14.5 MCLE Hours and 2 Ethics Hours for Attorneys through the State Bar of Texas
16 CE Hours for Appraisers through the TALCB
14.5 CE Hours for Property Tax Professionals through the TDLR/Comptroller's Office
16 CE Hours through the IRWA
16 CE Hours through the IAAO (I will give you a completion cert to submit)
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(979) 383-2600
NOVEMBER 17 - 18, 2016

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About the Conference

This program is the first annual presentation of Attacking & Defending an Appraisal in Litigation. The centerpiece of property tax, eminent domain, bankruptcy, appraiser board enforcement and other cases in an appraisal. By definition an appraisal is an opinion of value. This legal conference is designed to provide a forum to provide training and education on managing a case with an appraisal and appraiser. This program is the first annual presentation of Attacking & Defending an Appraiser in Litigation.

About Ted Whitmer, MAI AI-GRS CRE CCIM Attorney

Mr. Ted Whitmer is an appraiser, attorney, instructor, asset manager and consultant. Mr. Whitmer holds the MAI and AI-GRS designations from the Appraisal Institute and has taught many courses and seminars for the organization. He is a CRE and CCIM member of the National Association of Realtors, a licensed broker and general certified appraiser. He is also a member of the Real Estate Counseling Group of America founded by Dr. Kinnard.

Education includes South Texas College of Law with a degree (J.D.) from the University of Houston Law Center, an M.B.A. (Finance) from Texas A& M University and a B.A. from Stephen F. Austin State University. Mr. Whitmer taught full time at Stephen F. Austin State University in the Finance Department, as an adjunct at Texas A&M University (graduate course in real estate appraisal) and as an adjunct at the University of Houston and San Jacinto Jr. College. Recent lectures were at the Southern California Legal Conference, the State of Texas Bank Examiners, Appraisal Review Board training, the Association of Appraisal Districts, Oil & Gas Tax Symposium and CLE Eminent Domain Conferences in Austin & Houston.

Whitmer was a founding director and Chairman of the Board of Brazos Valley Bank, NA. Current employment includes representing appraisers in the disciplinary process with the Texas Appraiser Licensing & Certification Board (previously served on the TALCB as vice-chair), lecturing and consulting all related to real estate appraisal. Mr. Whitmer has authored many seminars including Attacking and Defending an Appraisal in Litigation, Staying Out of Trouble and the Comprehensive Appraisal Workshop, which is a review for the comprehensive examination for the MAI designation.

Conference Schedule

Begin End Speaker Topic Time (minutes)
7:50 AM 8:00 AM Ted Whitmer Welcome, Rules & Restroom Locations 10
8:00 AM 9:45 AM Ted Whitmer Attacking & Defending an Appraiser Model 105
9:45 AM 10:00 AM BREAK 15
10:00 AM 11:45 AM Ken Farmer Ken Farmer - Personal Property 105
11:45 AM 1:00 PM LUNCH Lunch Provided 75
1:00 PM 2:00 PM Jamie Wickcliffe Board Enforcement Actions 60
2:00 PM 3:00 PM Matt Hurt Condemnation 60
3:00 PM 3:15 PM BREAK 15
3:15 PM 4:15 PM Ted Whitmer USPAP for Lawyers 60
4:15 PM 5:00 PM Ted Whitmer Deposing an Appraiser 45
5:00PM Conclusion Day 1
Total Minutes 550
Total Minutes - Breaks & Lunch & Welcoming 115
Total Minutes - Instruction 435
Begin End Speaker Topic Time (minutes)
8:00 AM 10:00 AM Gaines West Ethics: Preparing the Witness, use of other witness reports & other ethical issues 120
10:00 AM 10:15 AM BREAK 15
10:15 AM 11:00 AM Jeff Avant Discovery, Workfiles & Reports 45
11:00 AM 12:00 PM Philip Arnold Condemnation 60
12:00 PM 1:00 PM LUNCH Lunch Provided 60
1:00 PM 2:00 PM Jeff Avant Cross-exam of an appraiser 60
2:00 PM 3:00 PM Mark Hutcheson Property Tax Issues 60
3:00 PM 3:15 PM BREAK 15
3:15 PM 4:00 PM Dr. Connie Davis, Ph. D Communicating a Winning Case 45
4:00 PM 4:45 PM Ted Whitmer Transferred Value & Intangibles 15
4:45 PM 5:00 PM Ted Whitmer Closing Remarks & Evaluations 15
Total Minutes 540
Total Minutes - Breaks & Lunch & Conclusion 105
Total Minutes - Instruction 435
Total Minutes - Legal Ethics 120
Total Instruction Minutes 870

