Rick Rayl

Rick Rayl

Nossaman LLP

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Latest Publications


New Opinion Clarifies Takings Law Regarding Affordable Housing Programs

Last year, my partner Ben Rubin reported on the California Supreme Court’s decision in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, which analyzed an inclusionary housing ordinance and held that such...more

10/10/2016 - Affordable Housing Exactions In-Lieu Fees Judicial Deference Local Ordinance Nexus Reasonably Related Standard Rough Proportionality Test Takings Clause

Judge, not Jury, Must Consider the Constitutionality of a Dedication Requirement and Whether it Qualifies as a "Project Effect"

One issue that can arise in eminent domain actions involving undeveloped (or under developed) property is whether the property being acquired is potentially subject to a dedication requirement. If the property’s overall...more

8/30/2016 - CA Supreme Court Condemnation Constitutional Challenges Eminent Domain Essential Nexus Fifth Amendment Just Compensation Land Developers Property Dedication Property Owners Property Valuation Public Use Real Estate Market Reversal Zoning Laws

Municipal Condemnation of Privately Held Utilities Continues to be a Hot Issue, but at what Cost?

In January, I spoke at a conference in Austin about efforts by municipalities to condemn privately-held utility companies. At the time, I figured it would be a one-off presentation on a pretty niche issue, even for eminent...more

8/27/2016 - Acquisitions Condemnation Cost-Benefit Analysis Investor-Owned Utilities Municipalities

California Supreme Court Upholds Right of Entry Statutes, but "Reforms" them to Comply with Constitution

When public agencies analyze a potential public project, they often need to gain access to private property for surveys, testing, and to otherwise investigate whether a particular property is suitable for a planned project. ...more

8/2/2016 - CEQA Eminent Domain Environmental Assessments Private Property Public Agencies Public Projects Right of Entry Surveys Takings

Homeowners Cannot Recover for Blocked Views of Hollywood Sign

One of the most valuable assets many homeowners enjoy is their property’s view. If the government undertakes an activity that eliminates or obstructs that view, is an owner entitled to relief? In Boxer v. City of Beverly...more

4/29/2016 - Appeals Eminent Domain Homeowners Inverse Condemnation Just Compensation Takings

Two San Diego Projects Moving Forward

There are two interesting projects in San Diego County that are moving forward, both of which involve at least some use of eminent domain. The San Marcos Creek Specific Plan is proceeding in, not surprisingly, San...more

4/19/2016 - Eminent Domain Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Public Improvement Projects Redevelopment San Diego Urban Planning & Development

Property Reserve Case Set for Oral Argument

The California Supreme Court announced today that the Property Reserve case will be heard on May 3, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in San Francisco. (I’m assuming this is not an April Fool’s joke, since eminent domain attorneys have...more

4/4/2016 - CA Supreme Court Condemnation Right of Entry

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....more

3/24/2016 - Condemnation Critical Habitat Mitigation Property Valuation Real Estate Development

[Event] Nossaman's 2016 Eminent Domain Seminar - March 3rd, Costa Mesa, CA

Nossaman LLP invites you to join us for a complimentary afternoon seminar with Nossaman’s Eminent Domain attorneys alongside various industry experts. During this program, our expert panelists will provide the latest insight...more

2/16/2016 - Appraisal Condemnation Continuing Legal Education Eminent Domain Events Public Transit Right of Way Utilities Sector Valuation

[Events] Right of Way & Legal Strategies for Successful Project Delivery - March 1st, Oakland, CA

Nossaman LLP and Overland, Pacific & Cutler, Inc. invite you to join us for a complimentary afternoon seminar that will provide insight on taking your project from concept through construction. Our panels of leading industry...more

2/16/2016 - Condemnation Continuing Legal Education Eminent Domain Events Right of Way

Eminent Domain Takes Center Stage in Republican Presidential Race

Once again, I sit at my desk wondering how all of this happened. For more than a decade, I worked as an eminent domain attorney in utter obscurity; I’m not even sure my family knew what eminent domain was. But then the City...more

2/15/2016 - Eminent Domain Keystone XL Pipeline Political Debates

Design Liability and Right of Way Risk Allocation for Design-Build Projects

Design liability and right-of-way risk allocation are topics addressed in a legal research digest recently published by the Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). The report,...more

1/18/2016 - Contractors Design-Build Procurement Guidelines Right of Way Risk Allocation Transportation Industry

