How to Survive Your First Jury Trial


I have been practicing law for more than a decade now, and I like to think of myself as an expert in the field. It’s a complicated industry, but it is an absolutely crucial one; without it, some of us may never find justice. And because of my expertise and belief in fighting for what is right, I feel as though it is my duty to pass on my knowledge to up-and-coming lawyers.

For those that are unaware, the jury trial is any case or proceeding that will be determined by a jury as opposed to the judge. This is a very different type of case, and requires practice and tact.  The overwhelming majority of cases settle before ever going to trial. Of those that go to trial, only some are decided by a jury. For this reason, one of the most difficult, and nerve-wracking, aspects of being a lawyer is the jury trial. It can be tough and it will always be a learning experience, particularly for novice lawyers.

So, here are a few tips and tricks on how to prepare for your first jury trial.

The rest of this article can be found on Michael Fourte’s website.


How to Challenge a VA Appraisal


Purchasing a home is usually one of the largest investments a person can make. This is why it is absolutely critical that you take every detail into account in order to ensure that you are receiving the best possible deal. One of the best ways to do this is by requesting an appraisal of the house, which, essentially, allows you to determine the fair market value of the home. If you are a veteran and are purchasing a home with a loan backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), an appraisal is mandatory. While appraisals help in giving buyers as much knowledge possible in order to make an informed decision, are they always accurate? What if you wanted to challenge that appraisal because you think it’s a bit unfair? Well, today’s blog will provide some tips on how to do just that.

Get Your Information Straight

When requesting an appeal, you aren’t exactly simply asking for a “re-do”; you must present proof that shows that the original appraisal was, in fact, erroneous. In order to do this, you must get all of your information in order and comb over every piece of it. Once you’ve been given the appraisal report, you must read over it in its entirety and create an airtight case, otherwise, you risk wasting your time. Some of the most common mistakes are those related to square footage and additions and renovations that can positively or negatively impact the property’s value.

The rest of this article can be found on Michael Fourte’s website

What’s the Difference Between an Asset Manager and a Property Manager?


Michael-Fourte-Property-Management-1080x675While it may sound like property management and asset management are different names for the same thing, the two careers are actually very distinct in nature. Both are essential parts of managing real estate properties, but the two roles handle different aspects of management.

A property manager is a person that handles the day-to-day of property operations for both commercial and residential real estate properties. This includes scheduling repairs, handling leases and collecting rent. An asset manager, however, focuses on maximizing and adding long-term value to a property, typically for commercial properties. This includes acquiring new properties, market forecasting and research, and financial analysis. This role requires more strategic thought in order to enhance the property and add extra value.

The lack of distinction between the two roles also stems from property managers being expected to do more at certain real estate firms. In some firms, there is a clear line between the two roles, while at others the line is much more blurred. Many property managers today are also responsible for financial analysis and preparing annual budgets. As the list of responsibilities a property manager is expected to perform continues to grow and change, the definition of what a property manager will as well.

The rest of this article can be found on Michael Fourte’s website

What is Lis Pendens and When to File?


The real estate market is littered with confusing terms that can turn someone away from buying a property. One of the terms people might not be familiar with is lis pendens. A lis pendens is a term a lawyer uses for a pending lawsuit related to the title of a property. The term is Latin for “a suit pending.

Lis pendens is a document that indicates someone has filed a lawsuit on a specific property. Once the court has received notice, it is then certified and committed to record by the county recorder. When a lis pendens is filed, it must specify the exact property, the individual involved, and the relief sought for the property.

One of the biggest filings of a lis pendens happens because of lender foreclosures, but they can also be filed for short sales and other real estate sales. When a lender starts the steps of the foreclosure process, one of the first things they do is file a lis pendens. This alerts the owner of the property that the property is under dispute and the lender is attempting to seize ownership as collateral for the loan that the borrower has defaulted on. Most creditors whose debt is waged against a piece of real estate may also file lis pendens.

While a lis pendens can be filed during the foreclosure process, it can also be filed when someone believes that a title of the property belongs to someone. In these cases, there is a motive to prove ownership before the property can eventually be sold. The sale helps bind the defendant to the property until ownership is settled.

The rest of this blog can be found on Michael Fourte’s website