Claudia received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California Law Center in 1982 and in 1994, Claudia and her partner, Bob Dolan, formed the law firm of Gaglione & Dolan, which specializes in the defense of professional malpractice claims. Since 1987, Claudia has personally supervised over 4,000 claims and lawsuits filed against real estate appraisers across the country. By virtue of this experience, she is uniquely qualified to speak about what kinds of things appraisers get sued for and what defenses are most successful. More importantly, Claudia can discuss the types of errors that are avoidable and how appraisers can make themselves the best possible defendants in the event they are ever sued.
"I was recently served with a subpoena to show up at a trial with my
appraisal work file. I called the attorney who sent it and it turns out this
lawsuit has nothing to do with me, but this guy insists that I have to be there
so my appraisal of this property can be part of his case. I said I charge $250
an hour for expert work, but this attorney is telling me I am only a witness. I
get paid $15 a day, plus they pay for my parking. They do not even reimburse me
for the copy charges. I told this joker I was not missing a day of work for this
garbage and he said he could have me arrested. Do you believe that? "
I am sorry to break this to you, but you are in the wrong here. A subpoena is
like a court order and you have to comply...unless it is legally burdensome. It
might be unfair, and a pain in the neck and not what you need right now...but it
does not sound like this is legally burdensome. I am not familiar with any
specific statutes in your state, but the attorney you spoke to is probably
right. If you willfully ignore the subpoena, this guy could go before a judge
and ask that a warrant be issued or that you be sanctioned. Whether he would
actually do this probably depends on just how important your appraisal is to his
case. My advice would be that you reconsider your position and comply with the
terms of the subpoena.