Tag Archives: Attorneys’ Fees

When Condemnation Actions Go Wrong

In the vast majority of cases, when a public agency exercises eminent domain, the only issue in dispute is the amount of just compensation the agency must pay for the property being acquired.  Even in situations where a property owner challenges the agency’s right to take, it is typically for procedural reasons that can ultimately … Continue Reading

Eminent Domain Case Analyzes Mitigation Credits as a Highest and Best Use

Eminent domain practitioners are well versed in analyzing a property’s highest and best use.  Under these principles, a property being condemned is not necessarily valued based on its current, existing use.  Where the appraiser can show that the property’s actual value is based on a different use, that use can often be the foundation for … Continue Reading

When Projected Eminent Domain Litigation Costs Exceed the Value of the Property Acquisition

Eminent domain litigation can be expensive.  Acquiring small strips of property often costs more in legal and appraisal costs than the value of the property itself.  Sometimes public agencies have no choice but to condemn these minor acquisitions, as property owners cannot be found, will not negotiate, or otherwise take unreasonable positions.  But when property … Continue Reading

When Inverse Condemnation and Eminent Domain Overlap: Owners Beware of Attorney Contingency Fee Arrangements

Property owners are routinely hiring attorneys well in advance of a public agency’s filing of an eminent domain action.  Many times, the representation begins before it is even certain whether the agency will actually move forward with acquiring the property.  And sometimes, claims for inverse condemnation may ripen during the public agency’s construction of the … Continue Reading

Temporary Regulatory Takings Do Exist in California!

Given the maze of procedural and substantive hurdles involved, property owners rarely succeed with regulatory takings claims.  Even when owners do win, it is yet more uncommon for courts to award damages, instead allowing the public agency to repeal the regulation.  But securing a victory on liability and a damages award for a temporary regulatory … Continue Reading

When Adopting a Resolution of Necessity, Can Failing to Consider a Substitute Condemnation Constitute a Gross Abuse of Discretion?

  While most lawsuits typically start with the filing of a complaint, eminent domain cases really start one key step earlier, with the condemning agency’s adoption of a Resolution of Necessity.  The Resolution establishes (i) the agency’s right to take the property and (ii) the scope of the acquisition.  In order to adopt a Resolution, … Continue Reading

A Reminder to Carefully Review Your Right Of Way Contracts

It’s common practice for government agencies and property owners to reach an agreement on the acquisition of property without the use of eminent domain.  Agencies understand the negative connotation of condemnation, along with the litigation costs involved, and right-of-way agents typically make strong efforts to negotiate a voluntary purchase.  Acquisitions are usually resolved by the … Continue Reading

Eminent Domain Decision: Award of Litigation Expenses Requires an Actual Trial

Shortly before an eminent domain trial, a government agency and a property owner exchange a statutory final offer and final demand. The statute’s sole purpose is to encourage settlement before trial, providing a carrot (to the property owner) and a stick (to the condemning agency).  If the matter fails to settle before trial, the owner can … Continue Reading
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