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Thread: Court proceedings

  1. #1
    Aug 2001
    Jacksonville, Florida

    Court proceedings

    Have any of you planners ever had to testify in Court?

  2. #2
    Yes, in cases that were criminal complaints of zoning ordinance violations and civil depositions. I've even testified in an impeachment hearing!

    It's not that bad, I kinda liked it. Just stick to what you know, don't volunteer too much, and don't get mad under cross examination.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Aug 2001
    South Milwaukee
    Have done condemnation court, testifying to land use principles and basis for establishing value. Just keep your head if they try to pick apart your credentials - remember you are there becasue you are the expert!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Feb 1998
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Years ago I testified in state court on a zoning case. Got all worked up about how to answer whatever questions. I was called in, the judge asked if I prepared a land use map that was one of the exhibits. A follow up question was what did the yellow color represent. Then I was dismissed.

    More often than not, we go to deposition rather than actual court. It is just about as intimidating being in a conference room full of attorneys. Keep your cool and take hints from your attorney when he objects to a question. Know your zoning code. Heed Linden's advice not to volunteer too much.

    We lost a group home federal case. I had recommended the correct course of action, the plan/city commissions thought otherwise; I was being used as an expert toy to testify against my boards. Not fun, but good experience.

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