In California eminent domain cases, appraisers typically have relatively wide latitude in determining fair market value for the property to be acquired. However, there are certain rules they must follow, and when an appraiser violates those rules, the appraiser’s opinion may be completely stricken, leaving a property owner or a public agency with no valuation evidence. This is precisely what happened in a new unpublished California Court of Appeal decision, Solano Transportation Authority v. Anderson (2021 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 2129), where the property owners’ ...
We are pleased to provide the next installment of our video series from Nossaman’s 2019 Eminent Domain Seminars. In this segment, Eminent Domain & Valuation Partner Bernadette Duran-Brown discusses Motions In Limine, a key component of preparation in many trials.
In an unpublished opinion filed this week, the California Court of Appeal confirmed two fundamental evidentiary rules related to eminent domain matters:
- A witness intending to testify to an opinion of value must exchange a statement of valuation data; and
- A witness will be precluded from testifying to a comparable sale if it is determined by the court that the comparable is not comparable and would confuse the jury.
Before we delve into the case, here’s a basic reminder of California law as it pertains to these two issues:
With respect to the court’s first finding, California Code of ...
"Motions in limine" are motions made shortly before trial, and they're typically filed in an attempt to limit the introduction of evidence to the jury. They are a powerful tool in eminent domain proceedings, and can be used to limit an appraiser's comparable sales, valuation methodology, or even the expert's entire testimony. In a recent unpublished California Court of Appeal decision, Verizon of California v. Carrick (2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5030), the Court even approved of the use of an in limine motion to determine whether a party had a compensable interest in the property ...
A couple of weeks ago, the California Court of Appeal issued a decision that discussed an attorney malpractice lawsuit known as a settle and sue case, where the client settles whatever litigation in which they are embroiled, then turns around and immediately sues their attorney. (Filbin v. Fitzgerald, 2012 WL 5857331). Incidentally, that malpractice action stemmed from an eminent domain case, and if you're interested in it, there's some good lessons to be learned about the Final Offer/Final Demand procedures.
But this post isn’t about that case -- or "settle and sue" ...
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