Local Government Legal

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January 2015 – How not to give expert evidence

In the case of Toveno Pty Limited v Roads and Maritime Services [2014] NSWLEC 1266, the decision of Moore SC details why the Court placed no reliance on the valuation evidence given by a Valuer engaged on behalf of the Applicant.

This case is a reminder of the nature of the obligations that are imposed on an expert proposing to give evidence in court proceedings which are specifically reinforced by the Expert Witness Code of Conduct (see r 31.23 and Sch 7 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005).

The judgment cites several examples of Moore SC’s “extreme disquiet that I have about the reliability of anything contained in his statement of evidence or anything said during the course of the concurrent in court evidence”:

  • During cross-examination the expert was unable to explain some rational arithmetical basis for the adoption of his “blended rate” of $240 per square metre for application to Applicant’s site;
  • The Valuer’s position that no professionally competent valuer would provide individual adjustment values for the sort of process undertaken in an analysis of a sale for the purposes of deriving a value for application to a valuation site;
  • The Valuer’s calculations and reasons for applying an adjustment to sales of 10% and 27.5% so as to derive a value of $2000 per m2.

Note: This information is not to be relied upon as legal advice.

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