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Eminent Domain

We have been practicing in the field of eminent domain law for over twenty-five years.  We have been representing only private property owners, not government agencies. As full-time defenders of private-property rights, we are uniquely qualified and experienced.  We provide real estate owners and business owners with the resources and representation they need.

Government acquisitions or “takings” are not free market transactions. They are forced sales based on constitutional law, statutes and case law. Property owners should learn about their rights from a professional, full-time, private-property-rights advocate.

We represent real estate owners and business owners throughout Southern California. We are especially active against the California Department of Transportation (“Caltrans”) and the county transportation agencies, Metro, SB CTA (formerly SANBAG), RCTC, OCTA, and SANDAG. We have been involved in countless freeway projects, interchange projects, road widening projects, grade separation projects, rail projects, etc.  We have also been very active against local government agencies attempting to disproportionately burden private-property owners with public projects such as fire stations, police stations, schools, utility projects, and redevelopment projects.

Our firm is dedicated to achieving for real estate owners and business owners the full extent of their constitutional guarantees by maximizing condemnation awards and challenging the government’s right to take when appropriate. If the right to take is not at issue, our fee structure is often based on a contingency, or percentage of the award that we earn over and above what the government offers. Our initial consultation is usually free and comes with a copy of the original Eminent Domain Handbook.


The law is in the owner’s favor. “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” United States Constitution, Fifth Amendment (1791).

“Private property may be taken or damaged for public use only when just compensation, ascertained by a Jury unless waived, has first been paid to, or into court for, the owner. The Legislature may provide for possession by the condemnor following commencement of eminent domain upon deposit in court and prompt release to the owner of money determined by the court to be the probable amount of just compensation.” Constitution of California, Article 1, §19 (1879).

“The fair market value of the property taken is the highest price on the date of valuation that would be agreed to by a seller, being willing to sell but under no particular or urgent necessity for so doing, and able to buy but under no particular necessity for so doing, each dealing with full knowledge of all the uses and purposes for which the property is reasonably adaptable and available.” California Code of Civil Procedure, §1263.320(a).

Recent Cases:

  • The People of the State of California v. Grand Diamond Properties, LLC, et. al.
    • The State offered $1,809,000.  We obtained a judgment for $3,219,040.
  • The People of the State of California v. Wright, et. al.
    • The State offered $628,052.  We obtained a judgment for $1,691,448.
  • The People of the State of California v. Dante Corp., et. al.
    • The State offered $948,000.  We obtained a judgment for $1,808,000.
  • The People of the State of California v. Dorothy E. Parrott, et. al.
    • The State Offered $250,000.  We obtained a judgment for $862,995.25. (It included an award for attorneys fees and costs in the amount of $150,190.37.)


  • Government acquisitions
  • Direct condemnation
  • Inverse condemnation
  • Regulatory takings
  • Right to take issues
  • Condemnation of land
  • Condemnation of structures
  • Compensation issues
  • Valuation issues
  • Highest and best use
  • Severance damages
  • Pre-condemnation damages
  • Loss of goodwill
  • Relocation rights
  • Rent differentials
  • Price differentials
  • Improvements pertaining to the realty
  • Fixtures and equipment
  • Inventory
  • Muller claims
  • Project impacts
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