Shane Lanham Countersuing Black Homeowners for Defamation

Shane Lanham Countersuing Black Homeowners for DefamationShane Lanham, a Maryland appraiser, has found himself in a difficult situation as he is being sued in The United States District Court of Maryland. However, he is not backing down and fully intends to fight these allegations through trial. In addition, he is countersuing the accusers for defamation and seeking $500,000 in damages.

Lanham firmly believes that the accusations of racism against him are baseless and he has engaged a consultant with significant experience in handling such cases. To ensure he has the best chance of success, Mr. Lanham has engaged a consultant with extensive experience in similar cases. However, due to the limited funds available through his insurance policy, which only covers $100,000, Mr. Lanham is seeking to raise an additional $50,000 through a GoFundMe campaign. This will enable him to cover the expenses of both defending himself from the false allegations and prosecuting the defamation case. Shane Lanham is committed to seeing this case through to the end and is grateful for any support in his pursuit of justice.

This case has the potential to set a precedent for all appraisers. If Shane is successful in his fight, it will be a victory for all appraisers who face baseless accusation of bias.

Click here for his GoFundMe page and to donate.

Hi, my name is Shane Lanham, and I am an independent fee appraiser of residential real estate. You may or may not have heard, but I have been wrongfully accused of intentionally assigning a low value to a home in Baltimore City because of the owner’s race; I am currently being sued in The United States District Court of Maryland. I am positive that I am not the person I have been made out to be in this lawsuit, or the large media outlets that have covered the situation, and I am confident in the appraisal that I completed. I fully intend to fight this allegation through trial. I am also countersuing the accusers for defamation and have engaged a consultant with significant experience in these types of cases. Through an insurance policy I carry, I have limited funds (only $100,000) to cover the costs of the lawsuit through investigation, discovery, motions, and trial. However, my understanding is that the $100,000 amount will not be enough to take this case through trial both defending myself from the false allegations and prosecuting the defamation case. My goal is to raise $50,000 through this GoFundMe to cover the lawsuit costs that my insurance policy will not, and that I cannot personally afford. Any money not used will be donated to The National Association of Appraisers (NAA) to help fund scholarships for those trying to enter the field but cannot afford the costs associated with doing so. Thank you for your donations.
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28 Responses

  1. Avatar Unknown says:

    Shane, contact your local ACLU office, they might take up your case to help you out. I had a similar claim against me and they did listen to my case. You never know.

  2. Good luck on this and I will check into the go fund me page. Turns out this Dr that is suing this Appraiser writes about Racism and WHITE supremacy in his work as a professor at Johns Hopkins. This Appraiser was DEAD on arrival! The Wife Dr. Shani Mott is also a professor at Johns Hopkins and is instructor for Africana Studies.

    When reading about this case, it was another whitewash by the owners to the 2nd Appraiser who came in much higher than this Appraiser did. WE NEVER get the facts about that 2nd Appraiser and what COMPS they used. They only ASSUME that the higher value must be the correct one every single time! I sure hope he wins and gets them to sell their home to pay him punitive damages. We shall see.

  3. Avatar Kimberly DeFilippis says:

    Shane, I stand behind you. Instead of sending money through the GoFundMe account, I’ve mailed you a check. Godspeed.

  4. Avatar Unknown says:

    I am going through this type of case as well but not being sued. If you need me to look at anything for you or give you any advice on this email me at: Look up Mike Ford, he know everything about this. I have his email address for you. I have been appraising for 35 years.

  5. Avatar Steve Maher says:

    Where are those national organizations and State Appraisal Boards as well as the consumer protection agencies to protect not only the investors but the buyers? Do they not know that this is the last check and balance in the system? Do they not know that the profession as a whole is on trial and if it proceeds no one will be protected from greed. This potentially will end up in another 1981 and 2008 economic disaster.

    In other words, we will need to rewrite the USPAP Book’s definition for what is an appraisal. It is an appraiser’s opinion but only if the client, the seller, the buyer, as well as, both buyer and selling agents agrees. The RISK of being an appraiser appears to be too great for the amount of compensation for the assignment and the education that we must have to process a valuation. If we do not have the organizations to have the spine to back up our professional appraisers there will be no profession.

    For an example: If I need a new roof. I call three roof companies to give me an estimate of an opinion to replace the roof. I choose the best one for the project based on not only price but confidence in their services. Then I will sue the other two for over charging me based on discrimination because I have a gray house. Did they not give an estimate based on their knowledge, their current projected labor and material cost and their current workload?

  6. Avatar AppraiserVoice says:

    Why doesn’t the NAA help fund the countersuit? What are they doing to support this appraiser?

