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Basics of Accounting for Lawyers 2017: What Every Practicing Lawyer Needs to Know

Speaker(s): A. Christine Davis, J. Michael Matthews, Jonathan Carey, Jonathan Hilton, Michael L. Cypers, Sharon Selleck, Terry M. Lloyd, Tim Sherman
Recorded on: Jul. 20, 2017
PLI Program #: 182477

A. Christine Davis is the Director of Forensic Accounting and Financial Crimes at Bates Group, a provider of U.S. and global securities litigation support and regulatory consulting, financial institution compliance solutions, and professional services in anti-money laundering, fraud investigation, and forensic accounting. Based in San Francisco, Ms. Davis has over twenty-seven years of combined forensic accounting, auditing, taxation, and dispute consulting experience. Having been admitted in federal and state courts as an expert, Ms. Davis has credentials and expertise in forensic, financial, and management accounting and in business valuation. She is a Certified Public Accountant in California, New York and Oregon, and holds the Certified in Financial Forensics and Certified Valuation Analyst credentials. She is a designated Chartered Global Management Accountant in recognition of her technical expertise and many years of professional experience advising businesses and clients. She holds the Arbitrator Certificate issued by the Bar Association of San Francisco and the Blockchain Fundamentals for Accounting and Finance Professionals Certificate issued by the American Institute of CPAs. She is also a published author and on the faculty for continuing legal education programs.

Ms. Davis has been a consulting and testifying expert for complex commercial litigation and regulatory matters and a forensic accounting consultant for fraud and accounting investigations. As a financial, accounting and damages expert in litigation, she has provided calculations, analytical insight, discovery assistance, and expert testimony. She is subject to the professional standards of the AICPA, which require the application of due professional care, professional skepticism, objectivity, and integrity to her work, and the gathering of sufficient relevant data that provide a reasonable basis for her conclusions or opinions.

Ms. Davis has worked on a wide range of disputed financial matters for clients ranging from large public corporations to governmental entities and public agencies. Those assignments involved many industries, including technology, telecommunications, manufacturing, consumer goods, real estate, construction, financial services, mortgage banking, agriculture, insurance, healthcare, restaurants, parking services, media, government, accounting services, and nonprofits. She has provided expert consultation in cases involving complex accounting analyses, partnership disputes, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, wage-and-hour claims, the standard of care for accountants, lost profits and lost earnings, business valuation, insurance bad faith, and allegations of asset misappropriation and financial statement fraud. As a forensic CPA and litigation consultant for over 20 years, Ms. Davis has the frontline experience to interpret complex financial information and the expertise to communicate her findings with clarity and intentionality.

J. Michael Matthews has over thirty-five years experience as a trial lawyer, with expertise in a wide variety of areas, including partnership and corporate disputes, professional liability claims, and commercial, real estate and construction cases. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and has tried over forty jury and court trials involving law firm dissolutions and accounting, breach of contract, fraud, professional malpractice, construction defect, delay, and/or mechanics' lien claims, product liability and insurance coverage (including bad faith).

Mr. Matthews has taught real estate law in the M.B.A. program at Golden Gate University, has written articles regarding real estate, construction and partnership issues, and has lectured on a variety of subjects including litigation skills, insurance coverage issues, and partnership accounting and dissolution. He has lectured at the national convention of the American Institute of CPAs regarding accounting for partnership dissolutions, and has presented multistate construction seminars for the construction trade, including Lorman's California Construction Law, Continuing Education of the Bar courses, National Business Institute Seminars, Federal Publications Seminars, and the Practicing Law Institute. He presents the Attorney/Accountant Ethics portion of the Practicing Law Institute's summer program "Basics of Accounting for Lawyers." He is a contributing author for "Advising California Partnerships, 3rd Ed." He has served as an expert witness or mediator in cases involving a variety of issues, and as a judicial arbitrator/mediator for Bay Area superior courts.


Mr. Matthews graduated from Yale University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

He received his J.D. from Georgetown University of Law Center in 1976.

Jonathan Carey is the Founder and President of LegalVision a litigation presentation strategy consulting firm in San Francisco, CA.

LegalVision helps attorneys prevail on complex and complicated cases.


  • Work closely with attorneys on business, anti-trust, tort and criminal trials
  • Turn complex data and contested narrative into simple, persuasive visuals
  • Design visuals that help attorneys explain their case in a way that helps jurors understand, remember, and care when it is time to deliberate.
  • Optimize results using “design thinking” and “red team” consulting approaches
  • Produce communications to reduce time to case resolution
  • Help attorneys increase returns on overall litigation investment and yield

In addition to a BS in Mechanical Engineering Design from the University of Massachusetts, Jonathan received an MBA in Marketing from Tulane University.

