Archive | 2019

SUPREME COURT DENIES REVIEW OF “QUICK TAKE” PIPELINE TAKING

          On October 1, 2019, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari to review a landowners’ appeal from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Givens v Mountain Valley Pipeline.  The issue is the “quick take” process that grants the pipeline immediate access to property when a Federal Pipeline Certificate is issued.  The 303-mile pipeline would transmit Appalachian shale gas to Mid-Atlantic markets.  The landowners are then relegated to a trial for just compensation.            The Supreme Court decision in June in Knick v Township of Scott (see Bye Bye… read more

Posted in Pipelines, Quick Take, Uncategorized
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ARE PIPELINES RUNNING OUT OF GAS?

          In an interesting article written by Phil McKenna in Inside Climate News, Mr. McKenna reports that recent federal court rulings could give states more authority to oppose natural gas pipeline projects.  As Trump tries to clear the way for more fossil fuel pipeline construction, a diverse coalition of environmental advocates and landowners are gaining traction in their efforts to fight new pipeline projects by focusing on property rights.           The article argues that a pipeline’s use for eminent domain is inappropriate.  As we know, eminent domain is an inherent… read more

Posted in Natural Gas Act, Pipelines, Uncategorized
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YOUR EXPERT IS COMMITTING PERJURY, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

I was recently cross-examining an expert witness who had never testified before. I asked him whether he had made any prior reports to the one in evidence. He hesitated for a long time. His body language indicated evasiveness. Finally, he said, “I don’t think so.” I tried to pin him down and asked him again if he ever submitted any other report, draft report, or written or oral opinion to counsel. Again, he said “no.” But he lied under oath. The lie was made evident when cross examining another witness… read more

Posted in Attorneys' Ethics, Perjury, Uncategorized
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PROVING FAIR MARKET VALUE BY THE MARKET DATA APPROACH. ARE YOUR COMPARABLES REALLY COMPARABLE?

An appraisal presents a pure factual presentation of data and information utilized by an expert to conclude to an opinion of value.  In New York State, an appraisal is required to be exchanged and filed pursuant to Court Rule.  22 NYCRR Sec. 202.61.  See Miriam Osburn Memorial Home Assoc. v Assessor of Rye, 2004 N.Y. Slip. Op. 50793 (U) (West. Sup. Ct. 2004). The Appraisal Rule allows the parties to prepare for trial with knowledge of each other’s valuations and the foundations and justifications thereof.  Parisi v State, 62 Misc2d 378, 382… read more

Posted in Appraisal Rule, Comparable Sales, Market Data Approach, Uncategorized
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MY ADVICE TO APPRAISERS

          After fifty years of trying condemnation cases, I am consistently surprised at the occasional instance where an appraiser just does not know how to properly testify in court.           On paper, an appraiser 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… read more

Posted in Appraisers, Expert Testimony, Uncategorized
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