Settlement or Trial


It is axiomatic that some disputes cannot be resolved without a trial. McCarthy Fingar’s Tax Certiorari and Condemnation lawyers understand that principle well. Thus, after efforts are made to settle a tax certiorari or condemnation proceeding, sometimes we must counsel a client to proceed to trial against the appropriate governmental or municipal entity.


The settlement process consists of extensive preparation to achieve the most favorable result. Using our years of experience, the firm’s internal people prepare a work-up of value. For income producing property, we capitalize net income to achieve an estimated value. This means that we determine the rate of return an investor seeks from the real estate investment, leading to a mathematical answer to the question, “What is the property worth to achieve that percentage return on the investment?” Our approach represents a scaled down appraisal, without the expense. We then present our work-up to the assessor, many of whom we previously have conducted negotiations on multiple other tax certiorari matters. For condemnations, since the property taken usually consists of blighted buildings or vacant land, most often we estimate value on the basis of recent comparable sales (comps), with appropriate adjustments. In most instances, for both tax certioraris and condemnations, we attain favorable results – that is, assessment reductions with tax refunds or savings, or just compensation for takings – without a trial.


Occasionally, the governmental authority refuses to settle on an adequate basis. When we conclude that the government’s offer is unfair, with the clients’ consent and after informing the client of the cost of appraisal, we do not hesitate to take the case to trial. For both tax certioraris and condemnations, trial is held at the Supreme Court level, except when the State condemns, when we then bring the proceeding at the State Court of Claims. In all instances where trial becomes necessary, the courts require an appraisal made by a qualified appraiser.

The McCarthy Fingar Litigation Approach

Frequently, opportunities exist for reaching a settlement with any adversary, including governmental entities. Sometimes, however, the settlement process does not bring to the taxpayer the type of tax relief that is necessary, requiring that the matter go to trial. In that case, McCarthy Fingar’s Tax Certiorari and Condemnation lawyers will expertly prepare and proceed to trial with your case.

Contact Us

McCarthy Fingar’s Tax Certiorari and Condemnation lawyers are dedicated to our clients’ success. If you think you may require our assistance or have any questions, please contact Stephen Davis by email ( or by phone (914-385-1011).

Presenter Description Organization Date