Presentation Descriptions

Day 1

Attacking & Defending an Appraisal in Litigation Model (8:00 AM – 9:45 AM)

Speaker: Ted Whitmer

The seminar provides a framework and considerations for attacking and defending an appraisal in litigation. Common mistakes made attacking & defending an appraisal in litigation are covered. Various standards and ethical rules that are commonly misapplied or misunderstood are highlighted and explained. The seminar is different from other expert witness seminars because models and alternative ways to prepare, plan, and testify are offered. The model for attacking and defending an appraisal include (1) the appraiser, (2) the appraisal, (3) the report and (4) other including consulting. These four areas are broken down into subtopics. In the end, the lawyer should have a roadmap to attacking and defending an appraisal.

Personal Property in Litigation (10:00 AM – 11:45 AM)

Speaker: Ken Farmer

An introductory presentation on considerations in personal property appraisal is offered. Requirements per standards and acceptable methods and techniques will be discussed. The presentation for this conference will feature an insider’s look at litigation involving one of America's important museums and the disposition of claims regarding the provenance, authenticity and condition of a piece of Americana.

Board Enforcement Actions (1:00 PM – 2:00 PM)

Speaker: Jamie S. Wickliffe

The presentation will offer an administrative law attorney information on defending an appraiser in board actions as well as the proper role of a state board in regulating the actions of appraisers. The process from complaint, through investigation, appraiser contact and resolution will be presented. In addition, the impact of an order from the board in litigation involving the appraiser will be offered. Finally, researching the state board and the ASC for board related actions against appraisers will be discussed. Past cases will be used to illustrate discussion points.

Board Enforcement Actions (2:00 PM – 3:00 PM)

Speaker: Jody Sodd McSpadden

The basics of use of an appraiser in condemnation litigation as well as the fundamentals of condemnation law will be presented. Jody will offer the latest cases in condemnation law. In addition, using, attacking & defending an appraisal and appraiser in the context of condemnation litigation will be covered. Past case experience will be used to illustrate key points.

Board Enforcement Actions (3:15 PM – 4:15 PM)

Speaker: Mark Hutcheson

The basics of use of an appraiser in property tax litigation as well as the fundamentals of property tax law will be presented. Mark will offer the latest cases in property tax law. In addition, using, attacking & defending an appraisal and appraiser in the context of property tax litigation will be covered. The nuances of arguing market value versus equity & fairness will be covered. Past case experience will be used to illustrate key points.

Deposing an Appraiser (4:15 PM – 5:00 PM)

Speaker: Ted Whitmer

This will offer important considerations and specific lines of questions that should be covered when deposing appraisers. The audience will be shown to question related to the (1) appraiser, (2) the appraisal, (3) the report, and (4) any consulting done by the appraiser. A roadmap to gleaning information necessary for proper discovery will be presented. The class will be shown why it is imperative to get the help of any rebuttal or consulting witness in this mode of discovery to assist the expert in the rebuttal process.

Day 2

Ethics: Preparing the Witness, use of other witness reports & other ethical issues (8:00 AM – 10:00 AM)

Speaker: Gaines West

This session will focus on ethical obligations of the attorney and the use of an appraiser expert. Ethical considerations around (1) retaining the expert, (2) conversations with the appraiser expert, (3) instructions to the expert, (4) using findings, reports, and conclusions of other experts to influence appraisers, (5) compensation paid appraiser experts, (6) involvement in the process of appraisal, (7) inspection of property, (8) taking part in the report of the appraiser, (9) putting on the witness when the attorney knows the appraiser expert will offer false testimony, (10) and any other expert witness consideration will be covered. In addition, obligations of the attorney to the client and court will be presented.

Discovery, Workfiles & Reports (10:15 AM – 11:00 AM)

Speaker: Jeff Avant

Jeff will speak to discovery involving an appraiser including the requirements of providing reports under Chapter 21 of the Texas Property Code for condemnation and any discovery requirement for property tax cases. The group should know what constitutes a workfile for the appraiser expert, how to keep in clean as the cases progresses, and what has to be turned over in discovery. Jeff will talk about minimum requirements of an appraisal report for litigation assignments. Finally, the admissibility of appraisal reports and how to object to admissibility of a report will be discussed.

Direct Examination of an Appraiser (11:00 AM – 12:00 PM)

Speaker: Philip Arnold

Philip brings his vast experience litigating cases involving appraisers to discuss ways to prepare appraisers for direct examination and what do and what to avoid during direct examination. Proper discovery production to insure the appraiser’s ability to offer testimony including demonstrative testimony will be offered. Various ways to present direct testimony including use of demonstrative evidence, illustrative evidence and proper choice of words during direct examination will be presented. Finally, overcoming anticipated objections will be discussed.

