1. Compare the potential liability of accountants with that of other professions including pharmacists, engineers, architects, and other professions. 2. Explain in your own words, the similarities and differences between simple negligence, gross negligence, and fraud. 3. In your own words, explain scienter. Do you think scienter should be a burden of proof for the investor/plaintiff? Why or hy not? 4. In your own words, describe disgorgement. What are your opinions on using disgorgement as a sanction? 5. The Internal Revenue Service often chooses high profile people to prosecute. Do you believe that Wesley Snipes was a villain or a victim? Was his punishment Appropriate? Why? 6. What company policies, practices, and techniques would you recommend that individuals and accounting firms adopt to reduce or avoid civil liabilities and criminal charges?

An accountant may be liable for negligence, not only in contract but in tort, if a person to whom he or she owed a duty of care has suffered loss as a result of the accountant’s negligence. An accountant will almost always owe a duty of care to his or her own client, but that duty is likely to be coextensive with his or her contractual duty. In practice, the possibility of liability in tort will be important mainly in the context of claims by third parties.
Members are reminded that, even if they adopt all the measures discussed in this guidance, they may still be exposed to disputes with clients or third parties. Disputes might give rise to allegations, complaints or claims against members. When providing professional services, risk may be managed but cannot be eliminated. The possibility of disputes involving providers of professional services is a feature of professional life. Whether or not allegations, complaints or claims made against members have merit, members will wish to establish proper procedures to handle allegations or complaints and to deal with all claims promptly, to notify their insurers and to seek appropriate legal advice.

2. In general usage, negligence means “carelessness.”Negligence is the disregard for the safety or life of other people. Gross Negligence is also the same thing; it is the degree of negligence that will make the difference.

Gross negligence is a tort term of art. Like negligence, it’s vague, so necessarily determining whether a party’s conduct has been negligent or grossly negligent depends on the circumstances. But beyond that, gross negligence has no settled meaning.

Constructive fraud is the existence of extreme or unusual negligence with no intent to deceive or do harm. In contrast, fraud involves both knowledge and intent to deceive.

3. It is a mental state in which one has knowledge that one’s action, statement, etc., is wrong, deceptive, or illegal: often used as a standard of guilt. The burden of proof is a party’s responsibility to prove a disputed charge, allegation, or defense. The burden of proof has two components: the burden of production and the burden of persuasion. The burden of production is the obligation to present evidence to the judge or jury. The burden of persuasion is the duty to convince the judge or jury to a certain standard, such as beyond a reasonable doubt, which is defined shortly. 4.A repayment of ill-gotten gains that is imposed on wrong-doers by the courts. Funds that were received through illegal or unethical business transactions are disgorged, or paid back, with interest to those affected by the action. Disgorgement is a remedial civil action, rather than a punitive civil action. Disgorgement is the act of giving up something such as the profits obtained by illegal or unethical acts on demand or by legal compulsion. Court can order wrongdoers to pay back illegal profits to prevent unjust enrichment. Disgorgement is a remedy and not a punishment. 6. Many managers think of ethics as a question of personal scruples, a confidential matter between individuals and their consciences. These executives are quick to describe any wrongdoing as an isolated incident, the work of a rogue employee. The thought that the company could bear any responsibility for an individual’s misdeeds never enters their minds. Ethics, after all, has nothing to do with management.

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