Phone: (626) 292-2224


Novotny Appraisal Services in Los Angeles

Personal Property Expert Witness Appraiser


  • His standard of care will meet or exceed the requirements of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and the actions of his peers.
  • He will give his own opinion based on the facts of the case.
  • He will demonstrate a mastery of the technical aspects of the appraisal.
  • He will will always remain independent, objective and impartial. 
  • He will present a professional appearance and demeanor. 
  • He will consider the question posed carefully and provide a simple, direct answer to the specific question asked. 
  • He will use clear, plain and non-technical language. 
  • He will tell the truth always, and not advocate or push a client's interests.


Novotny has considerable general knowledge and experience with most types of antiques, furniture, decorative and fine art objects, rugs, textiles, glass, ceramics, metal and wood objects and collectibles, etc. He is familiar with very rare, unusual and wonderful examples that could have significant value as well as common and depreciating household objects of utilitarian value such as appliances, kitchenware, clothing, ordinary furnishings, electronics and the contents of the garage such as tools and sporting goods. He has studied, collected, bought, sold, consigned and appraised Asian and Native American objects and many objects from around the world.

Novotny has considerable experience regarding damage and/or loss assignments, especially when an inspection is not possible for loss claims and when damage claims must consider preexisting damage evaluation as a factor. He has knowledge and experience regarding restoration issues and costs relevant to many property types. He has experience with diminution of value and salvage value for many property types.

Novotny has, over the course of more than 38 years, developed a wealth of general personal property knowledge and experience relevant to most property types and assignment types. He is able to identify most rare, unusual and important objects. He is exceptionally experienced with typical household contents, and able to appraise most objects typically found in a home. He will always disclose a lack of knowledge and experience that would preclude his ability to complete an appraisal assignment competently. 

Mass Appraisal - Statistical Approach


There is a tested and reliable statistical approach that can be applied to a relatively small sample of objects taken from a larger population of like objects with a value claim for new retail or original cost that is disputed. A Two-stage statistical equation, developed in the mid 20th century by Stein, and used by many different types or researchers in many different fields, can be used.

The two-stage statistical equation, when incorporated in a powerful database, can calculate the relationship between the new replacement value claim for the same objects and the used, fair market value claim developed by a competent appraiser. 

When the sample has been mathematically determined to be large enough to make a prediction with 95% confidence that the predicted values are within 10% of true market value, the fair market value of all objects in the population from which the sample was selected can be reliably predicted.

Novotny published two papers that explain a construct he calls the "Market Shift Factor" (MSF) and the "Market Shift Ratio" (MSR). The "Market Shift Ratio" equates to a value shift between two claims (value new and value used). This value shift can be calculated and the strength of relationship determined using a statistical approach. This Market Shift is a measure of depreciation that occurs between a new or original cost for an object and the value of that object as a used object. It is market based determination. A competent personal property appraiser would determine the probable price that would be agreed to by informed buyers and sellers acting without compulsion in the most active market in which the object commonly sells in order to establish the fair market value of that object. Typically the fair market value is substantially lower the the claimed value, especially if the claimed value was established relevant to the new or original cost of the object being valued. 

This powerful statistical solution is now offered through Large Loss Appraisal (LLA) a limited partnership. Large Loss Appraisals can solve large loss valuation problems using this statistical approach with the lowest cost, fastest turnaround time and a mathematically established level of reliability.


Appraisals Without Inspection


In many litigation support appraisal assignments the personal property is no longer available for inspection. Novotny brings substantial knowledge and experience to appraisal assignments in which he cannot, for many reasons, inspect the subject property. Many of Novotny's expert witness appraisal assignments are of this type. 

In 2008 Novotny published an article in the Journal of Advanced Appraisal Studies entitled "Equivalent Sampling" The Valuation of Loss Claims with Limited Property Descriptions. This article offers in depth information regarding the relevant theory, methods and the appraisal requirements that apply to a personal property appraisal in which the property is destroyed, stolen, lost or converted and cannot be inspected. He developed the paper while appraising the personal property of all the plaintiffs from the La Conchita landslide just outside of Santa Barbara that occurred on January 10, 2005. 

Nationwide Assignments


Novotny served instrumentally as an expert witness in an out of state federally litigated loss assignment. The property was destroyed and could not be inspected. Many of the destroyed objects were rodeo, cowboy and Native American Indian objects similar to what Novotny has studied, collected and sold as a dealer for many years. The assignment was conducted by means of email, mail, limited photographs, a submitted claim and telephone consultation with the client as a distant appraisal. The matter settled based on Novotny's appraisal prior to deposition and trial. 

See Novotny's Curriculum Vitae/Professional Profile to find out more about his qualifications.  Find out more about Novotny's background and experience.

Visit the Home Page for general information regarding Novotny's Appraisal Services. 

Contact Novotny now to discuss your litigation support and expert witness antique and personal property appraisal needs. 

Please note that Novotny does not allow his name to be submitted as an expert witness without written prior agreement and payment of a retainer fee.

Call Novotny now: (626) 292-2224

Expert Witness Experience Matters

Recent Reviews


Thank you Bill. Your prompt response to my requests and your work in preparing your preliminary report helped get this case resolved at mediation. I will look forward to working with you again. DB October 2017 (Note: an out of state assignment without inspection based on a claim - 300 entries)


“Your report was simple and straightforward and your breakdown helpful. Your testimony played a very important role in the ultimate outcome. Thank you so much for your professionalism and expertise.” SMF April 13, 2016


Thank you. And again, your opinions were instrumental in the outcome of the case and I look forward to working with you in the future. MW November 2013


Expert Witness Personal Property Appraisal Work is Challenging!


Novotny embraces the challenges of expert witness appraisal work with a confidence based on 37+ years experience in the professional valuation of personal property and antiques. He can convincingly establish and maintain his credibility as an expert witness, and convincingly communicate how and why his analyses, opinions and conclusions are worthy of belief. 


  • Novotny's testimony is based on facts, proper appraisal methodology and a scope of work sufficient to develop credible assignment results. His property identification and valuation is backed by many years of market knowledge and experience.
  • When you retain Novotny he will identify and understand the appraisal problem, and explain his scope of work and the solution to the appraisal problem based on the questions posed to him.

William Novotny, a general personal property household contents appraiser, has gathered significant expert witness litigation support experience since his first case in 1996. Since then he has served as a litigation consultant for personal property valuation cases for many attorneys, both plaintiff and defense. He was last deposed on May 27, 2015, February 25, 2013, Aug 17, 2012, June 21, 2012 and March 16, 2011. His last trial testimony was on April 11, 2016, June 15, 2015 November 5, 2013 and in 2007. He has been designated as a personal property and antiques expert appraiser on over 30 occasions. Some cases had multiple plaintiffs. Most litigation support assignments relate to personal property damage or loss alleged to have been caused by water intrusion, fire, mold or asbestos contamination, theft or conversion. 

& Personal Property Appraiser

"Value in Doubt? Find Out!"