The Firm

Altstadt Consulting provides consulting services to attorneys and their clients in commercial litigation matters.  Our services include forensic accounting, calculation of economic damages, expert testimony, valuation of closely-held businesses, fraud investigations and all types of pre-trial discovery assistance.  Our professionals have qualified as experts in various forums including State Courts, Federal Court, Arbitration hearings and before Administrative Law Bodies.

The Firm was co-founded by John E. Altstadt and Betty L. Altstadt.  John has over thirty-five years of experience in public accounting and litigation consulting.  After training in a "Big 4 Firm" accounting and consulting environment, he has owned and directed his own litigation consulting firm for over eighteen years.  His clients have encompassed almost every type of business and almost very type of consultation to those businesses.

Betty  has approximately twenty-eight years of experience.  After three years of auditing in a "Big 4" firm she spent seven years in financial reporting and accounting at a large State Savings Bank.  For the past eighteen years she has specialized in litigation consulting.  Betty is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California.

For further detail of the experience of the partners of Altstadt Consulting, please see the expertise and resume sections of the website.

Our Philosophy

We at Altstadt Consulting believe in one thing - litigation is unfortunate for everyone involved.  It is also, at times unavoidable.  Our assignment, in those instances when litigation is necessary, is to provide the most cost effective and timely consultation possible.

We do not believe in doing anything and everything possible - just because it might ultimately be needed and or your client will pay for it.  That is the philosophy of others.  We also do not believe in overstating the judgments in cases we have worked on.  We can provide you with specific details of any work we have performed.

After working on hundreds of litigation matters, we have learned in most types of cases what is necessary and what is not.  We won't spend our time - or your client's money - on matters that are irrelevant.

Industry Specialities


Mr. Altstadt has over thirty-five years of experience in the automotive field.  His clients have included retail dealerships, manufacturers and distributers, captive finance companies and individual dealers.  Mr. Altstadt's experience includes audit, tax and valuation services for individual dealers and their stores, as well as, litigation consulting in franchise disputes, shareholder and employment disputes, marital dissolution matters and all types of contractual issues.

Mr. Altstadt has served in excess of 200 different franchises during the years.  He has testified in State and Federal Court as well as before the California New Motor Vehicle Board and other Administrative Law Bodies.  He has provided services to dealers and manufacturers throughout the United States including California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, Lousiana, Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia and New York.

Mr. Altstadt has served many of the leading law firms servicing the industry including McGlinchey Stafford, Bingham McCutcheon, Baker Hostetler, Charapp & Weiss, Manning Leaver, et al., Callahan Thompson, et al.,  Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo, Gibson Dunn, Latham & Watkins, Jones Day and Sheppard Mullin.

Real Estate and Construction

The partners of Altstadt Consulting have a combined total of over forty-five years of experience in providing services to the real estate and construction industries.  Our services have ranged from audit and tax services to litigation consulting to accounting and financial reporting for lenders.

In the litigation consulting field our experience includes quantifying damages from construction delays and defects, cost accounting and evaluation of cost allocations, evaluation of common area maintenance charges and valuation of all types of properties - both commercial and residential.

Mr. Altstadt has testified in State Court and before Arbitration panels about all aspects of the industry including accounting and tax issues, damages, shareholder disputes, alter ego issues, the profitability of operations and specific projects, cost allocation and valuation of properties.

Restaurant and Fast Food Franchises

Another of the industries with which we have significant experience is hospitality - specifically the restaurant and fast food world.  We have experience with individual restaurants, as well as, the largest fast food chains in this country.  We have built a level of expertise within this industry that allows us to value businesses and quantify damages relating to contractual issues and the termination of franchises.

The restaurant business is one that is subject to great volatility based on the location, economy and management involved.  We have great expertise in analyzing these factors and incorporating them into our work for your client.

Mr. Altstadt has testified on numerous occasions regarding the restaurant and fast food franchise business.

 Legal and Community Involvement

Mr. Altstadt has served the legal community for over twenty years.  He was once spoken of as the " most recognizable individual in the Orange County legal community who isn't an attorney."  That experience includes the following:

Public Law Center of Orange County

Mr. Altstadt served on the Board of the Public Law Center of Orange County for over eight years.  During that time he also served as the Treasurer of the organization.  He was appointed to the Board at a time when the Center was literally "out of business."  Mr. Altstadt was part of the Executive Committee that hired R. Scott Wylie as Executive Director and helped lead the Center out of its financial straits and put it on the path to the tremdous growth it has enjoyed.

Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County

Mr. Altstadt served on the Board of the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County for over six years and served as President in 1998.  During his tenure the Foundation's programs grew tremendously in both stature and absolute involvement.

Orange County Bar Association

Mr. Altstadt acted as Committee Chair for the Orange County Bar Association's annual charity event for five years.  During that time he was the only chair of a Bar committee who was not a member of the Bar.  He took control of an event that had 150 attendees and raised very little money.

Within two years he had built the event to include over 1,500 attendees and raised thousands of dollars for the Public Law Center, the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Orange County Bar Foundation.  Called "Crystal Casino" the event grew to be the annual "must attend" party for the Bar.

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