What’s Appraiser Law? The concept of Appraiser Law is to make knowledgeable legal counsel available to appraisers at reasonable cost. I have spoken with thousands of appraisers in my legal career and believe that appraisers – whether they are sole-proprietors, owners of small firms or employees in large firms – need affordable access to a lawyer who really knows something about their work. The problem is that lawyers are often too expensive – and most don’t know very much about the special legal issues affecting appraisers. That’s what I’m trying to solve with Appraiser Law. It’s available to appraisers in California and Washington because these are the states in which I practice law.

Appraiser Law puts the Christensen Law Firm on retainer for you. It enables individual appraisers to retain me for up to 7 hours of my time each year at a greatly reduced fee for matters relating to appraisal work and business issues. With Appraiser Law, an appraiser can say “Peter Christensen is my lawyer.”

My regular hourly rate is $400, but Appraiser Law clients receive access to an annual block of my time at $50 per hour. I love working for individual appraisers and small firm owners – that’s a big part of why I’m doing this. It’s also my belief that the legal profession needs to provide better access to justice for everyday individual professionals and small business owners.

For most legal issues that appraisers need help with, a few hours of my time is sufficient because I have a giant collection of documents and materials available to me relating to appraiser legal matters, and I draw from over 20 years of legal experience. This is not just some kind of “E&O hotline.” I am working for you. I will draft documents and agreements for you. I’ll write letters on your behalf, even represent you before the Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers or Washington DOL. Moreover, under my engagement agreements for all clients (whether they are individual appraisers or mega national firms), I don’t charge for quick phone calls with clients. So, just like my corporate clients, please call when you need my advice or run into a rough patch – if you’re a client.

What’s the cost? The first year annual fee for Appraiser Law is $110. An optional $10 discount applies if you maintain E&O insurance.

What do you get? Appraiser Law clients receive up to 7 hours of total time at $50 per hour (up to 3 hours for appraisal/business legal matters and, separately, up to 4 hours for appraiser disciplinary matters). After exhausting these discounted rates, clients can continue to receive my assistance at 35% off my regular hourly rate. New appraiser clients also receive a free copy of my book Risk Management for Real Estate Appraisers and Appraisal Firms, published by the Appraisal Institute in 2019, and discounted access to my 4-hour online CE class “Appraiser Liability 101” for $40 on www.valuationeducation.com.

You can read more about me, my legal practice and background on the Christensen Law Firm’s main site www.valuationlegal.com.

Details. The table below describes the services available with Appraiser Law. If you are interested in becoming a client, please head to the Appraiser Law Sign Up page.

Thank you, Peter Christensen

I have described below the legal services available with Appraiser Law. If you think something is missing, please let me know. The services are provided subject to the terms of a signed Appraiser Law Engagement Agreement.

The annual fee for Appraiser Law for a new client is $110. As an optional discount, an appraiser may show E&O insurance coverage to receive a $10 discount.

The annual fee is a true “retainer fee.” It secures the legal assistance of attorney Peter Christensen and the Christensen Law Firm at pre-agreed and highly discounted hourly rates.

Under the agreement, Peter Christensen will provide:

(1) Legal counsel for up to 3 hours at $50 per hour for listed Appraisal Work and Business matters.

(2) Legal counsel for up to 4 hours at $50 per hour for Disciplinary and Licensing Matters.

(3) Phone conferences shorter than 15 minutes to discuss legal matters are not billed.

After exhausting the above discounted rates, Peter Christensen will provide legal services for the described matters at a 35% discount from his regular hourly rate.

New clients also receive a copy of the Risk Management Book and discounted access to the 4-hour online CE seminar.

Appraisal Work and Business Matters are:

  • General appraisal firm business legal matters.
  • Appraisal and consulting service agreements.
  • Contractor agreements and contractor classification issues.
  • Issues as an employee or employer.
  • Employment agreements.
  • Non-disclosure agreements.
  • Non-compete issues.
  • Single-owner business entity formations (LLCs).
  • Subpoenas and depositions.
  • Business debt collection and defense.
  • E&O and business insurance issues.
  • Language and limiting conditions for reports.
  • AMC and appraisal firm relationships.
  • Appraisal work or business-related liability threats (representation in court is not included, unless separately agreed to by you and the Christensen Law Firm).

(Mergers, acquisitions, sales and corporate transactions are not included, nor are issues concerning the operation of an AMC.)

Disciplinary and Licensing Matters are investigations and other matters involving the California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers or Washington Department of Licensing.