The purpose of the Eminent Domain Blog is to provide the public with information about the practice of eminent domain law. We also hope to share relevant updates and legal developments affecting this area of the law.

Games Condemnors Play: When Appraisers Lose Credibility

  In his book, “Expert Witness in the Legal System: A Scientist’s Search for Justice,” Morris S. Zedek wrote that in 2001, the Committee on Criminal Advocacy of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York surveyed judges about the prevalence of perjury in the New York metropolitan area. In regard to expert witnesses, of the thirty judges who responded, 50 percent said they encountered occasional perjury. This is not surprising to a trial lawyer. In condemnation cases, most reputable appraisers do not commit perjury. They may tend to direct the valuation by more subtle ways. Key … Continue reading

Posted in Appraisers, Eminent Domain, Highest and Best Use, New York, Recent cases, Trial Preparation | Tagged | Leave a comment

Eminent Domain to Lower Mortgages: A Silly Idea That Won’t Go Away

Last year we read about the plan of the City of Richmond California to condemn underwater mortgages to squeeze them from financial institutions and refinance them for the homeowner. Financial institutions sued and the plan was aborted. But now we read that the City of San Francisco has an idea to partner with nearby Richmond on the same program. Supervisor John Alvos was quoted in the San Francisco Examiner as saying, “The issue of distressed mortgages is real in San Francisco, data showed that there are hundreds of homes at risk right now and there are thousands more potentially at … Continue reading

Posted in Challenging condemnation, Condemnation Procedures, Eminent Domain Abuse, Mortgage seizures | Leave a comment

Time to Curb Developers from Controlling Condemnation Litigation

If you are reading an appellate court decision deciding a condemnor’s appeal from an award your client recovered and the Court quotes Judge Cardozo in New York, O. & W.R. Co. v. Livingston, 238 NY 300 (1924), it’s not good. This is the case where Judge Cardozo wrote that “it is the duty of the state ,in the conduct of the inquest by which the compensation is ascertained, to see that it is just, not merely to the individual whose property is taken, but to the public which is to pay for it.” So if you read this sentence in … Continue reading

Posted in Condemnation Procedures, Eminent Domain, Eminent Domain Abuse, Future of the law, New York, Offer & Compensation, Recent cases, Valuation | Leave a comment

Atlantic City’s Eminent Domain Mania

The 2 billion dollar casino hotel Revel closed its doors, unable to find a buyer in Bankruptcy Court. The showboat casino closed. The Wall Street Journal reported on September 9, 2014 that Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; this includes Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza casinos. Charles V. Bagli, writing in the New York Times on September 8, 2014, reported that the highest-grossing casino in America is not in Nevada or in Atlantic City, but in a hardscrabble neighborhood near Kennedy Airport where a Malaysian Conglomerate, the Genting Group, opened Resorts World Casino New York City. Mr. … Continue reading

Posted in Eminent Domain Abuse, New York | Leave a comment

Register Now for ALI-CLE Eminent Domain Conference

This year’s annual Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation Seminar will be given by ALI-CLE on February 5-7, 2015 at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco, California. The program is a must for attorneys who practice eminent domain and land use law. The program includes both substantive and procedural presentations utilizing the best speakers in the country. Under the guidance of Robert H. Thomas and Joseph T. Waldo, the national program addresses those areas where new developments in the law and procedure have and will reshape the practice. The program will assist the practitioner to sharpen skills and learn what’s … Continue reading

Posted in Continuing Legal Education, Future of the law, Speaking Appearances | Leave a comment