Forensic Services

Forensic Services and Expertise

Family Law

The services needed in family law include expert witness testimony, mediation and litigation support, financial forensics, tracing and characterization, calculating reimbursement and waste claims, asset and business valuation, pension valuations and characterizations, electronic discovery and tax. Our understanding of divorce-related accounting issues and services as well as the personal side of a divorce places us ahead of other firms.

Litigation Support

We assist the client and attorney with analyzing and compiling information efficiently for mediation and litigation. We help the client and attorneys manage, document, and compile the voluminous information that is prevalent in today’s litigation.

Asset Tracing

By following the trail of assets or transactions, we deliver an easy-to-follow report that helps the court, the client, and the attorney understand the complex flow of a set of transactions.

Business Valuation

Business valuation is the process of determining the value of a business, a portion of an enterprise or the per share value of the entity. We have years of experience in providing useful and objective analysis in valuing businesses. Our certified business valuations can assist in divorces, gift, estate, business disputes, and shareholder controversies.

Expert Witness Services

Our experts have experience testifying in a variety of legal matters, including family law cases, other civil litigation, criminal, tax, gift, and estate law cases.

Our Experts

Denise French, MAFF, CVA, CRPC, CDFA

Denise French is a partner at Stewart, Hurst, French & Dodson.  Ms. French is an expert in financial forensics, business valuation, pension valuations, executive level compensation plans and complex estate valuation.  Ms. French has over twenty-six years of experience in the financial industry with specialties in brokerage and retirement valuation, tracing, characterization, complex issues with executive level compensation plans and mediation consulting.  

Ms. French testifies as an expert witness for marital dissolution.  She holds the Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF) designation as well as the Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) designation through the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysis (NACVA).  She is also the peer elected Chairman of the Valuation Credentialing Board at NACVA.  She is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) and a peer elected board member of the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts.  She is also a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) through the College for Financial Planning.   In addition, Ms. French is a fiduciary level, Series 66 licensed Investment Advisor Representative, a Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent, and has formerly received the SIE Securities Industry Essential representative, Series 7 General Securities representative, and Series 6 Variable Contracts representative designations. She is also a licensed Insurance and Annuity agent in the State of Texas.  Mrs. French’s speaking engagements include topics such as pension valuation, complex estate valuation and division, insurance and annuities in divorce, tax issues relevant to divorce, executive level qualified and non-qualified benefits, tracing, and valuation of businesses.    

Shelli R. Dodson, CPA

Shelli R. Dodson is a partner at Stewart, Hurst, French & Dodson and Director of the Litigation Division. Ms. Dodson has over twenty-five years of experience in accounting, tax and forensic work. As practicing owner of Dodson & Pope, Certified Public Accountants, she works with individual and small business clients providing them valuable tax and financial advice as they navigate the stages of their lives. As a tax professional she is tasked with the duty of ensuring her clients adhere to tax laws which require her investigative skills to stay sharp. In her years of experience, she has worked with clients and businesses from a variety of backgrounds and industries. She brings a working knowledge of tax laws and their underlying financial transactions to divorce litigants and their attorneys. Her practical experience as an accountant and tax professional mixed with her forensic, valuation and financial expert experience is extremely valuable in divorce litigation cases. Ms. Dodson has worked on hundreds of cases throughout Texas and has provided expert testimony.

Ms. Dodson is an active Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Texas, a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor, a member of the AICPA and a member of the Texas Society of CPAs. Shelli has also received her Certified Tax Resolution Specialist certificate issued by the American Society of Tax Resolution Specialists.

Bill Stewart

Bill Stewart is an expert forensic accountant in the areas of family law, commercial litigation, labor law, and probate. With over forty-five years of experience as a CPA in both industry and public practice, he provides expert testimony, mediation consulting and business advisory services. From working in numerous family law cases, he has vast experience in tracing assets that spouses have secreted from marital estates.

Mr. Stewart is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), with designations of Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF). Mr. Stewart is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) as designated by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He was on the AICPA’s Family Law Task Force, a member of the board of AICPA’s Forensic and Business Valuation Service, and a member of the Texas Society’s Forensic and Valuation Services Committee. He is the co-author of the Family Law Services Handbook and the Lost Profits Damages: Principles, Methods and Applications technical book. Mr. Stewart has been a faculty member of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Family Law Advocacy Conference and is a frequent lecturer and guest speaker to various legal and accounting organizations.

Beth Hurst

Beth Hurst is an expert in financial forensics, business valuation, separate property tracing, partnership disputes, business interruption, lost earnings, estate and trust finance, reasonable compensation, cross border equity returns, and normalizations of earnings. Ms. Hurst has over thirty years of experience in the financial industry with specialties in mergers and acquisition, venture capital, multinational corporate banking, bank compliance, and capital markets, over numerous economic cycles and across companies of all sizes and industries.

Ms. Hurst testifies as an expert witness for all types of dispute resolution. She is an Accredited Senior Appraiser by the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. She has been President of the Houston Chapter of the American Society of Appraisers. Her speaking engagements include topics such as valuation of businesses, discounts for lack of control and marketability as well as personal/enterprise goodwill. She has traveled and worked extensively in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. She excels in dynamic, challenging, and fast-paced environments where a sense of urgency is critical.

Our Staff

Lisa Hutchings

Lisa Hutchings is a Senior Financial Forensic Analyst at Stewart, Hurst, French & Dodson. Ms. Hutchings has over 30 years of forensic analysis experience.  She works on civil and family law litigation matters, providing asset tracing, inventory preparation, document management and review services.  In addition, she provides support services to our Business Valuation department. Mrs. Hutchings holds a BBA in Marketing and has worked for Bill Stewart or Stewart/Hurst for the past 20 years.

Lydia Rezie, CPA

Lydia Rezie is a Forensic Accountant at Stewart, Hurst, French & Dodson.  She joined our team in 2020 and is involved in civil and family law litigation matters, where she provides separate property tracing and characterization, inventory preparation, and review services.  Ms. Rezie is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the AICPA.  She started her career in investment banking in 2000, where she primarily worked with companies in the energy sector, including utilities, oil and gas companies, and master limited partnerships. Her transaction experience included mergers and acquisitions, public debt and equity offerings, and bank debt structuring; she gained extensive experience in company and asset valuations as well as capital structure analysis. In 2008, Ms. Rezie became a supervisory analyst in equity research, where she reviewed and approved research analysts’ investment recommendations to ensure financial accuracy and adherence to securities industry standards and regulations.

Ashley Skinner

Ashley Skinner is our Operations Manager. Mrs. Skinner provides the day-to-day management of our operations group including answering the phones, sending engagement letters, handling billing, emails and data intake. Her organizational skills help keep each case flowing as it should communicating with the litigation staff and attorneys as needed to keep up with the flow of data, deadlines, and other necessary information with each case.

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