In real estate litigation, it is fairly common for parties to the lawsuit to retain the services of expert witnesses. The purpose of expert witnesses is to help the trier of fact understand subject matter that is sufficiently beyond the common experience. This can be very important at trial because for many technical subject matters, a layperson or the party would not be qualified to testify about those subjects. In fact, if that is the case, the Court will not admit testimony regarding that subject matter unless there is someone sufficiently qualified.
For example, in partition cases, it is often helpful to retain an accounting expert to analyze any costs for the common benefit and the costs of partition. This becomes important at the distribution stage, because payments of expenses toward the common benefit affect the ultimate amount of distribution.
As another example, in cases involving the value of real estate, such as fraud cases, it is very important to retain an expert witness qualified to opine about the value of the property, such as an appraiser. This is important because the value of the property is often directly related to the calculation of damages. In these situations, depending on what type of consequential damages you seek, it may also be important to hire a damages expert.
As a further example, in cases of professional negligence arising out of real estate transactions, one central issue is whether the real estate professional has met the applicable standard of care. In those situations, retaining a standard of care expert is important to provide the relevant guidelines to determine the same.
Moreover, expert witnesses can be helpful in a consultant capacity if your case has particularly difficult technical issues, such as cases that involve historical geological and soils issues. Whether or not an expert is necessary is determined on a case by case basis.
Schorr Law has experience working with expert witnesses in connection with all types of real estate disputes. To see if you qualify for a free 30-minute consultation contact us by phone at (310) 954-1877 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Stephanie Goldstein, esq.