In Uncategorized on 07/20/2020 at 15:51

It’s SOP for Tax Court litigants to try to bar each other’s expert witnesses’ reports and testimony. Every form file should contain at least one boilerplate Daubert-Kumho Tire gatekeeper motion in limine.

But to move for reconsideration “woefully late” because your expert’s report was admitted into evidence is a new one on me. Trust Robert G. Taylor II, Docket No. 400-13, filed 7/20/20; Mr. Taylor and his expert figured in my blogpost “Appraisals – From Texas to Oregon,” 8/19/19. You’ll recall Mr. Taylor’s expert relied too much on mold, asbestos and the Black ’08, rather than on physical damage to his “ornate and architecturally significant house.” Order, at p. 4.

And Mr. Taylor was a wee bit parsimonious with the details he told his expert.

“Petitioner either did not correct the report before submitting it to the court as evidence or petitioner had failed to inform his own expert witness that he had removed value from his fee simple property by transferring ownership of certain fixtures and sculptures to a trust, to include some portion of the stained glass windows in his dining room and wall paneling throughout the house. Nor did it appear that petitioner had disclosed to his own expert that he had originally purchased the subject property in an ‘as is’ condition with no warranties.” Order, at p. 4.

But Judge Paris gets to the point.

“The Court found petitioner’s expert witness credible and her report aided the Court in understanding the evidence. While the aid ultimately helped the Court find for respondent on whether petitioner was entitled to a casualty loss deduction, the expert witness report does not become inadmissible because it did not have the desired effect for petitioner.” Order, at pp. 8-9.

And I wasn’t alone in finding Mr. Taylor’s claim unique.

“Petitioner appears to be arguing that his substantial rights were affected by the Court admitting his expert witness report. The Court is not aware of and could not find any instance where a party has been unduly prejudiced by their own expert witness report being admitted into evidence.” Order, at p. 9.

The good news is that Mr. Taylor recovered from his insurer for the damages. “Petitioner’s ornate and architecturally significant house only reflected damage at best and described as proportionately minor according to insurance documents admitted into evidence. The damage and the subsequent repairs were fully reimbursed to the petitioner by his insurance company.” Order, at p. 4.

I hope he recovered for his 6,889 bottles of wine, half of which were submerged by Hurricane Ike.





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