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Legal Assignments?

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Senior Member
Aug 13, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
:) I would like to start doing a few legal assignments each month. Any tips or ideas? divorce? estates? trusts? probate? How much more do you charge in addition to your standard fees? What is involved standard URAR? What is the best way to get started? Some appraisers think divorce is the best way to get started. How often do you have to testify in court in your experience?


Elite Member
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
All you can do is get your name out there as doing these. Then, if you do a good job for one, you may find yourself referred to other attorneys through word of mouth.


Steve Wyrick

Aug 15, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser

I will second what Roger said as far as contacting local lawyer's.

But this is not a field for newbies to the appraisal business, I don't know if you are or are not, but will assume for the rest of my post you are. Much more intense research and work file preparation is required. Plus, with many attornies you have to teach them what an appraiser can and cannot do and more importantly what you will not do from an ethical standpoint. Some lawyers will push as hard or harder as a LO for their client.

Remember, in virtually every case you must assume that you will be in court and you will be cross examined by opposing counsel and you had better be able to back up you conclusions and opinons, and lawyers just love to nitpick the details and make you look foolish on the stand. You have to be a good communicator and be able to think on your feet under pressure when in court, many people cannot handle that.

I said this was not a job for newbies, one reason is that when you are asked to state your resume and your resume is been in the field for 1, 2 or 3 and that you are 23 years old and your past work experience has been at the local McDonalds, and your opposing consuls appraiser states that he has been an appraiser for the past 10 years, has done in excess of 2,000 similar types of appraisals, and prior to that spent 10 years as a banker, real estate agent and has a degree from blank blank university. Well who do you think the judge and jury is going to give the edge to?

Finally as far as charging a fee goes. Charge for your time, report it in a manner that provides adequate information for your attorney/client. Court and consulatation with the attorney is extra and should be charged llike a professional so much/billable hour, I charge the same as the attornies in my area. By the way typically I will use a URAR form, but my work file looks llike a complete summary narrative report.

Good luck. B)
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