More About Peter Christensen

University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law  
J.D., May 1993 (California State Bar No. 168619)

University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business
B.S., Business Administration – Accounting Emphasis, May 1990


  • “Liability Risks for Appraisers in Condemnation,” The Appraisal Journal, Appraisal Institute, Fall 2018.
  • “Double Trouble: How Risky are Hybrid Appraisals, and Where Do the Hazards Lurk?” Valuation Magazine, 3rd Quarter 2018.
  • “Myth Buster: Don’t Believe These Four Appraiser Liability Myths,” Valuation Magazine, 2nd Quarter 2018.
  • “Indemnity 101: Shifting the Risk of Professional Negligence,” Right of Way Magazine, Nov./Dec. 2017.
  • “Engagement Agreements Revisited,” Valuation Magazine, 2nd Quarter 2017.
  • “Legal Matters: Whatever Happened to Those Three Big Appraisal Liability Cases?” Valuation Magazine, 2nd Quarter 2017.
  • “Averting Professional Liability Claims,” Right of Way Magazine, Nov./Dec. 2016.
  • “Sounding the Alarm: Appraiser Whistleblowers,” Valuation Magazine, 2nd Quarter 2015.

RECENT PRESENTATIONS (Not a Complete Listing)

  • “Hybrid Appraisal Liability Issues,” The Appraisal Foundation, Arlington, VA, June 2018.
  • “Residential Real Estate Appraising: Hot Legal Issues,” National Association of Realtors, Webinar, July 2018.
  • “Shining a Light on Dark Box Theory” (property tax legal issues relating to big box retail sites), with Leslie P. Sellers, MAI, SRA and Paula K. Konikoff, JD, MAI, Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN, July 2018.
  • “Real Estate Appraisal Liability and Risk Issues,” Farm Credit System Review, Audit and Appraisal Workgroup, Annual RAAW Conference, San Diego, CA, August 2018.
  • “California Residential Appraising: Hot Legal Issues,” Residential Symposium, Southern California Chapter of the Appraisal Institute, Cerritos, CA, May 2018.
  • “Appraisal Management Compliance – Legal Risks,” Collateral Risk Network, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2018.
  • “Hot Legal Issues for Northwest Appraisers,” Appraisers Coalition of Washington, Annual Conference, Tacoma, WA, August 2018.
  • “Hot Topics and Myths in Appraiser Liability,” West Florida Chapter of the Appraisal Institute, Clearwater, FL, January 2018.


Christensen Law Firm, Santa Barbara, California

Owner – Attorney, January 2006 to Present

Provision of legal services relating to litigation, contracting, regulatory compliance and valuation product/service design. Primary clients are appraisers, valuation firms and technology/data providers. Example engagements include:

  • Defense of litigation asserting professional liability claims.
  • Representation in disciplinary matters affecting appraisers and appraisal management companies.
  • Drafting of engagement agreement forms, appraisal service agreements, appraisal management agreements, and independent contractor agreements.
  • Design of in-house policies and procedures for compliance with valuation laws and regulations.
  • Review and revision of valuation products and services for risk reduction and compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements.

LIA Administrators & Insurance Services, Santa Barbara, California

General Counsel, December 2005 to Present

LIA is an insurance program administrator focused on providing insurance coverage to appraisers, valuation firms and mortgage service providers. It provides professional liability insurance to approximately 11,000 insureds in all 50 states, ranging from individual professionals to national firms. LIA is endorsed by the Appraisal Institute and the International Right of Way Association.

Irell & Manella LLP, Newport Beach, California

Senior Counsel, November 1996 to December 2005

Legal representation of business clients in all phases of litigation in state and federal courts.  Cases involved real estate lender liability claims, antitrust and price fixing class actions, intellectual property (copyright, trademark and patent), defamation and business interference claims, employment actions, and insurance coverage.

Participation in Published Cases: Lowe Enterprises Residential Partners, L.P. v. Eighth Judicial District Court, 40 P.3d 405 (Nev. Supreme Ct. 2002); J.P. Morgan & Co., Inc. v. Superior Court, 113 Cal. App. 4th 195 (2003); The Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Skylink Technologies, Inc., 292 F. Supp. 2d 1040 (N.D. Ill. 2003) and 381 F.3d 1178 (Fed. Cir. 2004); In the Matter of Certain Univ. Transmitters, 2003 WL 22811119 (U.S. International Trade Commission 2003). 

Latham & Watkins LLP, Costa Mesa, California

Associate Attorney, September 1993 to November 1996