Eminent Domain Representative Cases
See How We’ve Helped Others Get Just Compensation
The following examples of the eminent domain work performed by Callanan, Rogers & Dzida, LLP (the “Firm”) are for illustrative purposes only. Every case or legal issue depends on its own facts, law and the unique credibility of the witnesses involved. Results similar to the following are not and cannot be guaranteed. Get good legal advice and help now in order to protect your interests. Contact us
The Firm represented client whose business was rendered reachable only through a tortuous, winding detour due to the widening of a freeway. The client was originally represented by other attorneys who dropped out. The firm negotiated a six figure settlement with the government where the government had originally offered no compensation whatsoever.
The Firm represented a construction supply company against the State of California in an eminent domain case brought by the State to acquire land in Fresno for the High Speed Rail Project. The State’s taking took a small piece of the company’s land, but left the company without enough land to operate its business into the future. The Firm’s representation on a contingency basis resulted in compensation paid by the State that was over 6 times greater than the State’s original offer (which allowed the company to acquire the land next door to make up the deficiency). The company can now operate and grow its business the way it planned when the company originally bought in the area.
The Firm Helps An Owner Recover Compensation For The Value Of Her Billboard Leases. Rob Rogers of the Firm represented the owner of vacant land adjacent to an major highway. The owner leased the right to erect billboards on the land. The Government and the billboard company contended that the billboards were “dilapidated” and that they would have been removed anyway without renewal of the leases. The government valued the land at only $623,566 and the income stream from the billboard leases at only $65,478. The Firm fought the Government and the billboard company, establishing that they were working together, hand in glove to “cooperate” on keeping the compensation as low as possible in the case in return for an agreement to replace the billboards with digital displays at a different location. As a result, the Government ultimately paid the client a total of $1,218,821 in compensation.
The Firm Represents An Owner of 413 Apartments. After a governmental agency purchased over 90% of the land in a neighborhood and razed and demolished the buildings on it, creating a blighted ghost town, the owner of 413 apartment units in 35 buildings in the neighborhood sought help from the Firm. The Firm brought an inverse condemnation lawsuit against the government for creating the blight, won at trial but lost on appeal when the Court of Appeal decided that, despite the demolition and blight, the government’s activity had not yet reached the point of inverse condemnation of the remaining properties in the area. Despite this adverse appellate decision, the client asked the Firm to continue to represent him in attempting to sell the 35 buildings to the government. Joe Dzida then negotiated, drafted and closed the $88 million sale of these buildings to the government.
The Firm obtained a $705,000 recovery for a client when the government acquired a piece of the client’s used car dealership display area in order to widen a freeway. The government had originally offered the client nothing.
The Firm represented three commercial tenants in a single commercial center that was being acquired by the government for subway purposes. The firm recovered $1,034,500 for one of the tenants after the government offered only $38,600; $700,000 for another after the government offered only $29,450, and $450,000 for the third after the government offered only $21,540.
The Firm represented the owners of land on which they operated a commercial dry cleaning business. The government sought to acquire the property and displace the business for light rail purposes. The Firm ultimately recovered $1,551,228.46 after the government offered only $810,550.
The Firm Recovers $1.1 Million For A Client Offered Only $1,000 By The Government. The Government sued to acquire through eminent domain 11,000 square feet of commercial property. Claiming that the property had been contaminated by a leaky, underground jet fuel pipeline across the street, the Government offered only $1,000. The Firm took on this challenge and fought the case against the Government through two, separate appellate proceedings, before successfully negotiating a $1.1 million settlement for the client.
The Firm Gains A Former Opponent As A Client. A partner with the Firm represented a school district in a jury trial against a chain of supermarkets when the district sought to acquire one of the stores in eminent domain. The owners of the chain were so impressed with the partner’s work that, when another store in a different location was also taken in eminent domain, they wanted the partner to be on their side even though he had opposed them previously. The Firm took on the job; recovering $9,765,000 for the land taken, where the Government had offered only $8,000,000. The Firm also recovered $4,000,000 for the lost goodwill of the supermarket taken, where the Government had offered only $1,578,000.
The Firm Helps A Property Owner Obtain More Cash And Also Trade Less Desirable Land For More Valuable Land. The Firm represented the owner of approximately 4.5 acres of vacant land. The Government sued in eminent domain to acquire one fourth of the land for a freeway ramp and road realignment project; offering to pay only $383,000. The Firm, however, fought the Government and ultimately negotiated a settlement under which the owner would receive cash upfront of $650,000 plus 31,021 square feet of land immediately adjacent to the freeway in trade and exchange for the less desirable land taken.
The Firm Represents The Owner Of Land And A Business Impacted By A Taking For A Railroad Grade Separation Project. The Firm represented a manufacturer of high reliability electronic parts for use in orbit or deep space when the Government filed an eminent domain lawsuit to acquire a portion of the land where the manufacturer ran a high tech “clean room” operation. The Government’s project was a long planned railroad grade separation which would change the level of an adjacent street from ten feet above the property to twenty feet below. The Government initially offered $212,555 in total compensation. However, the Firm built the client’s case for damages, including possible future loss of access, increased dust, vibration and business interruption; and negotiated a stipulated judgment under which the client was paid total guaranteed cash compensation upfront of $1.8 million; but which also allowed the client to recover MORE from the Government for future damages if and when they occurred.
