The Bill of Rights: Valuation vs Land Use

January 11, 2020

The Bill of Rights: Valuation vs Land Use Few of us have read the U.S. Bill of Rights, which is quite understandable. However, the last 12 words of Article 5 have shaped our nation and introduced a niche legal area of the law known as condemnation or eminent domain. “… Nor shall private property be […]

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Tree Failures and Wrongful Death Claims

December 24, 2019

Tree failures and wrongful death and landscape claims typically fall into the category of valuations. A tree or landscape was damaged, and somebody wants to be paid. And there is much to be considered regarding the valuation of trees and landscapes, which goes to a different level if the tree failure caused personal injury or […]

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Who’s Cheating Their Insurance Company?

November 25, 2019

Who’s cheating their insurance company? There are abuses on both sides of the insurance cheating issue. There are high-profile attorneys with great expertise in detecting fraud. These attorneys regularly post on LinkedIn verdicts that they received from a jury, verdicts that far exceeded the original claim in many instances. There are insurance companies whose attorneys […]

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Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. Trees and Neighbor Disputes.

September 25, 2019

As the old saying goes, good fences make good neighbors. I’m not an attorney and certainly not qualified to give legal advice. However, after scores of litigated cases where I served as an expert witness, I can offer some significant take-home lessons for anyone involved with a neighbor who is a poor steward of their […]

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Failed Tree Liability

July 11, 2019

Is the Whole Always the Sum of its Parts? The “Green Industry” is governed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI A300). The Standards consist of 10 Parts that cover the various categories of work and provide for certain standards in the writing of specifications and performance. This of course affects where liability lies for […]

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The Interview: It’s the Same But Different.

June 17, 2019

The most published work on LinkedIn may be the topic of the dreaded job interview, followed quickly by how to write a résumé. Thousands of professionals comment on this topic, and LI has some very smart and credentialed masters who know what advice to give to real-life questions. However, there is another type of job […]

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Tree and Landscape Settlements: The Man Behind the Green Curtain

June 10, 2019

When a tree falls on a person or property, insurance companies basically want to know three things:  What caused the tree failure?  Was there a defect that was open and obvious prior to the fall?  What is the value of the subject tree and/or landscape? The answer to the first question is typically answered by […]

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Permission to Approach the Witness

May 13, 2019

The direct examination went rather well considering that most people expect the retaining attorney to be a great orator worthy of Cicero accolades when, in fact, they might have little experience or expertise in oral presentations at trial. The exchange between me, as the expert tree witness, and my retaining attorney was not over-rehearsed and […]

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The Expert Witness on a Litigation Team

April 22, 2019

One of the most important components of an attorney’s litigation team is the expert witness. An attorney going into a court without the best expert is like a solider going to battle without a rifle. And so it came to pass in a federal courthouse some time ago that a black limousine pulled up in […]

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Death, Injury, & Property Damage from Trees

March 29, 2019

During February, I received four requests from different insurance companies to render an opinion on the unfortunate outcome of trees falling on people and onto property causing property damage. One death, one personal injury, and two homes with extensive damage. One month. Trees can be and are dangerous. That danger grows exponentially when the subject […]

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