  7. Avatar PD says:

    This guy is fighting the good fight to end the nonsense of the woke agenda. It needs to be stopped somewhere and why not here? We need to set a precident that will benefit all our futures and potential for devasting consequences if it continues.There are 80,800 of us and just a small donation can help anyone of us being the next victim. I just donated and darn glad I did.

  8. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    Assuming that they engaged in a smear campaign against you, 500k sounds WAY too low. The tax man will take half and your attorneys will take the remainder. Not only do you have to rebuild your reputation, you have to rebuild your business plus be compensated for lost wages and suffering. The court also must decide how much it will take in monetary damages to make this couple think twice before repeating this behavior. 5 million minimum my friend.

  9. Avatar Unknown says:

    Shane contact Mike Ford at: I believe he is the president of the American Association of Appraiser, I could be wrong on his title but he has helped me with a similar claim about racism with a other case. He is right on it and know everything about this, he is the most cutting edge person to talk to. I am sure he would like to talk to you as well.

  10. Avatar Eric Morse says:

    Maybe expose the name of your insurance company. If it’s an E&O business they should help to cover the cost difference after 100k. It could also be beneficial to their business model if they stand up and help fight or, hurt them if they refuse. Otherwise, what’s the point of having E&O for a situation like this?

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      I have the same question. Is this covered by an appraisers additional general business liability policy? WorkingRE magazine mentioned that many appraisers EO insurance policies do not cover discrimination claims.

      Special Request: If you are an appraiser and know if any given popular EO insurer for appraisers handles discrimination claims, please state the details within your next post. We all need to know if EO insurance is enough or not.

      To think that a portion of all our captive audience USPAP book fees actually went to funding the lawsuit against this and probably other appraisers as well… He might as well be sued by TAF directly. They paid for this.

      Thank you.

  11. Avatar Potts Joyce J. says:

    Go to AppraisersForum for a more in depth analysis and discussion of what is going on with this particular suit.

  12. Avatar MXSeventyFive says:

    I have donated. If 2000 appiasers would donate $25 net, he would have the money to mount a formidable case. This could set a precedence that would give appraisers the upper hand in this messy situation of bias we find ourselves in. If he has the courage to take this on and risk his reputation, we (apprsisers) have an obligation to help. The advice to look at “free” options is well meaning but you get what you pay for. Two people can’t go to a crappy fast food joint for $25. After this victory, take on the AMCs!

  13. Baggins Baggins says:

    In Mr Bagotts latest article; The appraiser mentioned is being sued by the same law firm TAF gave a half million dollars to. Leadership!

  14. Avatar Kimberly DeFilippis says:

    Isaac at OREP just donated $500. If you don’t donate online on the GoFundMe website, then mail him a check.

  15. Avatar Kathlee says:

    I will donate to this cause. I am retired but have a family member for whom I will donate. Please help this case.

  16. Avatar Clairene L Buonaiuto says:

    This is wrong, and yet another struggle we have to complete our job. It’s high time someone makes people realize that not all “white” people are racially biased as well as the merits of this law causing more harm than good. I do not know a single appraiser who would intentially lower a value just because of race – we look at the market surrounding the property – no more, no less. Work is slow, but a small donation has been sent.

    • Avatar Jay Wright says:

      Implicit bias is not “intentional”. That’s the whole point. I suggest you read up on what exactly implicit bias is and how it functions. After all…a $300K appraisal difference between who was supposed to be a white homeowner and a black homeowner cannot just be ignored, right?

  17. Avatar Pat says:

    Just $10 will help. It’s not just the money but also it’s the NUMBER of Supporters!!

  18. Avatar Sylvie Shugot says:

    There’s a copy of the first appraisal on-line. I know we would all love to see the second appraisal; is it possible to find it somewhere?

  19. Avatar Kenneth says:

    How do we find that first released appraisal?

  20. Avatar Jay Wright says:

    Or maybe your practices are racist and you are implicitly biased against black people? Seems like you and your white supremacist friends here refuse to accept that as a possibility. But of course you do. This is America.

    • Avatar Frustrated Appraiser says:

      A ton of research has already been completed on this case, if you were not aware. It appears that the appraiser in question did nothing unethical. The question should actually lie with the other appraiser who appears to have over inflated the appraisal-intentionally or not. Also, appraisers must abide by state and national laws, and Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. An appraiser has absolutely nothing to gain by completing a biased report, but has everything to lose by doing so including risking jail time. Who would do that? There are way too many checks and balances, in one of the most regulated professions in the US. Anyone can “claim” anything, prove the appraiser was biased. Guilty until proven innocent? That seems to be your motto.

  21. Avatar GKBNM says:

    C’mon folks. $25 isn’t going to break the bank for your future. He’s going through all the bs for the benefit of all of us so don’t just ride on his coat tails. Man-up and let’s get this done.


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Shane Lanham Countersuing Black Homeowners for Defamation

by AppraisersBlogs time to read: 2 min