Role And Purpose Of Expert Witnesses

What is the Role & Purpose of an Expert Witness in Real Estate?

Updated on September 20, 2023

In the realm of legal proceedings, the role and purpose of an expert witness stand as critical pillars of a fair and just system. When it comes to the intricate world of real estate law, these individuals bring a wealth of specialized knowledge that can make all the difference in complex cases.

In this blog post, we will delve into the multifaceted role of an expert witness, exploring their significance in unraveling intricate real estate matters. Join us as we navigate the intriguing domain where legal expertise and real estate intricacies intersect, shedding light on the indispensable role that expert witnesses play in ensuring justice prevails.

Key Takeaways

  • Definition: An expert witness possesses specialized knowledge or experience beyond that of a layperson in a specific field or discipline.
  • Purpose: Expert witnesses play a crucial role in real estate litigation by helping the trier of fact understand complex subject matter beyond common experience.
  • Importance: In technical matters, the court will not admit testimony unless presented by a qualified expert witness.
  • Partition Cases: In partition cases, accounting experts are valuable for analyzing costs related to common benefits and partition, impacting the final distribution of assets.
  • Real Estate Fraud Cases: In real estate fraud cases, expert witnesses like appraisers are vital to assess property values, directly influencing damage calculations.
  • Damages Experts: Depending on the consequential damages sought, hiring a damages expert may be necessary in real estate cases.
  • Professional Negligence: In cases involving professional negligence in real estate transactions, a standard of care expert is essential to establish applicable guidelines.
  • Consultant Capacity: Expert witnesses can also provide consulting in cases with challenging technical issues, such as historical geological and soils matters.
  • Case-by-Case Basis: The need for an expert witness varies and is determined on a case-by-case basis.
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Who are the Expert Witnesses?

An Expert Witness can be anyone with knowledge or experience of a particular field or discipline beyond that to be expected of a layman.

Roles and Responsibilities of an Expert Witness

Do you know, what is the role of an expert witness? 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.

1. In Partition Cases

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.

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2. In Real Estate Fraud Cases

As another example, in cases involving the value of real estate, such as fraud cases, the role of an expert witness in a trial becomes very important. It is crucial 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.

3. Real Estate Transactions

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.

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Schorr Law has experience working with expert witnesses in connection with all types of real estate disputes. Our Expert Witness for real estate disputes in Los Angeles County is one of the top rated real estate lawyers in California. To see if you qualify for a free 30-minute consultation contact us by phone at (310) 954-1877 or by email at [email protected].