Real Estate Partnership Disputes Expert Witness

By their very nature, joint ventures and other type of partnership arrangements are subject to conflict and disputes.  When the venture is going well and making money the relationships between the partners is generally good; however, when the market turns or cost increase and revenues decrease one partner tends to look to the other for the explanation.  “Finger pointing” typically leads to litigation concerning the other partner’s fiduciary responsibilities, standard of care exercised, conduct in accordance with Industry customs and practices, compliance with terms of the partnership agreement and, of course, allegations of fraud and overall misconduct.

Once the partnership starts to deteriorate (for whatever reason) it will typically get worse with time as more and more disagreements concerning the other partner’s performance continue to mount.   The assessment of whether or not the other partner’s conduct (from a non-legal standpoint) was in accordance with Industry customs and practices is the role of a real estate expert.  It is important to recognize that this assessment must be evaluated within the context of the past and present market conditions.  For example, if sales prices within the specific market area for new subdivisions have decreased by 20 percent and the subject development only realized a reduction of 10 percent then the partner’s efforts concerning advertising and overall marketing strategy would be difficult to dispute.  Similarly, cost overruns would also be evaluated based on the area’s sub-contractor material and labor increases.

In his 40 year career in the residential real estate market, Mr. Ryan has read over 100 joint venture, partnership, purchase and sale and option agreements.  He has been directly involved, both as a principal and a corporate officer, in numerous types of partnership structures.  Additionally, he has been retained as a real estate expert witness and has testified in court on these types of disputes on several cases.

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