Author Archive | Michael Rikon

The Burden of Proof in a Condemnation Case

States differ in their approach to the question of who has the burden of proof in a condemnation case, an issue discussed more thoroughly in Michael Rikon’s recent article published in the Practical Real Estate Lawyer. As Mr. Rikon explains, there are essentially three separate groups: those that have no burden of proof on the issue of damages, those that place the burden of proof on the claimant, and those that require the condemnor to prove its assay of damages. In New York, the burden of proof is on the… read more

Posted in Condemnation Procedures, Eminent Domain, Highest and Best Use, New York, Offer & Compensation, Trial Preparation
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Eminent Domain Abuse: Seattle to Seize a Parking Lot to Create… A Parking Lot

The City of Seattle has decided to use its sovereign power of eminent domain to seize a parking lot owned by 103-year-old Spokane resident Myrtle Woldson. The Seattle City Council voted Monday to take the lot in connection with its waterfront development, to which it has allocated $30 million. Many residents don’t see a “public benefit” in this exercise of power, because the City is simply going to take the privately owned water front parking lot and turn it into a city owned waterfront parking lot. Woldson has repeatedly refused… read more

Posted in Challenging condemnation, Eminent Domain Abuse
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NYLJ: Expert Witnesses in Condemnation & Tax Certiori Cases

Michael Rikon recently published an article in the New York Law Journal titled “The Expert Witness in Condemnation and Tax Certiori Cases” wherein he discusses the factors practitioners must consider in deciding whether and which expert witnesses to call in each case. As Mr. Rikon points out, the two cases use two different valuation methodologies. In tax assessment cases, property is valued as is, while in condemnation proceedings, property is valued based on its highest and best use, regardless of its actual use. Additionally, a reasonable probability of rezoning can… read more

Posted in New York, Trial Preparation
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William and Mary will honor Thomas W. Merrill with the 2013 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize

William and Mary will honor Thomas W. Merrill, a Columbia Law School Professor, with the 2013 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize at the 10th annual conference on October 17-18 sponsored by the William & Mary Property Rights Project. The project presents the award each year to an individual whose scholarly work and accomplishments affirm that property rights are fundamental to protecting individual and civil rights. According to the press release, Merrill is among the nation’s leading scholars of property, administrative, and environmental law, and is the Charles Evans Hughes Professor at Columbia Law… read more

Posted in Uncategorized
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MO Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of Heritage Value Statute

The Missouri Supreme Court recently issued a decision affirming a $2.1 million payment for the taking of 15 acres of land in St. Louis County, Missouri. The land was owned by the Novel family, originally purchased by the family patriarch in 1904. Arthur and Stella Novel lived and farmed on the land until their deaths in the late 1960’s. The land, now owned by their descendants, had been vacant since 1968 until the time of the taking in February 2010. The property was acquired in order to construct a portion… read more

Posted in Condemnation Procedures, Eminent Domain, Offer & Compensation, Recent cases
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