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.

There is no Inflexible Formula to set Just Compensation

Eminent domain is not your typical litigation.  The former owner did not ask for its property to be taken for a public purpose. This is the reason that several decisions have pointed out that what may be normal in litigation between private parties does not apply in a condemnation proceeding which involves a claim protected by our constitutions.  As Justice Thomas A. Dickerson stated, in Matter of Irvington v Sokolik, 13 Misc3d 1220 [Sup. Ct. West 2006], “a condemnation proceeding is not a private litigation.  There is a constitutional mandate upon the court to give just and fair compensation for … Continue reading

Posted in Appraisers, Eminent Domain, Valuation | Leave a comment

Drafts are Required to be Retained Under Appraisal Standards

The following is a response to a comment from Mr. Rikon’s latest column in the New York Law Journal, which we recently posted here. Below, Mr. Rikon further describes the requirement under USPAP for a condemnation expert to retain his work file for cross-examination purposes. Drafts are Required to be Retained Under Appraisal Standards I write this in response to the comment made by Fred Kolikoff, Esq. dated September 1, 2015.  Mr. Kolikoff, a former Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York, found fault in an article I wrote “The Condemnation Expert’s File: Minefield for Cross-Examination” which was … Continue reading

Posted in Appraisers, Cross Examination, Published Articles, USPAP, Work file | Leave a comment

Taking Your Property for Extractable Gas

A news story published September 8, 2015 in the Martinsville Daily reports the progress of a bill working its way through the West Virginia Legislature. The new law will allow the use of eminent domain to capture the northern gas fields of West Virginia which are currently owned by private citizens. It will compel forced pooling. The fields have extractable gas 6,000 feet under the surface. If the bill becomes law, the government could eventually take the property. Currently, West Virginia State Law precludes gas companies from drilling wells if private owners within an area refuse to provide lease rights. … Continue reading

Posted in Eminent Domain, Eminent Domain Abuse, Energy, Hydrofracking | Leave a comment

New York Law Journal: The Condemnation Expert’s File: Minefield for Cross-Examination

Michael Rikon recently authored a column published in the New York Law Journal titled The Condemnation Expert’s File: Minefield for Cross-Examination. In condemnation cases, each side hires an expert to prepare an opinion on the value of the property. As Mr. Rikon explains in the article, once that expert testifies at trial, his or her work file becomes discoverable by the opposing side, and is often rife with material for cross-examination. This material can range from inaccurate data or the use of a faulty valuation method, to evidence of coaching, bias or editing by the attorney who hired the expert. … Continue reading

Posted in Appraisers, Lawyers, Offer & Compensation, Recent cases, Sandbagging, Trial Preparation, USPAP | Leave a comment

Harlem Urban Renewal, the Statute of Limitations, and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis

The Supreme Court, New York County recently issued an interesting  decision by the Hon. Shlomo S. Hagler. The case was in the Matter of City of New York, Fifteenth Amended Harlem-E. Harlem Urban Renewal Plan (East 125th Street), Stage 1. The Decision and Order was issued August 13, 2015 and dealt with several motions by the respondent condemnees, which will be discussed herein. The condemnees collectively included City Lights Properties Three LLC, 2305-07 Third Avenue LLC, 2017 East 125th Street LLC, and 205 East 125th Street LLC. The procedural background of the case is important in order to understand the instant … Continue reading

Posted in Challenging condemnation, Condemnation Procedures, Harlem Urban Renewal Project, New York, Recent cases, Statute of Limitations | Leave a comment