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Attorney At Law
Certified Public Accountant
Licensed Real Estate Broker / Appraiser

Phone: 610-459-8074
Fax: 610-459-8653

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Sunday December 17th, 2017

Attorney at Law | Certified Public Accountant | Licensed Real Estate Appraiser | Licensed Real Estate Broker

Since 1973

Cases & Accomplishments

Class Action Assessment Appeals

I was retained as co-counsel for a class action law suit against the Assessment Appeals Board of Delaware County Pa. The county had begun to improperly reassessing properties on a basis of illegal spot reassessments. The Class was made up of 1,800 people and was eventually resolved by all participants receiving an average of $1,500 per participant. Essentially the Taxing Authorities acknowledged that an unlawful reassessment had been conducted for which the 1,800 Class Members had been penalized.

I handled the tax appeal cases for over 1,100 condominium owners at Hershey’s Mill, both individual appeals and Class Actions and saved them more than $2 million per year in real estate taxes.

Assessment Appeal for Condominium Parking Spaces

I’ve handled appeals on properties as small as parking spaces and I recognized that doing one parking space is the same as another, the first parking space case involved saving a condominium developer who owned over 350 parking spaces. In the end I saved him $500 in taxes per year per parking spot, totaling over an annual savings in real estate taxes of $175,000 a year.

Assessment Appeal for Contaminated Property

I had the first case in the Delaware Valley, possibly the first in the State of Pennsylvania in which I was successful in getting a 20,000 sq. ft. commercial office building assessed at Zero. The case involved a four-day trial with numerous expert witnesses testifying to the value of a contaminated property. I was successful in convincing the Judge that the property had no value since the potential cost to remediate it far exceeded the value based upon rental income.

Pro Bono & Legal Aid

I represented 20 properties in Upper Darby, Lansdowne and East Lansdowne that were contaminated by radon, most commonly known as the “hot houses” pro bono, saving them, as a group, more than $100,000 per year in taxes by getting their taxes reduced to zero because of the substantial contamination.

I have been on the Board of Directors for Legal Assistance for 20 years and have been an officer for Legal Aid organizations for the last 10 years. In 2008 I received the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award, presented to me by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Delaware County Procedures

I was instrumental in establishing the Delaware County Rules of Court relative to tax assessment appeals which established by far, the most reasonable procedures for appealing tax assessment cases in the area. It establishes an arbitration procedure for any cases involving less than $50,000 per year in real estate taxes, thus expediting the appellate procedure for tax appeals as compared to all of the other local counties which require full trial court procedures for any tax assessment appeal no matter how small or inefficient use of valuable court time and taxpayer expense.

Condominium & Homeowner Associations Open Spaces Appeals

I instituted appeals for open space in the condominium complexes and homeowners associations that had improperly been assessed by setting a value on the property, and was successful in getting the assessments reduced to zero. As a result, Pennsylvania Law was revised to correct this impropriety, thus establishing that open space in condominium and homeowners associations should have no additional assessment. Prior to this, the common practice was to put some value on open space in a condominium community.

I have been on the Board of Directors for Legal Assistance for 20 years and have been an officer for Legal Aid organizations for the last 10 years. In 2008 I received the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award, presented to me by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Delaware County Bar Association

I held the record for longevity for serving on the Board of Directors of the Delaware County Bar Association for 18 consecutive years, serving as secretary twice, treasurer twice and finally making it to the level of president of the Delaware County Bar Association. I was elected by unanimous acclamation. I continue to serve on many committees and hold the record of being the chairperson of more committees than anyone, currently 3. I won the President’s Special Recognition Award 6 times.

Don Weiss Wins receives Honorable Paul R. Sand Presidents Award

Expert Witness

I believe I am the only attorney handling tax assessment appeals who is also a CPA, licensed real estate broker, licensed real estate appraiser and taken graduate courses in appraisal and continue to maintain my broker/appraiser’s license by taking the bi-annual re certification continuing education.

I am possibly the only attorney handling tax assessment appeals who has been qualified as an expert witness as an appraiser and real estate broker in the Courts of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Chester County as well as the Philadelphia Bankruptcy Court.