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Michael Rikon Michael Rikon

After 50 years of trying condemnation cases, I am consistently surprised at the occasional instance where an expert just does not know how to properly testify in court. On paper, an expert may be incredibly impressive. But is that enough for one to prevail in a case focused on valuation?

Providing expert testimony certainly requires expert knowledge of the subject, but it also requires knowledge of the fundamental rules that should be observed when on the witness stand. The rules will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. An expert must be familiar with what is expected when called as a witness in a particular court. An attorney should carefully explain the issues and what needs to be proven so that there are no surprises.

The Expert

Before accepting any assignment, an expert must be qualified to make an appraisal for the specific case at hand. Does the expert have the necessary skill for the appraisal problem? Can the appraiser complete the report within the time allotted? And, can the appraiser provide testimony at trial? Is there a conflict of interest?

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