An expert witness is generally defined as, "one recognized to have special training and knowledge in a particular area and gives court testimony on that subject". The term "forensic" means, "pertaining to" or "used in courts or debate". Hence, the term "forensic appraiser" means an expert witness whose expertise is used in courts or debates. Our firm has adopted the label "forensic appraisers" for that truly defines who and what we are. We are experts who readily give testimony in our subject area in courts and the public arena.
An expert witness in valuation is the person you will want if your value argument ends up in a commissioners hearing or court. So what qualifications should you look for in this expert? First, they should have adequate training in the field that they specialize in. In appraisal, that training should be a minimum of 5-years. Next, they should have the minimum requirements to practice their profession, this is often represented by a license. In Wisconsin you have three levels of licensing with the highest being Certified General Appraiser. This would be the license level you should desire from your appraiser. Additionally, appraisal organization memberships, designations, and continuing education courses taken by the appraiser shows a greater commitment to the profession. Outside of the knowledge and training area, your expert should be able to convince a jury, judge or commissioner that their opinion is correct. Therefore, the skill of communication is essential to be a good expert witness. This skill is both written (as in the appraisal report) and verbal. The expert should have courtroom experience showing that they can continue to communicate and retain composure under the pressure of cross examination. Lastly, the expert should be recognized by courts and recommended by practicing attorneys.
Our expert meets all of these requirements and then some. He is also a teacher of appraisal courses, an author, researcher and educational course developer. He is a member of many respected appraisal organizations such as, The International Right of Way Association, National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers and Real Estate Educators Association and has received designations or candidate status for a designation in each one. He is an analyst, communicator and teacher, being recognized by courts throughout the state and recommended by attorneys. Contact us if you have need of a "forensic appraiser" for your valuation problem.
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