Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, CFP®, or CPA®, physician, etc., thus do not offer legal, financial, accounting, or medical advice. You should not interpret anything in this blog to be legal, financial, medical, or tax/accounting advice since there is no such advice here. If you want or need such advice, please contact the proper professional(s), not me.
I have had several experiences with different authority figures and institutions throughout my life that have led me to believe that sometimes people are fishing when they do not really have any solid evidence to go on. In other words, they will catch individuals in a small transgression with the hope of finding a larger problem.
For example, I have a cop friend who will pull people over for something minor like forgetting to signal a turn and then get their permission to search their vehicle once he has pulled them over. Now, he does not have the right to search their car without a warrant unless they give him permission which they will often do. This is typically when he finds bigger issues such as drugs.
Similarly, I had an appraiser client who was recently accused of fraud by the state for something that was minor and very likely not fraud. While this accusation will likely end up being nothing, it is in her best interest to get as much protection as she could.
As an appraiser, it is extremely important to protect yourself and your license at all costs. Even if something may seem minor, I strongly suggest speaking with your E&O insurance company, calling an advocate (such as Tim Andersen), and finding a good lawyer. It is better to be safe rather than sorry.
I know that getting a lawyer and taking these extra precautions can be pricey, but you need to think of it as an investment rather than a cost. It will be much more pricey if they turn something little into something you could potentially lose your license over. Whether big or little, I suggest taking every measure to protect yourself. These professionals can help you ensure that a small problem does not become a huge ordeal.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 289 Broken Taillights & Drug Charges