AppraisalAppraisal Expert WitnessNewsInternationally Recognized Appraisal Expert Witness Steven N. Siegler, ASA, FRICS, Prevails in Multi-Billion Dollar Historic Grove Farm Lawsuit in Hawaii for Stephen M. Case, Co-Founder of AOL and former Chairman of AOL Time Warner

December 31, 2018
Appraisal Expert Witness
Internationally Recognized Appraiser Expert Witness Steven N. Siegler, ASA, FRICS, successfully represented Stephen M. Case, co-founder of AOL and former chairman of AOL Time Warner, with appraisal review and appraisal expert witness testimony and litigation support services in the multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Mr. Case and other Case family members in the Grove Farm matter in Hawaii.
 
 
About Appraisal Expert Witness Steven N. Siegler, ASA, FRICS

Mr. Siegler is an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) with and was honored to serve as the founding International Chairman of Appraisal Review and Management (ARM) for the American Society of Appraisers from 2002-2011. The ASA is the oldest and largest multidisciplinary appraisal—valuation organization in the world with some 5,000 members in 137 countries globally. Mr. Siegler co-authored and directed the implementation of the ASA’s Appraisal Review and Management Principles of Valuations series of courses and best practices—the cornerstone of Appraisal Expert Witness Testimony—that are now taught to professional valuers, government officials, legal experts, and many others throughout the world.

Additionally, Steven holds international valuation accreditation as a Member of the College of Fellows of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS). RICS, with headquarters in London, is the leading organization of its kind in the world for more than 100,000 qualified professionals in commercial and residential development, construction and project management, brokerage, planning and finance, and valuation. Mr. Siegler is the only RICS-accredited expert witness in the Western Hemisphere and one of only a handful of such expert witnesses in the world holding the much-coveted RICS Expert Witness Accreditation Service (EWAS) and Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) certifications.

Mr. Siegler holds TS Clearance with the U.S. Government and is uniquely qualified to practice in national-security-related valuation and other special matters before U.S. Government agencies.

When, as part of Dodd-Frank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), acting for and on behalf of the U.S. Federal Reserve and all inter-agency regulators, sought the appraisal expertise to develop, implement, and monitor the new National Appraisal Ordering and Appraisal Review Protocols for the United States and all U.S. territories, it came to Mr. Siegler.

Steven specializes and is most active in providing appraisal expert witness testimony and litigation-support services to attorneys and law firms throughout the world. He is a Super Appraiser®  Elite-Rated member of the peer-voted Super Appraisers®  Global Network of international appraisal luminaries, and he has prevailed in Billions of Dollars at issue in some of the world’s most complex—important—high-profile—and valuable valuation-related cases.

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Appraisal Expert Witness

 

Grove Farm is a historic agricultural site on Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands.

 

History

German immigrant Hermann A. Widemann (1822–1899) started one of the first sugarcane plantations in Hawaii known as Grove Farm in 1854. During the American Civil War, the demand for Hawaii sugar grew, but Widemann supported the Confederate States.[3]: 180  After leasing Grove Farm to its manager George Norton Wilcox (1839–1933) in November 1864,[4] Widemann moved to Honolulu to work in the capital as a supreme court judge. Wilcox would later buy the plantation, and it remained in the family for over 100 years. Wilcox had an irrigation system built to bring water from the wet mountains to the flatter lower elevations where the crops were grown. This idea was later copied by many other planters in the islands.

In 1881 Princess Ruth Keʻelikolani sold some adjoining land, which grew the acreage by about a factor of ten. In 1903 the family hired Charles William Dickey to design a house for Ralph Wilcox and his wife Daisy Rice. Dickey also supervised a renovation of the main house in 1915 which removed interior walls to create large open spaces.[5] From 1913 to 1917 a row of small houses were built for plantation workers. The houses were called Kaipu Camp after the Hawaiian name for a Chinese foreman of the plantation.[6]

The main estate house has two bedrooms, writing room, two bathrooms, and a library on the first floor. A grand staircase leads up to the second floor which has more bedrooms. Behind the main house is a hexagonal gazebo styled after a Japanese teahouse, built in 1898. To the south is a guest cottage with two living areas from about 1890. Another single story cottage was built in 1877 for George Wilcox, and an office building was built in 1884. A number of support buildings include sheds and a garage.[5]

Wilcox died in 1933, and the farm was left to nieces and nephews. This included the six children of his brother Samuel Wilcox (1847–1929) and Emma Lyman (1849–1943), daughter of missionary David Belden Lyman.[7] During World War II the farm started to diversify by growing other food crops to feed the growing population of the islands, including the military. In 1948, Grove Farm purchased the 3,000-acre (1,200 ha) McBryde plantation which included the Koloa sugar mill. By 1974, sugar production was leased to Alexander & Baldwin, while the company moved into residential and resort real estate operations.[4]

The Wilcox estate was added to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Hawaii on June 25, 1974, as site 74000722. Its boundary was adjusted to total 81.79 acres (33.10 ha) on December 8, 1978, and site changed to 78003436.[6]

The main house is now a private museum, the Grove Farm Sugar Plantation Museum, with tours by appointment.[8] It is located on Hawaii Route 58, known as Nawiliwili Road. The 2 ft 6 in (762 mmnarrow gauge[9] Grove Farm Company Locomotives[10] were stored in a warehouse just to the west in the area known as Puhi, also listed on the NRHP, and formerly owned by Mabel Wilcox.[11] Some of the restored trains can be ridden about once a month at the site of the Lihue Plantation Sugar Mill nearby.[12]

In the 1990s all sugarcane production ended in the area. A golf course designed for the former plantation called Puakea was partially built when Hurricane Iniki hit in 1992. It opened with ten holes in 1997.[13] It has come to be a full, 18 hole golf course. In 2000 the Grove Farm Company (not including the Museum) was bought by Steve Case. In July 2001 he also bought the neighboring Lihue plantation from Amfac, for a total of about 40,000 acres (16,000 ha).[4][14] Case’s grandfather A. Hebard Case had worked on the plantation.[15] He paid US$25 million and assumed $60 million of debt, but was sued by Wilcox family shareholders since his father had served as lawyer for the Grove Farm company. The lawsuit went to court but was dismissed in 2008.[16] Case has proposed more development, characterized as green building.[17]

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