Because Results Count

Public Agencies/Public Projects

Our Experience: Murphy & Evertz attorneys boast strong and deep experience with public acquisitions. We have extensive familiarity with and mastery of every state of the acquisition process.

Our Approach: Our attorneys have a strong track record in the condemnation of property for public projects. We have deep familiarity with every stage of the acquisition process.

  • Our team has a consistent record of success in handling the pre-acquisition appraisal and offer process required by California law.  We recognize the importance of the preacquisition process including (a) early site evaluation and inspection – – particularly where contamination may be present; (b) identification of relocation issues; and (c) pre-condemnation negotiations and management of claims to avoid re-condemnation delay.
  • Our team of lawyers have unmatched experience with valuation issues, relating both to real estate and business goodwill claims. Our condemnation team and its courtroom successes have garnered substantial attention statewide.
  • Team lawyers speak and write frequently on eminent domain issues, and pride themselves on their technical knowledge of both the law and trial techniques.

On Track and Practical: Our eminent domain team understands that strategic assessment and planning is essential to a public agency’s ability to keep projects on track. Most public projects require the condemnation of both major and minor parcels, even seemingly inconsequential parcels. A key attribute of our attorneys is the ability to differentiate between the two. Many smaller acquisitions do not require significant litigation effort or even appraisal effort. They are often resolvable through early, aggressive negotiation. We have found that measured, limited discovery can spur on such negotiations.

Of course, some ostensibly small matters can ultimately generate significant claims. Our attorneys are oriented towards spotting the warning signs early, and tailoring our litigation efforts appropriately.

Our eminent domain team also understands the importance of environmental conditions on the decision to acquire property, and on the compensation to be paid for such property. The team has obtained numerous pre-condemnation orders allowing entry onto property for environmental assessment prior to the agency’s decision to acquire the property, allowing the agency to make a reasoned and rational decision as to which property should – or should not – be acquired. When acquisition of contaminated property is to be completed, our team has worked extensively with various agencies, including the Department of Toxic Substances, Regional Water Quality Control Board and Air Quality Management District to minimize the agency’s exposure for the contamination, and to assure compliance with project schedules.