Voltaire once quipped, "I was never ruined but twice--once when I lost a lawsuit and once when I won one!"

Because it is so expensive and time consuming, litigation must be viewed as a remedy of last resort. That being said, it sometimes becomes necessary to enforce one's rights in court. In fact, the law presumes that the reasonable and prudent person knows what is theirs, and not defending their interests can lead to losing property.

All surveyors have the potential to end up in court. The very nature of what we do, delineating between "mine and thine," exposes us to differing interests in play. It's unavoidable that property boundaries are the ultimate "zero-sum game:" what one side "gains" the other side "loses." Our role as impartial observer morphs into the role of technical expert who must explain to the court how and why we did what we did. Many surveyors decline litigation participation, not because they believe their work to be substandard, but because they are not comfortable with the heightened scrutiny of their decisions, or because they cannot articulate the underlying theory of their work. Our people don't labor under those constraints.

Experience That Counts

We at Martenet have been to the rodeo many times. Only a small percentage of court cases get appealed, but we've had so many cases under our belt that the reported appellate cases in which we've been involved number in the dozens and dozens. We know of no other firm having even a tenth that many. Frequently we are called into a case already underway, because counsel on one side or the other has heard that we are effective witnesses in court. We make no apologies for that; effective testimony is a learned skill. Our preparation and our ability to explain technical issues while "on the stand" has proven very effective for our clients.

Walt Whitman wrote, "good fences make good neighbors," and he, at least on that point, was right. Fences do tend to prevent controversies because by their very nature, they delineate apparent claims on either side. However, when those claims conflict, call us.





Copyright © 2015 S.J. Martenet & Co., Inc.