Expert Witness needed - Residential real estate - Atlanta GA

8 Replies | Atlanta, Georgia

Hi BP, a friend of mine is in need of an expert witness to testify in an upcoming fraud case involving flipping houses (it will be a few months from now). He was defrauded out of $500k+ by a flipper that he was investing with.  We're looking for recommendations for someone in Atlanta that's a reputable expert in residential real estate investing and/or flipping houses and has experience being an expert witness. Any idea where I could find someone like this?  Thanks in advance for the help

I think that might be a little too broad, as it's difficult to scientifically define an expert in investing. I believe that expert witnesses usually testify based on scientific data. 

For example, if I own a property that the city is trying to take in eminent domain, I am not allowed to testify on value, because I'm not an expert, even though I may have been investing for 30 years and know what I'm speaking of. BUT, I can hire an appraiser to speak on that. (Have an awesome appraiser that specializes in eminent domain and who does testify in court). 

So, I'm not sure that he can just hire another real estate investor as expert witness, since there are no licenses or certifications involved in that profession. 

Or he could hire an attorney that specializes in the intricacies of investing (not a closing attorney). 

Maybe also a broker, that specializes in investment properties can be an expert witness. 

Maybe a CPA that is familiar with the financial aspects of investing. 

HI @David Holcombe . I'd recommend you hit up the larger Metro Atlanta real estate investor associations or REIAs (Georgia REIA and Atlanta REIA) with your request for help. Surely someone there has experience with identifying such a legal resource.

Honestly, I don't think the challenge will be finding someone experienced enough; It will be finding someone who wants to take the time to do it! I suspect those who are most qualified won't be motivated by money.

Originally posted by @Michaela G. :

Or he could hire an attorney that specializes in the intricacies of investing (not a closing attorney). Maybe also a broker, that specializes in investment properties can be an expert witness.

Correct Michaela if this is set for trail he / she already has a trial lawyer.. this is not the purview of a closing attorney.. apples and oranges.

and said trail attorney should have his / her go to experts.. Just like the defense will if they have the money for it.

bottom line these are forensic cases.. IE investor gave money and did not get value in return or whatever was promised.. BRRRR gone bad many times.

 

Thanks all. Correct, we've got a forensic accountant involved already as well as a trial attorney.  The trial attorney is more experienced in contract law and fraud than real estate and doesn't have a go-to real estate expert witness. So we're looking for some recommendations.  

Originally posted by @David Holcombe :

Thanks all. Correct, we've got a forensic accountant involved already as well as a trial attorney.  The trial attorney is more experienced in contract law and fraud than real estate and doesn't have a go-to real estate expert witness. So we're looking for some recommendations.  

a very good reputable real estate broker could be an expert.. I have done that in a few trials..  just need someone with a few years behind them and can show a body of work in the same field. 

 

You might want to try John Mangham. I don't know, if he can help, but he's a longtime real estate investor, a CPA, a broker and he represents Starker (nationwide 1031 fidicuary). So, he has some credentials, that might help in court. But I don't know if he would do it. Can't put his ph# or website here, but if you google his name and Atlanta, you'll find his contacts. 

Have known him a long time from Georgia REIA and he's done a 1031 exchange for me.