Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


This week, my client had an evidentiary hearing in federal court. We cross-examined an opposing expert witness—an appraiser. The basic issue for this proceeding was the value of a prime view property in the Hollywood Hills. The appraiser’s objective was to minimize the value. In so doing, he disclaimed any relevance to listings. He testified they simply represented a seller’s exposure of the property to market, and not any salient market reality.

So, we asked the expert if he agreed with a certain statement that incorporated list prices into the mix for an “upper limit” of market valuation. Consistent with his earlier testimony, he fervently disclaimed the truth of that statement. However, he inquired as to its source.

After he went on record disagreeing with it, we happily noted the source: his own words. They were contained on page 2 of his appraisal report.

Lesson: read your own report before testifying about it.