Another Twist in California’s Right of Entry Rules

Eminent domain practitioners have been waiting for nearly two years for the Supreme Court to issue its decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court. At issue is the constitutionality of California’s “Right of Entry”...more

1/14/2016 - Eminent Domain Just Compensation Right of Entry SCOTUS Takings

Government Can Be Estopped from Going Back on Precondemnation Promises

When the government promises to do one thing and then does another, it usually has myriad excuses. Sometimes it claims that its staff (the people with whom the opposing side are typically interacting) cannot bind the agency....more

11/30/2015 - Building Permits Condemnation Estoppel Government Entities Hotels Parking Lots

Federal Highway Funds to Continue Flowing — Until October 2015

Despite efforts by Congress to finally approve a long-term highway bill that would have secured funding for key infrastructure projects for the next several years, last week Congress managed only to kick the issue down the...more

8/5/2015 - Federal Budget Federal Funding Highway Trust Fund Obama Administration

Expanding Your View of Takings Law

As an eminent domain attorney, when I think about a “takings” claim, I always think about a claim involving someone’s real property. Has the government trespassed onto private property, has it imposed regulations that deny...more

7/13/2015 - Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 Crops Eminent Domain Fair Market Value Farms Fifth Amendment Horne v USDA Just Compensation Private Property SCOTUS Takings

How One Misstep Resulted in a $2.5 Million Lesson

Every so often, a decision comes out that makes you stop for a second and take a breath. Generally, these decisions have two essential components: (1) they deal with a statute of limitations; and (2) they involve millions of...more

6/11/2015 - Appeals Petition for Writ of Mandate Real Estate Development Statute of Limitations Takings

Update on Two Recent California Eminent Domain Cases

I wanted to provide a quick update on two recent cases from the California Court of Appeal. The first, Golden State Water Company v. Casitas Municipal Water District (April 14, 2015), involves what appears to be an...more

4/22/2015 - Administrative Remedies Appeals Eminent Domain First Impression Municipalities Private Utility Real Estate Development Takings

Mello-Roos May Be Used to Fund Condemnation Action of Private Utility Provider

Those of us living in newer neighborhoods are familiar with Mello-Roos – it shows up on our annual tax bills as a way to pay off bonds issued to finance various public improvements, such as schools, streets, and parks that...more

4/20/2015 - Bond Financing Condemnation Eminent Domain Private Utility Property Tax Public Financing Public Projects Utilities Sector

2014 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2015 Forecast

At first it seemed 2014 had been a relatively slow year for eminent domain cases. But looking back, there was more activity than we initially recalled. There were few decisions that provided any dramatic shift in the...more

3/10/2015 - Affirmative Defenses CA Supreme Court Eminent Domain Farms Horne v USDA Nollan v California Coastal Commission Private Property Public Access Laws Takings

A Victory (at Least for Now) for Opponents of the Keystone Pipeline

We’ve been following the saga of the Keystone XL pipeline for a while now, and the battle rages on in Washington. Yesterday, the Republican-led Senate attempted to override President Obama’s veto of a bill to approve the...more

3/6/2015 - Barack Obama Keystone XL Pipeline Legislative Agendas Oil & Gas Presidential Veto

Keystone Pipeline May Be First Clash between President and New Congress

So the new Congress has been sworn in back in Washington, and the nation gears up for the first big clash between the Republican-controlled Congress and President Obama.  What will the first major battle be:  health care;...more

1/7/2015 - Eminent Domain Keystone XL Pipeline Legislative Agendas Obama Administration Oil & Gas Political Parties Property Owners

What Do You Do When The Bank Wants Your Condemnation Award?

Property owners typically have a lot on their minds when they find out that the government is going to be taking their property. For residential owners, they need to worry about where they are going to live with their...more

12/22/2014 - Banking Sector Condemnation Eminent Domain Mortgage Lenders Property Owners Takings

Relocation Benefits and Eminent Domain: How do they Fit Together?

One issue that eminent domain attorneys face routinely involves helping businesses obtain the relocation benefits to which they are entitled under the law, while at the same time pursuing a claim for lost business goodwill. ...more

8/1/2014 - Eminent Domain Loss of Goodwill Relocation Relocation Assistance

Contamination, Underwater Mortgages, and the IRWA Annual Education Conference

Along with my colleagues Brad Kuhn, Ben Rubin, and Katherine Contreras, I'm here in Hartford at the IRWA Annual Education Conference. It's been an interesting few days as we discuss eminent domain issues in the shadow of New...more

6/25/2014 - Easements Eminent Domain Mortgages Underwater Homeowners

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