Cross-examination of an Appraiser (1:00 PM – 2:00 PM)

Speaker: Jeff Avant

Jeff will bring his experience trying cases involving appraisers to present on effective ways to cross-examine appraisers. A systematic approach to attacking the appraiser will be shown the class. An appraisal by definition is an opinion of value. However, the opinion must be a defensible opinion of value. Cross-examination will be shown to be a tool to attack the appraiser’s opinion and uncover the basis for that opinion.

Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) for Lawyers (2:00 PM – 3:00 PM)

Speaker: Ted Whitmer

USPAP is must be complied with by appraisers in the state of Texas. Lawyers must be understood USPAP to use and examine appraisers. The Ethics, Competency, Jurisdictional Exceptions, development standards, reporting and review standards affect a case.

Communicating a Winning Case (3:15 PM – 4:00 PM)

Speaker: Dr. Connie Davis, Ph.D

Dr. Davis is an expert in communication including persuasive argument. Her presentation will tie the pieces of a case together and offer ways to present persuasively to tip a case in the attorney’s favor. The use of organization, logic and persuasive language will be presented with examples.

Transferred & Intangible Value (4:00 PM – 4:45 PM)

Speaker: Ted Whitmer

Property is divided into tangible and intangible property. Tangible property is divided between personal and real property. There are appraisers for all of the categories of property. Understanding the nuances of appraising the categories assists in a case. The seven categories of transferred value will be presented in this lecture. The seven categories are (1) to a person, (2) to another property, (3) within a property, (4) to intangible property, (5) to the community, (6) to organizations and (7) to systems. Intangible property and intangible value are covered as well as valuation considerations for intangibles.

Meet the Speakers

Gaines West, Attorney

Gaines West graduated from Baylor University with a B.B.A. in 1968 and from Baylor Law with a J.D. in 1973. His current practice is in Shareholder, General Civil Litigation, Higher Education Law, Expert Witness Legal Ethics & Malpractice and Professional License Defense/Prosecution. Mr. West served on the Disciplinary Review Committee from 1991-1992 and the Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct Committee from 1993-1996. He was Chairman of the Administrative and Public Law Section from 1997-1968. He served on the Board of Disciplinary Appeals from 1994-1996, 1998 & 2000 and was chair of that board from 2001-2003. He was also (2004-2010) a member of the Grievance Oversight Committee from 2004-2010 and was chair of that committee from 2005-2006. He served in the armed forces as a Lt. Comdr. In the United States Navy Reserve, JAG from 1982-1989 and is active in his church and Co-Director of the Mack Kidd Administrative Law Moot Court Competition.

Dr. Connie Davis, Ph. D

Dr. Connie Davis holds a Ph.D. in Rhetorical and Communication Theory from the University of Illinois, and has taught courses in Persuasion, Negotiation, Public Speaking, Business and Professional Speaking, Organizational Communication, and Human Communication at the University of Illinois and the University of Northern Iowa. As a leadership and organizational communication consultant, Dr. Davis has developed a special interest and expertise in third sector, non-profit arts, research, faith-based, and educational institutions. She also serves as an inspirational national and international conference speaker. She has traveled throughout the world and has lived in England, France, and Africa.

Jeff Avant, Attorney

Jeff Avant was raised into industrial appraisal by Russ Avant, MAI, CRE and also trained under Jim Fredericks, MAI and Harry Seidman, MAI. Unable to find honest work he went to law school, then fell into the cesspool of valuation litigation. His 30 years of litigation experience includes both sides of right of way acquisition, construction defect, ad valorem valuation issues, environmental contamination, land use regulation, property rights disputes, intellectual property disputes and compliance with engineering and architectural standards, BUT what he thinks he knows about cross examination, he learned from listening to appraisers. His cases have explored application of USPAP to the issue of witness exclusion from administrative hearings to the Texas Supreme Court.

Ken Farmer, Appraiser

Ken Farmer is a lifelong resident of Virginia. He and his wife Jane have been avid students and Ken Farmer has been in the auction and antiques business since 1975. He is a specialist in Americana, Furniture, Folk Art, Musical Instruments and Decorative Arts. He has been a member of the Appraisers Association of America since 1980 and has appeared on the popular PBS program, Antiques Roadshow for over 20 years. He is the owner of Ken Farmer Advisors and Appraisers, specializing in appraisals for insurance, estate and litigation purposes and offering advisory services for clients who wish to buy or sell art and antiques. He has done appraisals and expert witness testimony for many individuals and institutions. Ken is also a consultant with Freemans, America's oldest auction house, operating from Philadelphia since 1805. The presentation for this conference will feature an insiders look at litigation involving one of America's important museums and the disposition of claims regarding the provenance, authenticity and condition of a piece of Americana.

