Extending appraisal service in Australian court

legalAfter US, now in Australia.

Appraiser Agosto provided an appraisal consultancy and service to Australian court.  The respondent in a matrimonial property settlement in Federal Circuit Court of Australia acquired his services to provide an opinion of value for properties involved in a litigation.

“I was informed by the solicitors of my client that my appraisal report has been forwarded to the court and now forms part of the evidence,” Appraiser Gus said during the meeting of PAREB-Cebu South.

On August 3, 2017,  Finemore Walters & Story Solicitors of Brisbane, Australia wrote a  correspondence to Appraiser Agosto, “As part of finalizing the matrimonial property  settlement proceedings, in which under the Australian Law, it should be under oath and notarized by the Philippine solicitor to be accepted as an evidence in court.

The Finemore Walters & Story is a law firm for the respondent and specializes in family law and business.

The Federal Magistrate Court of Australia has just ruled to require valuer to sign an affidavit  making reference to the report and certify as true and correct.

Appraiser Gus says that the rules in court litigation support in Australia is quite rigorous. Appraisers interested in venturing court appraisal should read the court guidelines like the Federal rules 2001 and other guidelines. Besides notarization cited above, the court require valuer to execute and provide certification of no conflict of interest and the independence  of the appraisal.

With his experience in a range of court cases, from divorce settlement, estate taxes to appointment as court commissioner on expropriation and just compensation, Appraiser Agosto fitted in the job. Recently, he was summoned by the San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton California, USA to be an expert witness in a divorce settlement case.

Appraisal litigation is a challenging assignment. One of his most interesting case involved in appraising properties and title search. The client, a US Immigrant, have won the case and obtain his share in the matrimonial properties.

“In all cases, the appraiser should consider the caveat in court litigation in this line of work. The report will be scrutinized, and challenged in court. The  opposing counsel will surely hire the services of another appraiser with the objective of defending their value as more accurate, reliable and objective. The challenge is to defend your work.”

As a final advice to appraiser who are interested in this line of work, he shared that an appraiser should work hard and practice due diligence, relevance and objectivity. Always have the facts and know the property inside and out.  “Know the property, the law and the market well’,  Appraiser Gus Agosto concluded.



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