Appraiser Gets Subpoena – What to Do
Excerpts: As an appraiser, you don’t have to be sued or be facing a lawsuit to find yourself on the receiving end of a subpoena—staring down a lawyer who is peppering you with questions.
Appraisers are often subpoenaed in legal disputes involving third parties, usually being tied to the dispute for no other reason than having appraised a property involved in the dispute. If the appraiser is not a party to the lawsuit, then typically they are being subpoenaed for documents and/or being called as an expert witness, sometimes without pay, to testify regarding a past appraisal.
First, subpoenas are court orders and you must not ignore the subpoena or you will find yourself in contempt of court. Tim Andersen, MAI, MSc, USPAP instructor and CEO of TheAppraisersAdvocate.com, says that if an appraiser doesn’t want to comply with a subpoena they can try to fight it, but that requires hiring a lawyer, which can be costly and has its own challenges. “One approach is to protest the subpoena to the judge indicating that your records are private, and requesting that your records be treated as confidential and not be made part of the public record. The judge, however, will do whatever s/he chooses to do,” reports Andersen.
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My comments: This is an excellent article on this topic. Read it to find out the issues. If you lost this link later, when you need help, Google “Dealing with a Subpoena Workingre”. This is specifically for appraisers. If you find other links online, they are not as useful.
I have never been served with a subpoena, but this is a regular topic among appraisers. I get calls occasionally from appraisers about this.
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