In California eminent domain cases, appraisers typically have relatively wide latitude in determining fair market value for the property to be acquired. However, there are certain rules they must follow, and when an appraiser violates those rules, the appraiser’s opinion may be completely stricken, leaving a property owner or a public agency with no valuation evidence. This is precisely what happened in a new unpublished California Court of Appeal decision, Solano Transportation Authority v. Anderson (2021 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 2129), where the property owners’ ...
On April 21, 2021, I will be participating in the sixth annual International Right of Way Association (IRWA) Chapter 57 and Southern California Chapter of the Appraisal Institute's (SCCAI) Virtual Joint Meeting. I will be a co-presenter discussing "Project Benefits - Do They Ever Apply, and If So, How Are Benefits Supported?" during which we will cover project benefits and their significance in the eminent domain arena. This program will also include:
- The statutory and case law landscape that gives rise to the issue of project benefits, when and how they may apply and methods and ...
When a public agency is acquiring private property for a public project, typically the key issue in dispute is how much the agency should pay -- what is “just compensation”? Determining the property’s value and any damages from the acquisition or public project is usually based on appraisals prepared for the public agency and property owner. A recent article written by Lauren Alexander, on behalf of the Owners' Counsel of America (a network of experienced eminent domain attorneys dedicated to defending the rights of private property owners across the US), highlights the top 10 ...
COVID-19 has undoubtedly upended the world, including the way we do business and the future of our economy. We have received a number of questions and concerns from clients in the right of way industry on how the current pandemic affects the way we do business, and what to expect going forward. Please read on for links to helpful resources...
In an eminent domain proceeding, the property owner and the condemning agency each typically introduce evidence of just compensation through valuation experts. The jury is then required to render a verdict in between the owner’s (high) valuation and the agency’s (low) valuation. Usually the biggest delta between the sides involves severance damages -- or damages to the remainder property not being acquired. But what happens when the agency’s appraiser does not render a specific valuation opinion, instead simply concluding that any damages are offset by project benefits? Is this sufficient, or is the appraiser required to identify specific dollar amounts for damages and benefits? A recent Court of Appeal decision concludes that the appraiser is not required to identify specific damages and benefits ...
Welcome to the first installment of our video series from Nossaman’s 2019 Eminent Domain Seminars. In this segment, Nossaman Partner Rick Rayl discusses the initial appraisal process and benefits of a strong appraisal.
On November 1, Nossaman Eminent Domain Partner Bernadette Duran-Brown will be Co-Chairing the Southern California Appraisal Institute’s 51st Annual Litigation Seminar. Additionally, Ms. Duran-Brown will be joined by Brad Kuhn, Chair of Nossaman’s Eminent Domain & Valuation Practice Group, who will be participating in a panel discussion concerning Easement Valuation.
The seminar will be held on Thursday, November 1st, at the Omni Hotel, 251 South Olive Street, Los Angeles. The event will kick off with registration and breakfast at 7:30 a.m., and will also include luncheon ...
One of the unique things about eminent domain cases is that a set of specific procedural rules govern the admissibility of valuation evidence at trial. A new unpublished opinion from the Court of Appeal, San Bernardino County Transportation Authority v. Byun, explores some of the many things that can go wrong when a party ignores those procedural rules.
At the outset, I must admit to a personal stake in this one; this was a case I handled, and which I argued at the Court of Appeal on May 17 (that the decision came out so quickly after argument gives some sense of how the Court felt about the ...
Last week, we sent out a blog post with a number of quick updates on right-of-way-related issues making headlines across California. Rick thought it would be a cool idea if we made this type of post a weekly habit, so here it goes (and, if it doesn't work or happen every week, obviously blame Rick):
- City of Visalia Can't Negotiate With Property Owner: Here's an interesting story. According to an article in the Visalia-Delta Times, "Visalia moves to take land near St. Johns," the City of Visalia is using eminent domain to acquire property necessary for a walking trail. So what makes ...
The California Court of Appeal issued an interesting unpublished decision yesterday addressing a number of eminent domain issues, ranging from right to take challenges, entitlement to goodwill, severance damages, and jury instructions. The case, City of San Luis Obispo v. Hanson, garnered enough attention that several third parties filed Amicus briefs with the Court.
By way of background, the City of San Luis Obispo decided to realign a road partly in order to accommodate a newly approved Costco development. The realignment required right-of-way acquisition from a property ...
Yesterday, I spoke at the Appraisal Institute's 42nd Annual Litigation Seminar. As usual, it was a great event, well attended by many of the top eminent domain appraisers in Southern California. I spoke about recent developments in a presentation entitled "Eminent Domain: Where Are We, and Where Have We Been?" [PDF]
While I am confident that anyone in attendance would tell you I was brilliant, I want to focus today on some issues that arose in Ted Whitmer's presentation entitled Legal Instructions, Litigation & Appraisal Institute Standards. Ted's firm, Appraiser Defense
Eminent domain lawyers who practice in Los Angeles County Superior Court are all familiar with LA County's detailed local rules on eminent domain -- "Chapter 16." Chapter 16 is the chapter in the Los Angeles County local rules that deals specifically with eminent domain, and it contains meticulous procedural rules for the conduct of condemnation cases in Los Angeles.
Key provisions involve an elaborate "First Pretrial Conference" requiring a substantial, joint written submission to Department 59 (the LA County eminent domain department), along ...
On November 16-17, CLE International is holding one of the biggest eminent domain events of the year, its 11th Annual Conference, Eminent Domain: Appraisal to Appeal. The conference is being held at the Stanford Court hotel. Registration is currently open.
Many top eminent domain attorneys and appraisers are scheduled to make presentations. I am speaking with my partner, Gale Connor, at 3:30 p.m. on November 17. We will be talking with Norman Hulberg, MAI, about ...
California Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain in California. We cover all aspects of eminent domain in California, including condemnation, inverse condemnation, and regulatory takings. We also keep track of current cases, project announcements, budget issues, legislative reform efforts, and report on all major California eminent domain conferences and seminars.
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