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College Station, TX 77845
(979) 383-2600
December 7-8, 2017

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Conference Schedule

Begin End Speaker Topic Time (minutes)
7:50 AM 8:00 AM Ted Whitmer Welcome, Rules & Restroom Locations 10
8:00 AM 8:45 AM Ted Whitmer Attacking & Defending Model 45
8:45 AM 9:45 AM Jodi Sodd McSpadden Condemnation Damage Models 60
9:45 AM 10:00 AM BREAK 15
10:00 AM 11:00 AM Lewis Isaacks, Attorney Appraising from the District’s Perspective 60
11:00 AM 11:45 AM Brian Swanson Collin County Appraiser Litigation Issues 45
11:45 AM 1:00 PM LUNCH 75
1:00 PM 2:00 PM Jamie Wickcliffe & Don Walden, Attorney Board Enforcement Actions 60
2:00 PM 3:00 PM Todd A. Rotholz, MAI Condemnation Appraisal 60
3:00 PM 3:15 PM BREAK
3:15 PM 4:15 PM Mike Miller, MAI Appraising in Disaster Areas 60
4:15 PM 5:00 PM Mark Hutcheson, Attorney Property Tax Issues & Cases 45
5:00PM Conclusion Day 1
Total Minutes 550
Total Minutes - Breaks & Lunch & Welcoming 115
Total Minutes - Instruction 435
Total Hours (50 Minute Hours) 8.7
Begin End Speaker Topic Time (minutes)
8:00 AM 10:00 AM Gerald Teel & Ted Whitmer & Paul Hornsby & Jamie Wycliffe Fee Simple Issues in Tax & Condemnation Panel Discussion and Presentations 120
10:00 AM 10:15 AM BREAK 15
10:15 AM 11:00 AM Paul Hornsby, MAI Comparing Condemnation & Propety Tax Appraisals 45
11:00 AM 12:00 PM Philip Arnold Condemnation Appraising Issues 60
12:00 PM 1:00 PM LUNCH Lunch Provided 60
1:00 PM 2:00 PM Ted Whitmer Ethical Considerations for the Attorney & Appraiser 60
2:00 PM 3:00 PM Ted Whitmer Fairly reviewing the appraiser, appraisal & report 60
3:00 PM 3:15 PM BREAK 15
3:15 PM 4:00 PM Jeff Avant Condemnation Issues & Cases 45
4:00 PM 4:45 PM Ted Whitmer USPAP for Lawyers 45
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 Hours (50 Minute Hours) 8.7

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.

Condemnation Damage Models (8:45 AM – 9:45 AM)

Speaker: Jody McSpadden

Appraising From the District's Perspective (10:00AM - 11:00 AM)

Speaker: Lewis Isaacks

Collin County Appraiser Litigation Issues (11:00 AM – 11:45 AM)

Speaker: Brian Swanson

Discussion on how Collin CAD deals with the rigors of maintaining our lawsuit database, the number of suits, value under suit, keeping the board of directors and taxing entities updated, and the type of suit that is filed (market, equity, ag-use). Discuss the process we typically go through in-house as we review litigation and determine whether to engage a fee appraiser(s) or other experts in preparation for settlement conferences, mediations and trials.

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

Speaker: Jamie Wickliffe and Don Walden

Condemnation Appraisal (4:15 PM – 5:00 PM)

Speaker: Todd Rotholz

Appraising Disaster Areas (3:15 PM – 4:00 PM)

Speaker: Mike Miller

Property Tax Issues & Cases (4:15 PM – 5:00 PM)

Speaker: Mark Hutcheson

Day 2

Fee Simples Issues in Tax & Condemnation Panel Discussion and Presentations (8:00 AM – 10:00 AM)

Speaker: Ted Whitmer and Gerald Teel

Comparing Condemnation and Property Tax Appraisals (10:15 AM – 11:00 AM)

Speaker: Paul Hornsby

Condemnation Appraising Issues (11:00 AM – 12:00 PM)

Speaker: Philip Arnold

Ethical Considerations for the Attorney and Appraiser (1:00 PM – 2:00 PM)

Speaker: Ted Whitmer

Fairly reviewing the Appraiser, Appraisal, and Report (2:00 PM – 3:00 PM)

Speaker: Ted Whitmer

Condemnation Issues and Cases (3:15 PM – 4:00 PM)

Speaker: Jeff Avant

USPAP for Lawyers (4:00 PM – 4:45 PM)

Speaker: Ted Whitmer

Meet the Speakers

Ted Whitmer

Ted Whitmer served on the TALCB and was vice chairman of the Board. Ted is a Certified General Appraiser, licensed as a lawyer with the State of Texas and as a Real Estate Broker. He passed the Texas bar in 1988. Education includes a B.A. from Stephen F. Austin State University, an M.B.A. from Texas A&M University and a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. Previous experience includes teaching every required course in the Appraisal Institute towards the MAI designation, authoring and teaching the Comprehensive Appraisal Workshop as a review for the comprehensive examination for the MAI designation and previously teaching Standards & Ethics, including USPAP. In addition, Ted has authored and instructed many seminars for continuing education including Attacking & Defending an Appraisal in Litigation, which is given to appraisers, lawyers and government employees associated with Boards and other state and federal agencies. In addition to teaching, Ted has extensive experience in consulting including advising in cases with appraiser board enforcement, criminal fraud and civil liability issues. Past experience in consulting, teaching, serving on the TALCB, and having extensive knowledge of appraisal issues, theory and USPAP make Ted uniquely qualified to represent appraisers.

