Author Archive | Michael Rikon

Just Compensation? Not if We Can Help It

A business may be firmly rooted in a neighborhood. It might be quite successful and profitable. It could be a family enterprise which has had multi-generational owners and workers. Then comes that fateful day when the property is included in a condemnation proceeding; a forced sale which was hardly solicited. Years of goodwill go out the window, for goodwill is not compensable in New York, or most other states. Then comes the inevitable eviction to obtain vacant possession of the premises. Most established businesses will find it a challenge to… read more

Posted in Condemnation Procedures, Leases, New York, Offer & Compensation, Trade fixtures
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Mortgages- We Don’t Care About No Stinking Contracts

I once wrote that there is a legal aphorism in criminal law that a good prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich. If this is so, in an eminent domain proceeding, an average condemnor could condemn a kasha knish. The public purpose which is supposed to be a required element by our Fifth Amendment really doesn’t apply. See Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S.469 (2005). So it is hardly surprising that some governmental ninnies would think that in order to help its underwriter homeowner citizens, it would condemn their… read more

Posted in Eminent Domain, Eminent Domain Abuse, Future of the law, Legislation, Mortgage seizures
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Condemnors Say the Darndest Things

In New York, sanctions are rarely imposed on counsel during civil litigation; they are almost never imposed in Condemnation cases, which involve constitutionally protected claims for just compensation. Recently, the frivolous arguments have grown as if on steroids. Established legal principles, logic, and ethics are seemingly abandoned in the hope of influencing the court. Here are two examples from recent cases: In a real estate (fee) claim in which the Claimant presented evidence that there existed a reasonable probability of rezoning, the condemnor argued that the probable rezoning of the… read more

Posted in Highest and Best Use, Leases, New York, Trade fixtures
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Why Lawyers Should Do The Work of Lawyers, and Appraisers Should Do the Work of Appraisers

By: Joshua Rikon and Jamie Sinclair. The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) are the generally accepted standards for professional appraisal practice in North America. USPAP contains standards for all types of appraisal services. The standards specifically require that an appraiser perform assignments with impartiality, objectivity, and independence, and without accommodation of personal interests. An appraiser must not perform an assignment with bias; must not advocate the cause or interest of any party or issue;” USPAP 2012-2013 Edition Ethics Rule, p. U-7. The Hon. Wayne P. Saitta recently issued a decision in… read more

Posted in New York, Recent cases, Trial Preparation
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Recent Supreme Court Case: Koontz v St. Johns River Water Management District

Amid many other cases handed down last week, including striking Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and holding the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, the Supreme Court of the United States also handed down a decision having enormous impact on property owners and the land use agencies that regulate them. The case, Koontz v. St  Johns River Water Management District, involved a landowner of 14.9 acres of property, primarily wetlands, east of Orlando, Florida. The property was purchased in 1972 by Coy Koontz, Sr., who passed away before the litigation… read more

Posted in Wetlands
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