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“Procedural and Evidentiary Issues in Condemnation Cases: What Gets in and What Doesn’t?”

Traditional eminent domain trial work is unique. Liability, in the true sense of the word, is not at issue, and very often there is only one simple question for the jury to answer – what amount of money will adequately and...more

Redevelopment Wind-Down: A Few Random Thoughts

I saw a couple of California redevelopment-related stories over the past week that seemed worthy of at least a brief comment. First, a court decision involving a rather bold argument by a public agency. ...more

On Remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Affirms Ruling that Temporary Flooding Resulted in Compensable Taking

As you may recall, last December we reported on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States, in which the Supreme Court held that government-induced flooding of limited duration may...more

California Supreme Court to Hear Eminent Domain Case

In August, I reported on the decision in City of Perris v. Stamper, in which the Court of Appeal weighed in on the ever-shifting line dividing the judge and jury's roles in eminent domain cases. At the time, I poked a bit of...more

CERCLA, RCRA, and Vapor Intrusion: Does What Happens in Vegas Really Stay in Vegas?

In Voggenthaler v. Maryland Square LLC, 724 F.3d 1050 (9th Cir. 2013), the defendants argued that contamination that happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas, and therefore the Commerce Clause barred the application of CERCLA. The...more

U.S. Court Rejects Challenge To CFIUS National Security Review

This blog previously reported in July 2013 on a lawsuit that Ralls Corporation brought against the President of the United States and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States challenging the President’s order...more

Mississippi's "Stop Notice" Statute Ruled Facially Unconstitutional Deprivation of Property

On October 10, 2013, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, citing lack of procedural safeguards, affirmed a district court's determination that Mississippi's "Stop Notice" statute is unconstitutional because it deprives...more

Governor Brown Vetoes Eminent Domain Bill, But I'm Not Sure Why

Earlier this week, Governor Brown vetoed AB 374, a bill to amend Code of Civil Procedure section 1263.510, the statute governing recovery of loss of business goodwill in an eminent domain case. But it's not the veto that...more

A Jury in an Eminent Domain Action Must Decide if “Reasonable Probability” Exists that Government Will Require Dedication of Land...

A city planned to realign a truck route and offered the landowners compensation that valued the property as undevelopable agricultural land instead of its current zoning of light industrial. The city reasoned that the...more

The Continuing Effort to Define the Line Between Court and Jury Roles in Eminent Domain

Eminent domain attorneys struggle with a concept foreign to most civil litigators: figuring out the roles of the judge and jury. Even most non-attorneys know the basic rule of trial: the jury is the "fact-finder." But in...more

In Eminent Domain Proceedings, the Likelihood and Constitutionality of a Dedication is a Jury Determination

When a public agency seeks to impose a land exaction on a planned development, the analysis of whether the proposed dedication meets the necessary "essential nexus" and "rough proportionality" tests is often cumbersome and...more

Litigation News -- Summer 2013

In This Issue: "Can Bankruptcy Be A Tool To Combat Eminent Domain? Probably Not" and "Finding the Facts Before the Lawsuit Begins: Pre-Complaint Discovery in Pennsylvania" Excerpt from Can Bankruptcy Be A Tool...more

Lender Involved Condemnation Part 2: Lender Concerns in Condemnation

This is the second installment in a series of articles related to lender-involved condemnations. The first installment provided a basic discussion of eminent domain and condemnation principles....more

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review of Union Trespassing Case in California

Labor unions recently won a victory over employers in California when the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of the California Supreme Court's decision in Ralphs Grocery Co. v. UFCW. The California court had upheld two state...more

U.S. Supreme Court: Federal Nexus And Proportionality Analysis Applies To Land Use Permitting Fees And To Both Denial And Granting...

A Florida landowner seeking a permit to develop part of a wetlands property offered a conservation easement on the undeveloped portion of the parcel to the local water management district. The district indicated it would not...more

The Supreme Court Gets It Right On Takings - And Wrong - A View from "Inside the Curtilage": The Property Owner's Perspective

In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, the Supreme Court cleared up two important, nagging issues with wide applicability and importance to property owners across the country. First, the 5-member majority,...more

Court Rules Government Cannot Make "Extortionate Demands" on Persons Seeking Land-Use Permits

In a landmark decision for land use and development, the United States Supreme Court has ruled under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that regulatory agencies cannot make “extortionate demands” on land-use permit...more

U.S. Supreme Court Limits Monetary Exactions

In a victory for property owners and developers nationwide, the U.S. Supreme Court has just eliminated two main methods used by local governments to evade the Court’s landmark property rights decisions of Nollan v. California...more

A Victory for Property Rights: U.S. Supreme Court Rules for Developers Seeking Permit Approvals

On June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down arguably one of the most influential Takings Clause decisions since the Kelo v. City of New London1 ruling in 2005. In a 5-4 decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water...more

Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District - No. 11-1447, 570 U.S. __ (2013)

On June 25, 2013, the US Supreme Court issued a decision clarifying the limitations the constitution places on the power of governments to exact concessions from property owners when issuing development permits. It confirmed...more

Court Stops Serial Plaintiff's Latest Effort: Payne v. Chapel Hill North Properties

The United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina recently dismissed an Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) case filed by Denise Payne, a Florida resident, and National Alliance for Accessibility,...more

The Problem with the Supreme Court’s Regulatory Takings Jurisprudence? It Doesn’t Require a Taking

The Supreme Court ruled today, in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, that a property owner who is denied a land use permit on the ground that he refused to pay money to compensate for the harm to be caused...more

CERCLA Is Still Constitutional

To paraphrase Shakespeare, United States v. Sterling Centrecorp, Inc., is a great feast of legal argument. The PRP in that case purchased the assets of a mining company whose operations in California had caused releases of...more

Supreme Court Limits Conditions

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its opinion in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management Agency. The case involved the extent of local government's ability to place conditions on the issuance of land use permits. Although...more

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...more

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