing the client.

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How does the role of a forensic accountant differ from the role of a transactional account?

A transactional accountant works for an organization that follows GAAP guidelines. They use
these guidelines when making decisions. They also record the transactions of the company. They are
managed by the company’s internal control system.

A forensic account is usually independent. They are managed not by a company system but that
which is defined by the specific engagement.

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What are the three essential characteristics/skills possessed by a forensic account?

Critical thinking, reasoning, and the most important (In my opinion) communication

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Does a forensic account use inductive or deductive reasoning when conducting an engagement?
Explain.
Acct 620 Week 1 Assignment 1 Misty Myers

Forensic accountants use both types of reasoning to perform their job. Deductive reasoning is a
form of reasoning that stems from the general to specific. It begs the questions, what is the logical
outcome? This method starts with a Major statement that leads to a possible conclusion to a final
conclusion. Inductive reasoning evolves from a pattern. If this happens then this must happen.

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Discuss the CSI effect as it relates to forensic accounting.

The CSI effect basically states that jurors have an expectation of the amount and type of
evidence presented at trials because of what they watch on tv. It can be difficult as a forensic
accountant to keep the attention of the jurors because the information presented can be tedious and
the data can be extensive and “boring” to those unfamiliar with accounting.

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Explain the “rule of law doctrine” as used in the United States.

This doctrine basically states that in the eyes of the law, all people are equal. No one is above
the law.

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Identify five key differences between the actual process of the U>S. judicial system and its portrayal in
popular television programs such as Law & Order and CSI.

- Court battles are not always easily won


- Not every crime gets solved
- Not every expert witness can make the jury understand what is presented
- Evidence is not always easily found
- Judges are not very tolerant with surprise evidence or courtroom spectacles

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What is the purpose of the discovery process? What types of activities occur during this process?

The discovery process was designed to help eliminate surprises at trial. It also always both
parties to adequately prepare for trial. The process includes;

-The disclosure of all expert witnesses that will be called at trial by both parties

-all non-privileged information is to be disclosed before trial

-copies of expert witness communications need to be provided to opposing council.


Acct 620 Week 1 Assignment 1 Misty Myers

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Describe significant differences between the structure of a civil trial and the structure of a criminal
trial.

A civil trial has three stages

-Pleading stage- This is the beginning of a trial. It is where a lawsuit or complaint is filed.

-Discovery stage- This stage is where all non-privileged information, expert witnesses, and evidence is
disclosed to all parties.

-Trial stage- starts with the selection of a jury and then the attorneys make their opening argument.

A criminal trial- a criminal trial is difference because there is a fourth stage and the pleading stage is a
bit different. A lawsuit is not filed but a complaint is. It is a complaint brought forth by not only a
complainant but also a criminal investigator. The verdict differs as well because in a civil case a person is
found financially liable or not liable. In a criminal trial a person is either guilty or not guilty. A guilty
verdict results in jail time. The fourth stage is the obligation of providing the burden of proof. In other
words the prosecutors have the burden of proving the plaintiff is guilty. This is where the statement of
“Innocent until proven guilty” is applied.

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Explain why a testifying expert can provide an opinion in a civil or criminal case, but other witnesses
cannot do so.

An expert witness has specific knowledge and years of experience and training. Their experience
gives them the capability of making a reasonable, educated opinion. They have the right mindset and
skill set to offer a credible opinion. Other witnesses do not have the knowledge or experience to provide
a reasonable opinion.

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What is meant by probative value? Provide examples of when a court may exclude evidence from
being admitted because it lacks probative value.

Probative value is evidence that can be used to prove something important in a trial. This type of
evidence can be excluded by the judge if it may cause unfair bias, confuse or mislead the jury, or if it just
a waste of the courts time and resources.

Ex.1 A man beats his wife and she presses charges and is brought to trial. The prosecuting attorney
wants to bring a witness that saw the defendant in a heated argument with someone at the grocery
store last week in an effort to prove said defendant has a temper and is violent. The judge may choose
Acct 620 Week 1 Assignment 1 Misty Myers

to exclude this witness because it may cause an unfair bias within the jury. If this same argument led to
a fist fight then the judge may allow it because it proves that the defendant is violent.

Ex. 2 A man commits armed robbery and accidentally shots the store clerk. The prosecutor wants to
bring forth a witness that saw the defendant steal a pair of pants when he was 15 from a department
store. No charges were ever filed. The prosecutor wants to present this evidence to show that the
defendant has a history of violent robberies. The judge may choose to exclude the witness because the
first crime was committed while underage and has no significant relevance to the current trial. This may
mislead the jury to make unfair assumptions about the defendant. On the other hand, if the prosecutor
just want to prove the defendant has a history of stealing he may allow it, since it will not mislead the
jury to assume he was a violent criminal at that time.

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What is the Daubert challenge? Who initiates this challenge and why?

The Daubert challenge is a motion put forth by opposing counsel to exclude an expert witness.
The opposing party initiates the challenge on the basis that expert witness is not qualified, or whether
their information is credible. The judge gets to make the decision of whether the expert witness will be
allowed on the stand.

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Describe the product doctrine. What is its primary purpose?

The product doctrine allows attorneys to be protected from the discovery process so that they
can prepare for trial without having the fear that there preparations would be known to the opposing
counsel. This may include outlines of potential arguments or even opening statements.