Eminent Domain & Valuation Litigation



Liability – The firm won a liability trial and further secured a jury verdict of $3,275,000 in an inverse condemnation action against the City of Los Angeles for flood damages to two properties in the Hollywood Hills.

Eminent Domain – The firm obtained a jury verdict of $3,357,323 in Los Angeles County Superior Court against a transportation authority for the taking of a veterans post building. The authority’s initial offer to our client was $650,000.*

Eminent Domain – The firm obtained a jury verdict of $1,318,000 in Madera County Superior Court against Caltrans for the taking of access and septic easements.  The initial offer by Caltrans to our clients was $0.  On a post-trial motion, the court awarded our clients an additional sum of $403,000 as litigation expenses.*

Eminent Domain– The firm obtained a jury verdict of $3,435,904 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, which was $3,300,904 more than the City’s appraisal.  The City then decided to abandon the eminent domain action, and paid $1,005,000 in damages and litigation expenses to our client without acquiring any interest in our client’s property.*

Eminent Domain:  The firm represented a motel owner whose property was being taken by the County for reconstruction of a freeway on-ramp.  The County’s appraiser valued the property at $2,800,000.  At trial in San Bernardino County Superior Court, the firm obtained a jury verdict in favor of the property owner in excess of $4,100,000.*

Eminent Domain:  When the District attempted to condemn apartments owned by the firm’s clients, it made a “lowball” offer, using several undesirable properties in an airport flight path as comparable sales.  After several attempts to resolve the matter by mediation, the case successfully settled on the eve of trial for $600,000 more than the District’s offer before trial, plus the amount of rents lost when the District relocated our client’s tenants.*

Eminent Domain:  The firm represented one of Santa Barbara’s most notable surfboard shapers in eminent domain litigation filed by Caltrans for a freeway on-ramp project.  In addition to obtaining just compensation, the firm was able to keep the client in possession of his surfboard shop by fighting off an aggressive effort for early eviction until our client could arrange for an orderly and reasonable relocation.  In the same project area, the firm represented a window and door business and was successful in obtaining a loss of goodwill settlement of $315,000.00.  Caltrans initially did not make any offer to our client.*

Eminent Domain:  The firm represented a dentist in eminent domain proceedings filed by the City to acquire commercial property on which the dentist also conducted his practice. The firm obtained $1,038,865 more than the City’s initial offer.*

Eminent Domain:  The Government sought to condemn property owned by a family trust on which the family conducted its business. The firm was able to negotiate a settlement in lieu of condemnation for $714,000 more than the Government offered.*

Inverse Condemnation:  Representing a family of property owners, the firm filed suit against a local governmental agency, seeking damages for unreasonable pre-condemnation conduct and delay. The Government had created blight around our clients’ property by acquiring and emptying much of the surrounding land. The Government initially appraised our clients’ property for, and refused to pay more than, $1,025,000. After a trial of the main legal issues in the case, the court ruled that the Government had engaged in unreasonable conduct and delay, and scheduled a jury trial on the issue of the amount of the damages. The Government then settled, purchasing our clients’ property for $3,205,000.*

Inverse Condemnation – The firm recently settled an inverse condemnation lawsuit against a public utility that included the payment of significant just compensation to our clients for such varied items as classic comic books, vinyl record albums, graffiti art, and DJ musical equipment. The firm’s clients filed the lawsuit based on an apartment building fire that originated from the public utility’s adjacent power transformer. The failing transformer generated a fireball that damaged or destroyed our clients’ apartment units and contents. Ash and smoke also permeated the complex, requiring specialized restoration cleaning and asbestos abatement. The public utility initially offered $0 based on inverse condemnation liability. The case settled for over $1,257,000.

Probate & Trust Administration



Probate Litigation:  The firm prevailed in the trial court and on appeal in probate litigation involving a lost will. The appellate court upheld judgment in favor of our client and an award of discovery sanctions against the firm’s opponents. Click here to see the full appellate opinion.*

Probate Litigation:  The firm successfully argued the case of Stewart v. Seward(2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 1513, which firmly established the scope of the statute of limitations on creditor’s claims against a decedent’s estate under Code of Civil Procedure § 366.3.*



Wrongful Termination:  The firm represented an African American employee who had worked for her employer for over ten years. She had good employment ratings and was knowledgeable in several positions in the company. However, she was terminated due to alleged “restructuring” of the department. The termination was devastating and she went into a deep depression. Extensive investigation revealed that her employer had selectively terminated plaintiff due to her race. Indeed, the employer had kept non-African American employees who had been recently hired. The matter settled successfully at a private mediation on confidential terms. Our client recovered from her depression. She has received additional training in a new field and recently was hired by a new employer.*

Wrongful Termination:  The firm’s client had a vision problem that affected his ability to produce parts for a manufacturer at the same rate as other employees.  However, he was very knowledgeable and had many attributes that made him an effective worker. The company had a “reduction in force.”  To select workers for lay-off, the company used recent performance ratings that unfairly focused on our client’s disability.  Under California law, persons with various disabilities are entitled to protection from such adverse employment actions. The case settled on confidential terms at mediation shortly before trial.*

These examples are for illustrative purposes only. Every case or legal issue depends on its own facts, law and the unique credibility of the witnesses involved. Results similar to the above are not and cannot be guaranteed.