Litigation Support

When real estate valuation issues end up in court, it’s usually because they’re extremely complicated. Jeff Beal has for decades helped develop the evidentiary and factual bases of some of the most complex and – at times – unusual valuation cases in arguably the most complex real estate market in the world. Mr. Beal specializes in dissecting valuation problems and helping to determine potential dollar-value awards. His work allows attorneys to focus on legal questions and trial strategies instead of expending time and energy on issues in which they might not have expertise.

Mr. Beal also helps attorneys prepare voir dire questions and devise cross-examination tactics based on the facts of the case, the adversary’s analysis and the credentials of the adversary’s witnesses.


Trial preparation

Mr. Beal prepares attorneys for their adversaries’ tactics, especially the adversary’s attempts to strengthen his or her case by weakening yours or by discrediting your expert witnesses’ credentials or testimony. Talented litigators will zero in on the biggest weaknesses or inconsistencies in your evidence and your expert’s testimony. Or they’ll try to confuse expert witnesses, “trick” them into contradicting themselves or just force them to lose their composure. Mr. Beal is intimately familiar with these tactics because he helps attorneys do the exact same things. He knows what’s coming once the case goes to court.

Mr. Beal contributes to attorneys’ legal strategies by looking at the other side’s case and pointing out where it’s vulnerable. Attorneys call on Mr. Beal to determine whether adversaries have made factual or methodological errors. This includes determining whether the appraiser violated any aspect of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) or other recognized appraisal standards.

Courtroom support

At trial Mr. Beal is comfortable with adversaries’ rigorous cross-examination because his testimony is based on research and analysis he has done personally. By the time he gets to the witness stand, he has already anticipated and answered all the questions and filled all the holes your adversary will seek to reveal. He has read the complaint, depositions and motion papers that bear on the facts of the case. The answers he gives are credible, on point and concise. He can stand up to your adversary’s attacks, and his testimony could actually have a favorable impact on your case’s outcome.

As an appraiser and real estate teacher and a current or former officer of many appraisal panels and professional societies, Mr. Beal maintains high professional standards. He also takes pride in promoting knowledge and connecting with people on a personal level – with a smile and, when appropriate, a sense of humor, even though the subject matter can be abstruse at times.

Mr. Beal has a proven ability to discuss facts authoritatively – but not arrogantly – with judges and juries. He can communicate complex ideas clearly and in simple language, both in written reports and in person. He’s down-to-earth but doesn’t talk down to people.

Ethics and malpractice defense

Mr. Beal has a particular expertise in appraisal practice and ethics. Appraisers and errors-and-omissions insurers often call on him to evaluate claims of misconduct or malpractice. He determines the severity of any factual or methodological errors, helps assess liability and, if necessary, helps craft litigation strategies in defense of such claims. He supports that defense through written reports or through testimony in court or before licensing boards.

Types of Cases

Mr. Beal has supported virtually every type of real estate litigation. He has managed a full complement of valuation issues, including:

  • Title insurance claims arising from:
    • Defects in title
    • Discovered easements
    • Fraudulent conveyance
    • Errors in lien documents
    • Incomplete or inadequate rights search
  • Tax certiorari for commercial properties
  • Condemnation/eminent domain issues involving:
    • Partial or total fee takings
    • Permanent or temporary easements
  • Diminution of value (entire buildings or individual dwelling units), due to:
    • Construction defects
    • Damage from construction on an adjacent site
    • Mold damage
    • Water damage
    • Breach of quiet enjoyment
  • Professional malpractice (causing an adverse impact on real property) by:
    • Insurance brokers
    • Real estate brokers
    • Attorneys
    • Appraisers
  • Actions against management, including:
    • Breach of lease/exclusivity
    • Unlawful eviction
    • Loss of a rent-stabilized apartment
  • Estate and gift planning and valuation for:
    • Entire properties
    • Minority interests under various ownership scenarios (tenants in common, joint tenants, LLCs, corporations and partnerships)
  • Valuation or consequential damages in disputes over:
    • Inheritance
    • Fee ownership
    • Leases
    • Air or development rights
    • Adverse possession
  • Partnership conflicts involving:
    • Dissolutions
    • Roll-ups
  • Valuation of use and occupancy
  • Matrimonial/equitable distribution
  • Bankruptcy proceedings