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Appraiser Law

Legal, regulatory and insurance matters concerning real estate valuation

Peter Christensen
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1600 Anacapa Street

P.O. Box 1319

Santa Barbara, California 93102

(805) 963-6624



University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law 

      J.D., May 1993 (Admitted to California State Bar, December 1993)


University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business

      B.S., Business Administration – Accounting Emphasis, May 1990

      Degree Awarded with Honors, Phi Beta Kappa


LIA Administrators & Insurance Services, and

Christensen Law Firm

General Counsel and Attorney, December 2005 to Present

Irell & Manella LLP, Newport Beach, California

Senior Counsel, November 1996 to December 2005

Latham & Watkins LLP, Costa Mesa, California

Attorney, September 1993 to November 1996




  • “Appraisal Confidentiality Issues,” with John Brennan of the Appraisal Foundation and Frank O'Neill of DataQuick; Collateral Risk Network, Ft. Lauderdable, FL, February 2014.
  • "Third Party Oversight: the Lender/AMC Relationship," Compliance Workshop, Las Vegas, NV, December 2013.
  • “Appraisal Management Liability Issues: Non-Payment of Appraisers,” Collateral Risk Network, Ft. Lauderdable, FL, January 2013.
  • "AMCs: Third Party Oversight Issues,” Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials, Austin, TX, May 2013.
  • “A Word from Your Lawyer II,” Appraisal Summit, Las Vegas, NV, November 2012.
  • “Hot Topics in Appraiser Liability.” Valuation Expo, San Antonio, TX, October 2013.
  • “AMC Bonds and Recovery Funds,” Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials, Chicago, CA, May 2012.
  • “Buyer’s Remorse: Plight of the Real Estate Professional,” Defense Research Institute, Professional Liability Conference, New York, NY, December 2011.
  • “Appraisal Management Liability,” Collateral Risk Network, Las Vegas, NV, November 2011.
  • “Current Issues in Commercial Real Estate Appraisal Liability,” Appraisal Institute, No. Cal. Chapter Fall Conference, San Francisco, CA, October 2011.
  • “A Word from Your Lawyer,” Appraisal Summit, Las Vegas, NV, September 2010.
  • “Appraisal Management Company Regulation/Litigation,” Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials, San Diego, CA, May 2010.
  • “Loss Prevention Program for Real Estate Appraisers,” 4-Hour and 7-Hour Appraiser CE Seminars, presented to the following groups in 2010-13: Appraisal Institute (Annual Meeting and Chapters), Wisconsin Realtors Association, Assoc. of Texas Appraisers, Mississippi Coalition of Appraisers, Appraisers’ Coalition of Washington, Coalition of Appraisers in Nevada, Arizona Assoc. of Real Estate Appraisers, Colorado Assoc. of Real Estate Appraisers, South Dakota Appraisers Conference, Wisconsin Realtors Association.




  • “Rules of Engagement,” (Appraiser Engagement Letters), Valuation Magazine, 3rd Quarter 2013.
  •  “Business as Unusual: Extraordinary Liability and Peculiar Appraiser Claims,” Valuation Magazine, 3rd Quarter 2013.
  • “Silence Is Golden: Avoiding Breaches of Confidentiality,” Valuation Magazine, 2nd Quarter 2013.
  • “A Plainer Disclaimer: Help Prevent Liability Claims by Using Simple, Clear Language,” Valuation Magazine, 1st Quarter 2013.
  • “Swimming in Suits: Liability Prevention for Tax and Litigation Assignments,” Valuation Magazine, 4th Quarter 2012.
  • “Blast from the Past: FDIC Claims,” Valuation Magazine, 3rd Quarter 2012. 
  •  “Hazardous Conditions: Make Limiting Conditions and Statements More Enforceable,” Valuation Magazine, 2nd Quarter 2012.
  • “Know Your Limitations: Appraiser Liability Statutes of Limitations,” Valuation Magazine, 1st Quarter 2012.
  • “Full Court Pressure: Recent Litigation that Could Significantly Affect Appraisers,” Valuation Magazine, 4th Quarter 2011.
  • “Indemnification Woes,” REALTOR Magazine, November 2011.
  • “Indemnity Crisis,” Valuation Magazine, 1st Quarter 2011.
  • “New Legal Risks for Appraisal Management Companies,” LiveValuation, October 2010.
  • “Avoiding Liability Problems Caused by the Erosion of the Concepts of Client, Intended User and Intended Use,” Valuation Magazine, 1st Quarter 2010.
  • “Beware of Borrower: Reducing the Risk of Legal Claims,” LiveValuation, May 2010.