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Going to court for the first time.

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clarocca

Freshman Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Hey everybody, I'm pretty new to Appraiser's Forum and have a question.
Does anybody have any advice for somebody going to court for the first time? I did a private appraisal for a client (asset separation) and am going to court tomorrow morning. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

Mr Rex

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Dress appropriately and don't carry your kid or dog with you.
 

JRS at OBX

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Give answers clearly and honestly. Keep them clear and precise. If you do not know something, state that you don't know.
 

Thomas Fiehler

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Ohio
When possible answer yes or no. If they want an explanation they will ask. MAKE DARN SURE THAT YOU WILL NOT BE SURPRISED. Know everything about the appraisal so the opposition doesn't surprise you. Remember that you are the appraiser/professional and not the attorney. I always ask the attorney who hires me if there is another appraisal and if so, I will provide them with a review and and help that I might give them. Charge them an appropriate fee. I charge an hourly rate once I leave my office with a minimum of 1/2 day. That way they are not likely to waste your time sitting in the lobby or hallway.
 

Michigan CG

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Read your report 10 times so you know every line and the justification for your adjustments. Be calm. Be confident. Be better than the opposition appraiser (hopefully your report is).

Do not let the opposing lawyer discredit you. ONLY BRING YOUR REPORT TO THE STAND......do NOT bring your work file to the stand.

Have fun, it will be a great learning experience.
 

The Dog

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Oregon
Listen to the question, Digest the question, Answer the Question ONLY.

Only take your report, no work file. Remember, the opposing attorney is not against you, just doing a job. STAY COOL, CALM AND COLLECTED

and most of all,

HAVE FUN and STAY IMPARTIAL unless you were hired to advocate for one side or the other.
 

Michigan CG

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
..... unless you were hired to advocate for one side or the other.

If the OP did an appraisal wouldn't they only be an advocate for their own appraisal and value?
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Virginia
Good Luck - well albeit too late now... wish I had thought of asking these guys the same question before I went to court first time several years ago. WHAT a fool I must have looked.. I carried original work file and and inch thick color coded and tabbed new work file review of other guy's crappy appraisal to the stand. I musta looked like a paper nightmare....
 

Wayne Tomlinson

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Illinois
When reviewing your report, if you discover any deficiencies inform the attorney. Volunteer the dificeincy up front before there is a chance for it to be used against you.

One of the fist times that I went to court, the opposing side appraisal made a serious mistake on farm appraisal, calling a large field pasture ground. It was obvious to any one who looked at the aerial photo, and easy observation since it joined the highway so easy to see.

There error was disclosed in the first statement by that appraiser and the judge accepted it.

There were three appraisers testified for the other side,(I was one of them) and the bad apprisal took the day.

It may have made a difference that the judge, the other appraiser and the opposing client had been high school class mates. I suspect that the 3 appraisers were picking on his classmate.

I don't know about that, but I maintain, If you find an error in your work, take care of immediately so it does not keep coming back to haunt youi.

Wayne Tomlinson.
 
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