Q:  My property in Fresno is in the path of the high speed rail and might be taken by the government.  When should I hire a lawyer?

A:  This is a question asked by many home and business owners faced with eminent domain, and the answer is simple: hire a lawyer as early as possible.  The process of acquiring real property for a public project starts long before a lawsuit is ever filed.  For example, the condemning agency will often seek a permit or a right of entry to test for hazardous materials.  Government representatives may also ask for early access to your property for appraisal purposes or to your financial records that they claim are to assist with determining relocation benefits.

Having early access to a lawyer can help protect you from improper disclosures and help protect your right to receive just compensation, where appropriate, in association with testing.  Further, in cases where a lawyer takes the matter on a contingency, having legal counsel on hand early may cost you little to nothing in comparison to waiting for your case to be filed.

Keep in mind that the government has a complete team of experts, relocation consultants and lawyers on hand.  Shouldn’t you have your own team to protect your rights?

This web log is meant for general information purposes only, and not to give specific legal advice.  It was drafted under principles consistent with California law.  This web log does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you, the reader, and the publisher, Sullivan, Workman & Dee, LLP, and/or any attorney of Sullivan, Workman & Dee, LLP.  The web log/web site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.