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I was involved in a Special Commissioners hearing where I was representing myself against a pipeline company's condemnation

Tyler, TX |

It turns out that of the 3 special commissioners - one worked for the judge, one is a legal
assistant for a law firm that reps energy companies in land grabs and the other lady
knew the judge's employee. Apparently, they all knew the plaintiff's attorney. I was
given less than the pipeline company offerred me by these three shills and was told
my appraisal review by an outstanding local appraiser that pointed out the inappropriate
comparables used in the pipeline appraisal and opined that the land was worth $5K an
acre more than their estimate. They called this review "hearsay" and refused to hear
testimony about the house plans that I had drawn up for this acreage and the bills I owed
for work to prep the land and for the architect.
Would you call these 3 people "disinterested parties"

Attorney Answers 1


  1. When you represent yourself, you typically do so at your own peril. There are rules that need to be followed. Your evidence of the property's value would need to have been corroborated and/or you should've had the appraiser there to testify concerning the methodology used to arrive at his appraisal amount.

    To answer your specific question, based on the information you provided it is difficult to opine whether these 3 people are "disinterested parties." You might have had to object to their being on the commission at the time of the hearing to preserve this argument. Did these people disclose their employment or other pertinent information at the hearing?

    If this is important to you, you should consult an attorney asap. You may have time within which to file an appeal and/or show that the commissioners weren't impartial, if you suspect that they weren't.

    DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.

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