For over 40 years, clients have looked to Ballard Spahr lawyers for representation in important eminent domain matters. We advise both owners of condemned property and public entities exercising the power of condemnation. Our work includes all aspects of condemnation, including pre-taking planning, acquisitions in lieu of condemnation, regulatory and de facto takings, and trial and settlement of claims for just compensation and relocation benefits. We are experienced in a broad spectrum of takings: federal highway improvements, airport expansion, open-space acquisitions, transit facilities, port development and redevelopment projects. Our clients are owners of manufacturing facilities, commercial and residential development sites, office buildings, telecommunications facilities, power stations and outdoor advertising signs. We also represent state agencies, municipalities, pipeline companies and utilities in condemnations for public projects. Significantly, lawyers in the practice have worked in legal and administrative positions in government agencies with large real estate portfolios and the power of eminent domain, advising on planning, acquisitions, relocation benefits and condemnation.
We work closely with top-flight appraisers, land planners, architects, engineers and other professionals to structure claims for compensation in total and partial takings of real property. Our extensive experience in real estate, litigation and environmental law, combined with our knowledge of local land-use law, supports our services to clients in condemnation matters. We offer our clients creative approaches to valuation claims in total and partial takings. We are active in professional associations comprised of lawyers, appraisers and real estate consultants, where we conduct and participate in programs on appraisal methodology in condemnation and in tax appeals. We have written on valuation methodology in eminent domain. Following the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), which addressed potential constitutional limitations on eminent domain, we appeared in television and print media to discuss issues raised in the opinion and the legislative backlash throughout the nation. We advised a condemning authority in connection with proposed amendments to the Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code in the aftermath of Kelo. In support of the practice, our tax lawyers advise clients on deferring gain in the context of final compensation awards and settlement proceeds, as well as purchases by acquiring authorities in lieu of condemnation.
Our practice includes board of view hearings, jury trials and appeals at every level. We negotiate settlements of condemnation awards on behalf of landowners. We are effective and cost effective.