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Michael Rikon

On appeal of a condemnation or tax certiorari case, what exactly is the appellate court standard of review? The answer is not that simple. Most decisions reviewing a valuation cause will state that since the matter before it was a bench trial, the Appellate Division may render the judgment it finds warranted by the facts, taking into account the fact that the trial court had the advantage of seeing the witnesses. Northern Westchester Professional Park Associates v. Bedford, 60 N.Y.2d 492 (1983). Stated another way, where the trial court’s findings of fact rest in large measure on considerations relating to the credibility of witnesses, deference is owed to the trial court’s credibility determinations. Gerard v. Cahill, 194 A.D.3d 813, 815 (2d Dept. 2017).

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