Attorney subpoenaed my workfile for appraisal completed 9 months after claimed filed

Discussion in 'Urgent - Help Needed' started by jsradcliffe, Aug 9, 2012.

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  1. jsradcliffe

    jsradcliffe New Member

    0
    Jan 27, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    South Carolina
    All,

    I received a letter from an attorney three days ago subpoenaing a copy of my work file. Here is what I don't understand. The owners of the property I appraised in Feb 2012 filed a suit against the builder and all the subcontractors. The suit was filed in May of 2011. The request for a copy of my work file came from one of the dependents attorneys. Help me understand why I would submit a copy of my work file for an appraisal I completed nine months after the claim was filed. I don't know any of the people in the suit. I just happened to appraise this house in February 2012 and now I am being asked for a copy of my work file... The borrowers refinanced their house in February and closed in April of 2012, but they filed a suit against the builder and everybody else nine months prior.

    Please help me understand how I could get subpoenaed for an appraisal I completed nine months after the fact.

    Many thanks,
     
  2. Smokey Bear

    Smokey Bear Elite Member

    0
    Dec 8, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Why are you asking us instead of your E&O attorney? I have a law degree, but I still couldn't give you an answer you could rely on. Call your E&O and send them the subpoena. Chances are it could be blocked, but none of us are attorneys, and if I was, I'd charge you for the advice.
     
  3. leelansford

    leelansford Elite Member

    12
    Mar 29, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Illinois
    Talk to an attorney and get some real advice.

    Personally, just because some attorney asks (the subpoena--who signed it?)me for something, I'm not jumping through hoops to comply.
     
  4. Terrel L. Shields

    Terrel L. Shields Elite Member

    43
    May 2, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Arkansas
    An attorney cannot serve a subpoena in GA...

    Nor SC

    Without seeing what Rule 45 says, I doubt an attorney can serve the subpoena and normally that must be done in person...

    Not that the advice above is not applicable. Get a lawyer and squash the subpoena.
     
  5. jsradcliffe

    jsradcliffe New Member

    0
    Jan 27, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    South Carolina
    Thank you everyone for your replies. I have already contacted my E&O currier and forwarded the Subpoena to them as requested. The subpoena was sent in the mail, it was not served. It was issued by the common pleas court. I was just curious if anybody else has ever heard of this happening. It seems odd that I would appraise a house nine months after the claim was filed and now a defendants’ attorney wants a copy of my work file. I can't even imagine why it is even relevant. Thank you again for your replies.
     
  6. OSU Beavers

    OSU Beavers Elite Member

    6
    Jan 10, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Oregon
    Simple, they want to use your opinion and work product as evidence in their case for FREE! Don't let them. They are not the client and that was not the intended use of the appraisal. Your work file is NOT simply material evidence for them to subpoena for free. Next they will want your *ss in court all day to back up the file for a mere $30 stipend. BS, you are an Expert Witness not just a material witness there to read your file into evidence. You give Expert Witness Testimony which should be billed at $200+ per hour, with a four hour minimum!
     
  7. PropertyEconomics

    PropertyEconomics Elite Member

    0
    Jun 19, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico
    Nine months later they may want to see if you saw the "alleged" issues they are suing over .. if you dont mention them, who knows, maybe they amend the lawsuit and add you as well ... did you mention there was a pending lawsuit affecting the property??? .... you do have E&O coverage after all .....??????

    A total guess on my part.
     
  8. William K

    William K Senior Member

    0
    Sep 21, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Illinois
    Since we're guessing........My guess is defendants attorney is going to use the fact they (Plaintiff) received a loan and as part of that loan an appraisal was performed. The appraisal shows the property to be worth $XXXXXXXX.
    I could see an attorney argue that an independent 3rd party has provided an opinion of value which supports the work performed and which the borrower obtained a loan based upon without any rebuttal by the borrower / plaintiff as to the appraisal not representing the true condition of the subject property.
    In other words the borrower can't say its sub par work and not worth it if they (Plaintiff) agreed with the appraisal enough to obtain a mortgage without complaint.
     
  9. Webbed Feet

    Webbed Feet Elite Member

    2
    Feb 11, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    m2:

    It's easy to tell who has no litigation experience by reading the thread.
     
  10. Webbed Feet

    Webbed Feet Elite Member

    2
    Feb 11, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    :)

    It's easy to tell who has at least some litigation experience by reading the thread.
     
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