Expert Witness Testimony
CEA’s appraisers have provided expert witness testimony services for a variety of clients and in an assortment of jurisdictions.
A client’s need for expert witness testimony typically stems from a case in which the value of a specific item of machinery & equipment, or a group of machinery & equipment items, is being contested by two parties. Specific examples include ad valorem property tax appeals, Federal bankruptcy proceedings, civil lawsuits, dissolution of businesses, divorce and distribution of marital property, insurance resolution, and damage loss compensation.
In virtually all of these cases, the expert witness has previously provided an appraisal service or an appraisal review service and is testifying about the appraisal provided, and basis thereof, or their opinion of the credibility and quality of work for an appraisal that was reviewed.
In order to be a credible witness:
- the expert must have utilized accepted appraisal methodology and must be able to support their opinion of value;
- the expert must have a thorough understanding of appraisal methodology and be capable of communicating, sometimes to a lay jury, the process they utilized in arriving at a value;
- the expert must be able to maintain their calm in the sometimes heated courtroom environment.
As part of the provision of expert witness testimony, the appraiser will need to communicate extensively with counsel. These communications may include discussions about appraisal methodology, valuation theory, or the value characteristics of the subject property. The expert’s ability to effectively convey these considerations is invaluable in assisting the attorney in their role of trying the matters of fact.
An appraiser is not an advocate for a cause and is not allowed to provide services with a bias. This is not the role of an appraiser serving as an expert. It is the appraiser’s responsibility to provide coherent testimony to the judge or jury in a manner that can be understood and that is substantiated by the facts at hand.
For additional information regarding our expert witness testimony services, or for questions regarding appraisal projects that may ultimately require expert witness testimony, please contact us.