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 This is precisely what happened in a new unpublished California Court of Appeal decision, Solano Transportation Authority v. Anderson (2021 Cal.App.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’ ...
In an unpublished opinion filed this week, the California Court of Appeal confirmed two fundamental evidentiary rules related to eminent domain matters: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 ...
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