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Challenges to Appraisers in Tax Court Prompt New Conference

by Todd Paradis | Dec 10, 2013

Challenges to Appraisers in Tax Court Prompt Hosting of Upcoming Conference in San Francisco

The American Society of Appraisers announces the hosting of a conference: How to be a Successful and Effective Expert Witness (March 5-6) to take place at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, California.

Demand for the event stems from a growing need for valuation professionals to be able to effectively communicate and present conclusions in courts of law.

2013 has been a year for high-profile tax court cases involving works of fine art. One current valuation dispute between the IRS and the estate of artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat , shows a difference of $66 million. Earlier this year the Sonnabend case in which the estate’s appraisers valued a work by Robert Rauschenberg at zero was contested with an IRS valuation of $65 million. Less well known is the case involving the valuation of 64 works of art in the estate of James Elkins .

It’s not only in the world of art valuation that the role of the appraiser has become more complicated. According to Dennis A. Webb, ASA , who is both a business valuation and real property appraiser, “It only takes reading a small number of Tax Court cases to realize that valuation expert testimony often fails to persuade. Experts that find the facts, connect the dots and tell the story provide testimony that attorneys can relate to and that the Court needs. Persuasive experts make a major contribution to the Court and to the profession – we need a good deal more of them.”

This spring ASA in collaboration with SEAK will be offering a 2-day conference: How to be a Successful and Effective Expert Witness (March 5-6 in San Francisco). Topics will include common cv and website mistakes, what goes into a defensible report, preparing for deposition, trial, and dealing with difficult cross-examinations. 14 hours of CE and CPE credits will be offered, which have also been approved by California’s Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers (BREA) .

Immediately following the expert witness event, ASA will also be hosting a special 1.5-day connoisseurship conference, Personal Property Issues and Insights: SFO (March 7-8), which will be devoted to the special collections and sites of San Francisco with lectures and tours. 10 hours of CE credits will be offered.

To register or for complete event details visit or call (800) 272-8258.