Jody Sodd McSpadden, Attorney

Jody Sodd McSpadden has made her mark in a wide range of successful courtroom appearances in eminent domain matters. Her diverse experience directly contributes to her unique insight into condemnation cases. She has represented landowners in numerous kinds of condemnation proceedings, including complex takings for the Dallas Cowboys football stadium, water rights takings, pipelines, highways, and takings of convenience stores and gas compressor sites. The more complex the case, the better she likes it. Jody received her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Development in 1998. In 2002, Jody earned her Juris Doctor from Baylor Law School. The Thomson Reuters service has recognized Jody as a Rising Star in eminent domain for three consecutive years (2005-2007) and for 2014 and 2015. In addition to her dedication to the practice of law, Jody has also served the community as a member of the Corsicana Education Foundation Board, Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Navarro County Child Advocates, and was an Adjunct Professor at Navarro Junior College. Jody was appointed to the City of Corsicana’s Planning and Zoning Board. In addition, she was the Chairperson of the Corsicana Independent School District Bond Committee. Jody is also a member of the Navarro County Bar Association and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. Jody was born in Corsicana, Texas, and returned to her hometown roots after law school. Jody married Chris McSpadden in 1998 and they have four children: Will, Annie, Jake, and Luke. She and her family enjoy spending time together at their ranch, The Refuge, where Chris breeds and raises whitetail deer. Jody also enjoys reading, antique shopping, and running.

Jamie S. Wickliffe, Appraiser

Jamie S. Wickliffe was elected Chair of the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board in February 2014. She was appointed as an appraiser member of the Board in 2011 by Governor Rick Perry. Ms. Wickliffe served as the Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the AMC Advisory Committee in 2013 and served for two years as Chair of the TALCB Enforcement Committee from 2012 to 2013. Ms. Wickliffe has more than 25 years of experience advising buyers and sellers in the real estate marketplace. In addition to traditional appraisal work, she also has in-depth experience in condemnation appraisals. Ms. Wickliffe has extensive public service experience, having served as past Mayor Pro Tem for Midlothian, Texas, past President of the Education Foundation, served on the Economic Development Commission, and the Ellis Hill Board of Realtors. She holds a senior designation with the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers and is a certified General Real Estate Appraiser in Texas, and holds numerous other real estate-related designations. She is qualified as an expert in real estate valuation in both local and federal courts. Ms. Wickliffe has been married for 34 years to her high school sweetheart, Gerald Wickliffe, Jr. they have four children Keri, Eric, Clark, and Kati.

Mark Hutcheson, Attorney CMI CRE

Mark Hutcheson, CMI, CRE, leads the Case Resolution Team of the firm. Mark is an active member of IPT and has achieved the CMI designation. He serves on the IPT Property Tax Advanced Academy, and IPT's CMI Designation Committee. Prior to joining the firm, Mark gained trial and governmental relations experience as an associate with the Austin office of Baker Botts. During his tenure at Baker Botts, the majority of his practice was devoted to complex civil litigation, representing publicly-held corporations, energy companies, and other businesses in a variety of commercial disputes. The remainder of Mark's practice involved lobbying activities before the Texas Legislature on behalf of several businesses and organizations, including the Texas Association of Property Tax Professionals. Mark served as a legislative assistant to former Speaker Gib Lewis and Representative Bob Glaze in the Texas House of Representatives, and was an aide to Congressman Pete Geren in the United States Congress. Mark received a B.A. from the University of Texas in 1992, and graduated magna cum laude from Baylor Law School in 1996. While in law school, Mark participated in a variety of trial and appellate advocacy competitions and served as Managing Editor of the Baylor Law Review. Mark is admitted to practice in Texas and before the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. He is member of the Travis County Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas.

Philip Arnold, Attorney

Philip Arnold currently works for Allison, Bass and Magee in Austin, Texas, practicing general civil litigation. Prior to that, Philip worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the Transportation Division of the Office of the Texas Attorney General for 8 years, practicing eminent domain litigation for the Texas Department of Transportation. He tried over 100 Special Commissioner Hearings, as well as eminent domain and tort cases in jury and bench trials.

Copyright 2016. Ted Whitmer