The tenancy-in-common (TIC) has survived into modern times as a method of concurrent ownership of real property. In a TIC, each owner is referred to as a tenant-in-common, and each owns a fractional interest of real property under a separate distinct title.1 TIC's are common where the co-owners are not married or have contributed different amounts to the acquisition of a property.2 Insofar as each tenant-in-common owns an undivided interest in the entire property, each is entitled to an undivided interest in the revenues from the property, subject to the rights of the other co-tenants.
A lawyer who is also an expert witness should be mindful that although he or she may not always be wearing his or her "lawyer hat," it is never far away. Although the California Rules of Professional Conduct do not place specific restrictions on practitioners who act as both lawyers and expert witnesses, the rules governing lawyers' conduct generally place constraints on lawyers' activities in other businesses and professions. See California State Bar Ethics Opinion No. 1995-14. Of particular importance are the rules relating to advertising, lawyer-client confidences, competence, fee arbitration, and conflicts of interest.
Although many articles have been written about the use of the expert witness in litigation, almost all are written by lawyers and rarely by an expert witness who is also a lawyer. Having practiced law since 1968 in the area of real estate and business transactions with a real estate broker's license since 1978, I have testified frequently as an expert witness in litigation involving the interpretation of real estate documents, the standard of care of real estate brokers, in legal malpractice actions involving real estate and business transactions and in legal fee disputes. As such, I thought it would be helpful to litigators handling real estate litigation matters to have the perspective of an expert witness on issues affecting the choice, usage and cross-examination of an expert witness in such litigation.