COVID19 might be the catalyst for expert witness testimony in foreclosure cases.

The interesting thing is that the cost of producing an expert witness has just been cut by Coronavirus and COVID 19. Experts can testify via various video mediums that are now appearing in most courtrooms. So what had cost thousands of dollars in travel expense and time expense in travel has been eliminated. And in most cases the time expense for both preparation and appearance at deposition must be paid by the opposing side. Once they do that you might get the judge to accept the video deposition in lieu of live testimony. (No guarantees).

But the remaining caveats about expert witnesses remains the same. While there are a few good expert witnesses around (besides myself) most of them won’t stand up under the fire of cross examination. Bill Paatalo is a good example of an expert who knows what he is talking about and can defend it on cross examination. And like me he has a good track record of being instrumental in either favorable decisions inc orut or favorable settlements out of court or both.

Don’t underestimate the position. The will do anything to wear out or dismantle an expert. I once had my deposition taken by 16 banks for 6 straight days 9am to 5pm. It was brutal, but I survived and they never transcribed the testimony. It was a class action MERS case; unfortunately the judge ruled that the class could not be certified which had nothing to do with my testimony that MERS was the equivalent of any fictional character like “Donald Duck.” The point is — can the expert’s testimony survive 48 hours of cross examination?

You need to be careful with this. Just because somebody calls themselves an expert doesn’t mean that they are an expert. An expert is someone with greatly Superior knowledge about something that is not easily understood by the trier of fact. And just because someone thinks that they’re an expert does not mean that a judge will let them testify as an expert or, even if they do, that the judge will give any weight at all to what the “expert” says.

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So someone might be an expert, depending upon what he/she did in real estate, lending or finance. But being an expert and having any value in court as an expert witness or two different matters. the testimony of most experts is discounted by the trier of fact unless the expert has substantial credentials and makes a presentation that is clear and convincing. any presentation that leaves the trier of fact with questions, will be discounted.

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Most “experts” are just people with pet theories.

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Very few people have the understanding that I have when it comes to Wall Street Finance. Fewer still have an understanding of the intersection between what happens on Wall Street  and what happens in courtrooms.
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I was part of it and my family was part of it starting with the purchase of seats on all major Securities exchanges in 1945. I was a direct participant in bond trading from the moment I became licensed as a “registered representative” is now referred to as a series 7 license. I was certified as a financial analyst.
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I traded in undervalued bonds and I was present at relatively secret meetings of bond Traders which gave rise to Michael Milken’s junk bond plan which in turn gave rise to the mortgage bond plan. and I personally used several strategies developed in part by Goldman Sachs in which layers of entities were used to make it difficult for anyone to understand the role of any of the players.
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I was the lead underwriter on dozens of public offerings, mergers and acquisitions. I was first in my class in a two-year intensive MBA program and I graduated summa cum laude from my Law class.
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What all of that means is that on cross-examination I will NOT collapse as a witness because I actually know what I am talking about and I can present real facts to corroborate my opinions and findings. That is not true for 99% of the other “experts.” All that said, there is no guarantee that the court will rule as I suggest.

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The problem I have encountered is that people will sometimes hire me to execute an expert witness affidavit, but then they failed to call me as a witness. The affidavit is worthless unless it is admitted into evidence. Unless the opposing side stipulates or waves objection, the only way to get my testimony into evidence is by having me testify live and subject to cross-examination. virtually none of the people who call themselves experts have actually appeared in court. Besides myself, a notable exception is William Paatalo who can and does present credible, clear and convincing expert factual findings.
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The interesting thing is that the cost of producing an expert witness has just been cut by Coronavirus and COVID 19. Experts can testify via various video mediums that are now appearing in most courtrooms. So what had cost thousands of dollars in travel expense and thousands of dollars in time expense during travel has been eliminated.
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3 Responses

  1. Well — get it while is is hot. If one can squeeze out the money now. Yet judges — they just don’t like us.

    We are headed for bad times. All this “stimulus” is going to cause hyperinflation. The old wheelbarrow “story” (sorry a ‘story”). My Dad used to tell me story from World War 1.(he was World War 11 and volunteered at age of 30 – only one to make it home of his friends). Money in the wheelbarrow was dumped because only the wheelbarrow was worth anything. Money no longer had any value. Everything goes in cycles — World War 1 – 1918 “flu.” The Great Depression – and, of course, The Great Financial Recession – covered up for over a decade. .

    This virus is bad. And what it is doing to economy will be felt for a very long time. Of course, something “bad” was already done to the economy.

    We need to manufacture here — assets — actual production. No more “consumer” economy. Even if we get a vaccine — we may not be able to produce it. We don’t have the facilities. We sent everything abroad – decades ago. And don’t give me “environment” stuff. If you don’t understand that we need to produce here there will be no environment to worry about.

    If we don’t fix the mortgage fraud – as a whole – we will have no homes as a society. That is what has happened, and will continue to happen unless we wake up. Courts have to, finally, do their job. Maybe now the judges will realize — this affects them too.

    THANKS!

  2. Awesome. Now Start posting your prices and what it will get the homeowners.

  3. Filing requirements also lessened in some courts

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