Eminent Domain & Inverse Condemnation

Practice Area

Eminent Domain & Inverse Condemnation

From counseling to litigation, Lewis Brisbois attorneys offer full-service representation in eminent domain and inverse condemnation matters.

For numerous condemning authorities, our attorneys have represented public agencies, public utilities, transportation authorities, and other municipal and state authorities in all phases of the condemnation process, from the pre-acquisition planning phase of eminent domain proceedings through trial and appeal. The laws and regulations governing inverse condemnation and the use of the power of eminent domain are complex fields which require specialized knowledge and expertise. Our attorneys work as a team with other professionals including engineers, environmental consultants, appraisers, right-of-way and relocation experts, and business or goodwill valuation professionals. Our experienced attorneys can also obtain pre-condemnation rights of entry for testing and surveying and prepare a successful case through trial, and even appeal, balancing the constitutional mandate of just and adequate compensation while achieving the condemning authorities’ goal of cost control for their projects.  

Our eminent domain attorneys are also experienced in representing property owners who have received notice of a public entity’s intent to use or take their private property or who believe they have been affected by inverse condemnation. Working with property owners, tenants, and other rights holders, Lewis Brisbois assists in all aspects of pre-condemnation activities and can also assist property owners in negotiating pre-litigation resolutions including the handling of any tax consequences triggered by an eminent domain proceeding. If necessary, our attorneys can also represent property owners in eminent domain or inverse condemnation trials.

Lewis Brisbois attorneys have achieved successful results on a variety of eminent domain matters, including:

  • The direct condemnation of property required for the Los Angeles Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority’s Maintenance & Operations Facility.
  • The direct condemnation of the Kern County Electrical Transmission Line Easements required for Southern California Edison Company’s Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project.
  • The direct condemnation of 42 separate parcels of land involving 122 separate property owners and interest holders for expansion of the Los Angeles County Sanitation District’s wastewater treatment facilities.
  • The defense of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) in an inverse condemnation action involving claims of loss of access and view related to Metro’s Gold Line Station in East Los Angeles. 
  • The representation of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles on the Staples Arena Project on the Agency’s largest appeal of an eminent domain verdict, as well as representation of the Agency on every eminent domain case where an owner raised the failure to comply with CEQA as an affirmative defense.  In every instance, we were successful in striking the defense.
  • Representation of Valero Oil Company in the condemnation of one of its gas stations by the City of Orange as part of the widening of Chapman Ave. The City wanted to pay only land value with no business goodwill or severance damages, and we successfully negotiated, on behalf of the owner, a higher payout that included goodwill and severance damages.
  • Representation of City of Atlanta in condemning required properties for the Hartsfield-Jackson Fifth Runway.
  • Representation of the Atlanta Housing Authority in condemning rights required to perform the economic redevelopment of the highest crime area in the City of Atlanta.
  • Representation of the Atlanta Housing Authority in multiple projects to redevelop publicly owned housing to mixed-income improved projects.
  • Representation of the City of Atlanta in acquiring the property rights required to perform the Court mandated $4 billion sewer improvement project, including the acquisition of subsurface sewer tunnel rights.
  • Representation of the City of Atlanta and Atlanta Beltline in condemning rights required to create the Atlanta Beltline Project.
  • Representation of the City of Atlanta in various infrastructure sewer and public transportation projects.
  • Representation of various private property owners in negotiations and condemnations for transportation, public buildings, public utilities, including quasi-public entities resulting in multimillion settlements, special master decisions and jury verdicts.
  • Representation of the private owner in ten-year-old inverse condemnation involving stripping a property owner of any highway frontage and limitation of access to the property.