Gerald Teel

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.

Paul Horsnby

Since 1980, Mr. Hornsby has been a practicing real estate appraiser with an office in Austin, Texas, specializing in the valuation of complex properties and in support of litigation proceedings. Mr. Hornsby also serves as an arbitrator in real estate disputes.

Mr. Hornsby often serves in the capacity of expert witness in cases involving eminent domain, bankruptcy, general commercial litigation and ad valorem tax appeal. He is qualified as an appraisal expert in numerous county courts, state district courts, Federal District Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and various commissioners' courts and appraisal district review boards. Mr. Hornsby has testified over 700 times in depositions, special commissioner's hearings and trials.

In addition to real property appraisal, Mr. Hornsby provides counseling services and separation of real estate, tangible personal property, and intangible assets. He is the owner of ph Business Advisors, a business valuation firm specializing in the appraisal of business enterprises, partnership interests, and the allocation of tangible and intangible assets. Land planning services are provided by our sister company, alterra design group ( and brokerage services by Hornsby Realty (

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 is an active real estate Broker and a real estate appraiser. She engages in traditional valuation work for lenders, estates, and investors, as well as having experience in the condemnation and litigation arena. Jamie’s credentials as a General Certified Real Estate Appraiser have been established over a long period of time. She began J.S. Wickliffe & Co., which specializes in real estate valuation, in 1987. She has been qualified in State and Federal Court as an expert for many complex valuation projects. Projects like: highway extensions, water treatment plants, petroleum pipelines, utility improvements, Federal Wildlife mitigation, Reservoirs, Super Conducting Super Collider, Cowboys Stadium, The Ball Park in Arlington, Texas Motor Speedway, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, water rights, and overhead power lines. Some of the prominent cases Jamie has worked include Enbridge Pipelines (East Texas) L.P vs. Avinger Timber LLC (Gas Processing Facility), Crosstex DC Gathering Company, J.V. vs. Terry Titus Button, et al, Crosstex North Texas Gathering, LP vs. Robert E. Dow Trust, et al (Frac Sand Operation), and The State of Texas V. Carpenter Co., A Virginia Corporation, et al (Specialty Foam Manufacturing Facility), Peregrine Pipeline Company, L.P. v. Eagle Ford Land Partners, L.P., Tarrant Regional Water District, Petitioner v. Billy Harden Gragg, As Independent Executor of The Estate of O.L. Gragg, Deceased, et al. Jamie was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Real Estate Commission Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board in 2011. During her tenure on the board, she has served as chair of the Ethics and Enforcement Committee. Governor Abbott extended Jamie’s term of service in 2016 as the first chair to be appointed by the Governor. This public service follows many years as Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Midlothian. Jamie has held positions of leadership in many other organizations and was awarded the prestigious Community Builder Award by the Midlothian Masonic Lodge in February 2016.

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.

Michael Miller

Michael Miller has over 28 years of expertise representing clients involved in complex legal disputes. Mike has handled and or tried cases to a verdict involving Oil & Gas, Rig and Pipeline Liability, Contractors, Engineers and Architects, Construction Defect, Premises Liability, Products Liability, Employment and Labor Liability, Hospitality, Transportation, Business Liability, Insurance Liability and catastrophic personal injury litigation. Mike has tried both plaintiff and defense cases to a verdict in various federal, state and administrative courts throughout the state of Texas. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1986, and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mike also is Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rated by his peers and is a member of the Dallas and State Bar Associations. He earned his Juris Doctor from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1985 and his Bachelor of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University in 1980. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Mike has been married 32 years and has three adult children.

Lewis Isaacks

Areas of Practice

  • Board Certified - Civil Trial Law - Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Governmental Representation
  • Eminent Domain
  • Personal Injury
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Mediation

Elected and Civil Offices Held

  • (2001-Present) Collin County Community College Foundation, Director
  • (1991-1993) Collin County Bar Association, Director and Secretary
  • (1995-1998) Boys and Girls Club of Collin County, Director
  • (1996-2000) Advisory Committee, Rules Changes, Eastern District of Texas

Professional Associations

  • Texas State Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Foundation
  • Collin County Bar Association (past Secretary and Director)
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Plano Bar Association
  • McKinney Rotary Club
  • Board Certified, Civil Trial Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyer 2014

Civic, Cultural, and Community Organizations

  • Trustee, McKinney Independent School District, 2003-2010

Education and Qualifications

  • Angelo State University, B.A., 1977
  • Texas Tech Law School, J.D., 1980