“Our attorneys have a proven track record in handling both routine and the most complex eminent domain matters. With our business clients, we know they are concerned with the impact of construction or reduced access to their livelihood. When it’s a personal property issue, there are financial concerns that may affect the value of their home.”

    • Who We Are

      Our Eminent Domain Practice Group is dedicated to helping property owners impacted by condemnation matters. We have decades of cumulative land planning, negotiation, and litigation experience. Throughout the condemnation process, we work with our clients to maximize the economic benefit, while minimizing the negative impacts of the condemnation on their overall property interests.

    • How We Help

      Our team will assist you in each stage of the condemnation process:

      Planning – In the initial phase, the government plans and designs the projects, typically over several years. The decisions you make during this time may significantly impact the compensation you receive from the government.

      Acquisition – Once the government decides to take all or a portion of your property, you will be notified and they will make you an offer. We will help you determine whether the offer is a reasonable value of your property, including possible damages. To maximize your recovery, we will work closely with you and a variety of experts, including appraisers, land planners, and engineers. If the acquisition is a total take of your property, we can assist you in maximizing your recovery for relocation expenses.

      Litigation – If a settlement is not reached, the government will file a lawsuit against you to take your property. The government must prove that it has met all legal requirements before being granted the right to take your property. You have the right to challenge the government’s taking of your property. If the government is allowed to take your property, a jury or commissioners will determine the final compensation that the government must pay. You may also be entitled to an award of interest, expert fees, and costs incurred due to litigation.

      We have the experience to identify property values, damages, and relocation assistance that can lead to a higher amount of compensation. We have long-standing relationships with appraisers, engineers, real estate brokers, and development professionals to facilitate our ability to negotiate and try cases effectively and successfully.

    • Who We Represent

      Our team represents individual property owners, businesses, and tenants in all phases of the eminent domain process. Clients appreciate that we’re a “one-stop shop” providing comprehensive representation to our clients impacted by eminent domain.

      We’ll handle all aspects of a condemnation matter, from pre-condemnation planning with the support of our team of land use attorneys, negotiation and litigation with our team of eminent domain trial attorneys, and tax and estate planning with the support of our tax and trust and estate attorneys for any settlement or award received.

      • Represented individual and business landowners in condemnation matters related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, with substantial experience negotiating settlements for landowners and preparing agreements with terms protecting the landowner’s property rights
      • Represented numerous shopping centers, retailers, and restaurants in eminent domain cases filed by VDOT, the federal government, and localities
      • Represented the owners of hotel properties, medical complexes, vacant parcels, storage facilities, and a wide variety of other types of investment properties in eminent domain cases
      • Represented residential property owners in eminent domain actions filed by VDOT, localities, and utility providers
      • Represented landowners and tenants in disputes concerning relocation expenses

      Impacting the property’s development plans. A church in Newport News had plans to expand the church and ensure that its mission continued. VDOT’s project changed the property’s access and resulted in the taking of a small portion of the church’s property, putting expansion plans at risk. VDOT determined the church’s property was not damaged and offered just compensation of $96,000. Kaufman & Canoles prevailed in multiple hearings before the Court, and was able to obtain a favorable settlement for the church of $1.95 million, approximately $1.85 million above VDOT’s offer.

      Impacting access. VDOT’s project and corresponding taking resulted in a new median in front of one of three entrances for the property, and easements along the front of the property. Access for the property was impacted, and the easements negatively impacted the property. VDOT offered $119,000 as just compensation. The landowner’s appraiser determined just compensation to be $2,391,883. VDOT refused to settle for a reasonable amount, and we took the case to trial before a jury in 2018. With Kaufman & Canoles’ help, the jury unanimously agreed with the landowner and awarded just compensation of $2,391.883. The landowner also received reimbursement for costs of approximately $100,000.

      Other examples include:

      Agricultural land – Pipeline easement
      Offer: $38,200
      Result: $702,017

      Sand mining site – Pipeline easement
      Offer: $70,250
      Result: $850,000

      Agricultural land – pipeline easement
      Offer: $68,900
      Result: $705,000

      Wetlands mitigation site – pipeline easement
      Offer: $700,000
      Result: $2,075,000

      Commercial land – Impacted Access
      Offer: $75,080
      Award: $235,000

      Commercial site – total taking
      Result: Over $300,000 more than the offer

      Commercial site – Impacted parking
      Offer: $714,010
      Result: $1,194,810 plus conveyed an adjacent parcel

      Residential parcel – Partial take and storm water detention pond installed
      Offer: $290,285
      Result: $440,000

      Residential site – Partial taking and utility easement installed
      Offer: $28,500
      Result: $102,000

      Farm – Pipeline easement
      Offer: $20,400
      Result: $125,000

      Convenience Store – Partial taking with impacted parking
      Offer: $149,375
      Result: $274,000

      Hotel – Taking and removal of buffer and trees at front of property
      Offer: $29,718
      Result: $65,000

      Residential home – temporary slope easement (tying in road to property)
      Offer: $1,000
      Result: $76,500

      *Past case results do not indicate or guarantee future results. Every case has unique facts and circumstances and must be considered on its own merit.

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