The Firm Helps The Owner Of An Auto Repair Business And Liquor Store. When sued by the Government in eminent domain, the owner of an auto repair business and liquor store came to the Firm for help. The Firm worked to build the case for higher value, and ultimately recovered $372,000 more for the client than the Government offered.
The Firm Helps a Client Settle Quickly Before Eminent Domain is Filed. Joe Dzida and Rob Rogers helped the owners of one of the oldest and most beloved used bookstores in southern California quickly negotiate a package of compensation for the sale of the business and the land on which it operated to the city, before filing of a lengthy eminent domain lawsuit. The owners were concerned that the only viable “relocation” options were out of state or onto the Internet, and were concerned about the risks that these entirely new business models would pose for them, and the uncertainties and risks created by not knowing when they would be required to relocate. The firm eliminated these risks and uncertainties for them by negotiating the package.
The Firm Does What the Government Says is Impossible. The firm represented the owner of land and a business to be acquired for a freeway widening project. Though the project had been in planning for many years, and would impact many properties and businesses along the freeway route, none of the impacted businesses had yet been relocated. An opportunity arose, however, for the client to relocate one block away.
The government balked at the seven figure cost of the proposed relocation and claimed that it could not proceed because the federal government was supplying the relocation funds and that, under the federal requirements, monies could be released only once project acquisition was actually under way. Joe Dzida of the firm, however, researched the question and found that the federal government had the power to make common sense exceptions. Here, a prompt relocation made common sense. It would avoid the loss of a relocation opportunity for an established business that would be difficult to relocate, and, as a result, it would avoid a large loss of goodwill claim. An agreement was promptly reached within two months and this business was relocated over a year before other businesses in the area.
The Firm Helps A Homeowner Offered Less Than The Amount Of The Loans Against His Property. The Firm took on the case of a homeowner whose property was taken in eminent domain by the Government. The Government offered less for the property than the amount of the loans against it. When the Government filed a motion seeking early possession of the property based on this low ball offer, the Firm opposed the motion on behalf of the owner, arguing that the Government’s conduct created an unjust hardship. The court agreed, finding the government’s conduct to be “close to outrageous.” The following is an excerpt from the official transcript:
The Firm Helps A Family-Owned Real Estate Business. In a case where the government sought to condemn a clients’ commercial property where they operated a long time family-owned real estate business which was well known in a largely Hispanic community, the Firm obtained $407,000 more in compensation than the Government offered. Although the business had significant value, the Government failed to offer anything to the clients for the loss of their business goodwill. The Firm aggressively argued that the business lost significant business goodwill when it was forced to relocate and start over in a new location.
The Firm Helps A Church. Representing a local church, the Firm obtained a settlement of $825,000 after the government only offered $530,000 for a street widening easement on church land.
The Firm Helps A Client Impacted By Unreasonable Government Conduct And Delay. When the Government prevented a property owner from selling his property by announcing that it would be acquired for an airport, the government refused to pay more than $1,025,000. After winning at trial on the issue of whether the government’s conduct and delay were unreasonable, lawyers obtained a $3,205,000 settlement payment for our client.
The Firm Represents A Dentist. The Firm negotiated a settlement for $1,038,865 more than the Government’s offer for a dentist’s commercial office property and business.
The Firm Represents The Owner Of A Store In Watts. The Firm recovered $763,900 in goodwill damages for the owner of a market on leased property in Watts. The Government had offered only $226,000.
The Firm Obtains A Jury Verdict For An Apartment Owner That Was $600,000 Higher Than The Government’s Low Ball Offer. Representing the owner of a small apartment building, the Firm fought for higher value when the Government used sales that were artificially low and located in an airport flight path next to a blighted area adjacent to a freeway as the basis for its appraisal. The jury awarded the Firm’s client $600,000 more than the Government’s low ball offer.
The Firm Loses A Case, But Keeps A Client. The Firm represented the owner of 100 apartment units in a lawsuit contending that the Government had damaged the owner through unreasonable pre-condemnation conduct, when the Government acquired adjacent properties, razed them and kept them vacant, depressing the real estate values in the area through “condemnation blight.” The Firm prevailed on summary judgment in the trial court, but the decision was reversed on appeal with the appellate court holding that the Government had acquired the adjacent properties “voluntarily” through purchase rather than involuntary condemnation. Nevertheless, though the case was lost, the client remained a client of the Firm, in many ongoing matters, recognizing that the Firm had taken on a tough and risky case where other law firms would not do so.
The Firm Helps A Nonprofit Corporation Employing Disabled Individuals. The Firm represented a nonprofit corporation employing disabled individuals when it was forced to relocate due to eminent domain. The Government initially offered only $46,695 in compensation; but the Firm recovered $354,000.
The Firm Represents A Landlord. When the owner of raw land rented to a landscaping service saw his property targeted for eminent domain in a railroad grade separation project, the owner sought legal help from the Firm. The Firm recovered $972,500 where the Government had offered only $608,000.