Jonathan Hilton is a member of the Andersen Tax Private Client Services group, who works with ultra-high net worth individuals, multi-generational family groups, executives at both established firms and early stage companies, and fund principals at venture capital and private equity firms.

Jonathan has more than 10 years of experience in tax compliance and professional tax advisory services.

Jonathan’s service specializations include:

  • Individual income tax planning and compliance
  • Estate and gift planning
  • Fiduciary tax strategies and compliance
  • Family office structuring and compliance
  • Equity compensation strategies

He is a speaker at the Public Law Institute in the area of accounting for lawyers. He has instructed firm trainings in the areas of income accounting, fiduciary tax accounting, wealth transfer, partnership theory and reporting, and S corporation taxation.

Jonathan serves as President of the San Francisco Chapter of the BYU Management Society.

Sharon Selleck has over 25 years of experience in public accounting, performing audits of financial statements for both publicly traded and privately held companies. Her experience includes audit, general accounting, and financial reporting services for a variety of industries from technology companies and wholesale distributors to not-for-profit entities.

Sharon is responsible for BPM’s compliance with regulatory peer reviews, Quality Control standards, and monitoring of the quality control in the firm’s Assurance practice. She also issues quarterly technical updates on new and proposed standards to BPM staff and is involved in staff trainings during the year.

Education & Professional Credentials:

  • BS/Business Administration/Accounting – University of California, Berkeley
  • CPA, State of California

Professional Affiliations:

  • Member – California Society of CPAs (CalCPA)
  • Member – American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Member of the Peer Review Oversight Committee of the California State Board of Accountancy

Tim Sherman has nearly twenty years of experience applying accounting, financial, and economic principles in various dispute and non-dispute contexts.  He has performed valuations, calculated damages, and analyzed complex accounting issues in a variety of industries, including entertainment, technology, financial services, and aerospace.   He has managed large teams for litigation and investigation related projects.  Mr. Sherman’s work has involved writing expert reports pursuant to FRCP Rule 26, preparing complex damage schedules, assisting with discovery (e.g., document requests and depositions), and preparing for trial.  Mr. Sherman’s experience includes:

  • Investigating misstatements in publicly filed financial statements and determining the impact of misstatements on previously issued financial statements.
  • Calculating damages and identifying and interpreting accounting guidance related to inventory valuation in a dispute regarding the price paid in a business acquisition.
  • Evaluating auditor compliance with generally accepted auditing standards related to the recognition of fictitious revenues and cash balances.
  • Calculating lost profits and reasonable royalties in multiple patent infringement disputes.


  • B.A., Pomona College
  • M.B.A., the Stern School of Business at New York University

Professional Designations

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) - California
  • Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) - AICPA

As a partner in Glaser Weil’s Litigation Department, Michael Cypers focuses on complex financial cases. He is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried multiple cases dealing with civil securities, corporate, partnership, financing and fiduciary duty.

Mr. Cypers successful trial work on behalf of a private equity fund that rescinded investment contracts earned a “Top High Impact Verdict” in California distinction in 2010 by the Los Angeles Daily Journal. He has tried several disputes before juries involving financial statements, including a seven-month class action alleging $1 billion in damages that resulted in a defense verdict for Mr. Cypers’ client.

Based in Los Angeles for more than three decades, Mr. Cypers’ practice reaches across the nation and around the world. He successfully represented a private equity firm in its securing rights to solar energy projects in Canada; he represented a public pension in a dispute with a Wall Street securities firm and he represented the majority founders of a venture capital firm in separating from a minority founder. He has also litigated civil securities matters relating to Enron, Cendant, McKesson and Sprint.

Mr. Cypers was an adjunct professor of law at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley from 1997 until 2012, teaching seminars on securities litigation, corporate governance and advanced civil litigation.

Terry Lloyd, CPA, CFA is a financial analyst with a practice specializing in finance and accounting matters in tax, dispute, and transaction settings.  He is also an arbitrator for the AAA, FINRA, and under court appointment.  He is a CPA and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and has published widely, including portions of a law school text on accounting and has guest lectured for both law schools and graduate business schools.  Mr. Lloyd has been qualified as an expert on valuation, finance, accounting, and damages in courts, arbitration forums, and the International Court of Arbitration.  He also once deposed another CPA. 

Mr. Lloyd’s work has taken him to Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America.  His clients include law and accounting firms, private equity investors, the SEC, and the IRS.

Mr. Lloyd holds a BA in accounting (magna cum laude) and an MBA in finance.  He is a shareholder in the consultancy Finance Scholars Group and was previously a partner with BDO Seidman and a managing director with the Huron Consulting Group.