In developing and developed areas, it is becoming increasingly common to see property taken for a public purpose such as the construction of a school, and road and highway widening. Although the ability of government to take property for a public purpose may not always be questioned, the award of fair compensation to a property owner whose property is being taken by government often is in dispute. The United States Constitution requires that property owners be awarded just compensation when government exercises its eminent domain powers. Unfortunately, many property owners whose properties have been taken by government may not be aware of what constitutes fair and just compensation.
Our Condemnation Practice area understands that takings are initially based on government's opinion of value which may not reflect fair market value. We know how to respond to condemnation takings and seek the highest possible awards for our clients. We pursue awards based on fair market value at Condemnation Commissioners' hearings. If the awards are still insufficient, appeals are filed to the trial court level where a jury trial is sought. We present our best possible case to a condemnation jury based on value testimony of an expert appraiser and factual testimony of the property owner whose property has been taken. We prepare our case by scrutinizing the government's award of compensation. We thoroughly research their appraisal report which justifies the amount of their initial award. We identify whether there is a basis to challenge the award and pursue it completely.