The occasional real estate or contract dispute is inevitable. Often times, the litigation process can be very complicated, so to ensure that the dispute gets handled in a professional and just manner, business professionals who offer litigation support services can be called upon in order to provide real-world expertise. What is the value of litigation support services?
Presentation is everything in the courtroom, but cases that involve complicated real estate disputes can often be hard to prepare for. Litigation support professionals are able to serve as an unbiased expert who can help attorneys gather all the needed high-level details in order to bring the best possible defense to the courtroom.
Before moving forward with litigation, the supporting roles should be clear: lawyer/consultant; litigator; expert.
- Lawyer/Consultant – The firm or individual who can offer initial advice on whether to proceed. For example, in real estate assessment appeals, there are many firms that specialize in this service, and they are not lawyers. Attorneys are called upon when actual legal advice is offered.
- Litigator – If the matter in dispute cannot be resolved, many firms or attorneys do not perform litigate cases themselves: they hand off to an experienced litigator who is comfortable deposing witnesses, cross-examining them, and preparing and conducting an actual trial. Few attorneys actually pursue this role, and those who do aren’t necessarily specialists in the area at issue, but will coordinate with the originating firm or attorney as the dispute proceeds.
- Expert – an objective witness who can convey opinions in their area of expertise to a judge/jury (known as the “trier of fact”). While many real estate appraisers are sufficiently opinionated, the expert also needs to be experienced with being deposed, cross-examined and appearing in court. Litigation is adversarial, and the simplest way for a litigator to win a case is to undermine the credibility of even the most competent expert is to rattle them in front of the trier of fact, have them contradict themselves, appear nervous, or otherwise remove confidence that the expert can be believed.
Vast Experience with Specific Scenarios
Litigation support professionals have experience in several matters that may become relevant in disputes. For example, if a dispute occurs over insurance coverage, many insurers request a measurement of the damages. In this situation, an unbiased expert can perform a valuation in of the “before” and “after”. Additionally, experts can review valuations performed by third parties in order to gauge their accuracy. Both of these services are unique in that they require an expert in the field. Essentially, these litigation support services are often needed in order to offer real estate services that attorneys or any other stakeholders cannot provide by themselves.
Experience with Testimony
Expert testimony can be a very significant help during litigation. Many of these lawsuits involve very high-level matters that need to be presented clearly and may be confusing to the average person or jury member. A litigation support professional must have the knowledge needed to not only understand these complicated matters, but the skillset to convey them in a manner that the trier of fact can grasp as well. With a better understanding of all the facts, the judge or jury will have a much easier time understanding the nuances of the case.
Partner with Willowbrook Valuation & Advisory Services for Litigation Support from Real Estate Experts
At Willowbrook Valuation & Advisory Services, we are a leader in trusted insight, cutting-edge innovation and customer service. We offer experienced litigation support to assist clients with insurance valuation, arbitration and consulting, property tax services, and expert testimony. To learn more about our valuation, counseling, or litigation services, please contact us at (202) 919-3888.