Eminent Domain NC Law Firm of Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog Wins Record-Setting Settlement

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North Carolina Eminent Domain Attorneys at Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog Win the Largest Settlement in NCDOT History at $22,500,000 – Beating the Previous Record-Setting Settlement of over $15,000,000 – Set by the Same Firm.

Eminent Domain North Carolina

George B. Autry, Jr. Attorney

Results over a decade have laid the groundwork for our future clients to have better settlement opportunities...

The firm's Land Condemnation and Eminent Domain Law Group concentrates in protecting the property rights of North Carolina residents. This group, comprised of North Carolina eminent domain lawyers George Autry, Stephanie Autry, Brady Wells, and case manager Susan Talbert, recently negotiated a settlement for the owner of a commercial shopping center. The client lost a portion of their property as a result of an eminent domain taking by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The property owner received an initial offer from the NCDOT for $16.8 million in compensation for their lost property rights, but the firm's Land Condemnation and Eminent Domain Law Group negotiated a settlement in the amount of $22.5 million, an increase of almost 34 percent.

According to the annual list of Top 25 Verdicts and Settlements compiled by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, this settlement is the largest eminent domain verdict or settlement in 2013 in the State of North Carolina, and the second-largest settlement of all cases in North Carolina in 2013. In addition, the attorneys in the Land Condemnation and Eminent Domain Law Group have two other settlements in the Top 25 list. These include a $7.3 million settlement associated with the eminent domain taking of a parking lot from an office building, and a $5.2 million settlement for the eminent domain taking of less than an acre of commercial property.

The firm and its lawyers are uniquely positioned to protect the property rights of their clients. Attorney George B. Autry has more than twenty years of experience practicing eminent domain law in North Carolina. In fact, every attorney in the Land Condemnation and Eminent Domain Law Group has more than a decade of experience representing clients in eminent domain proceedings in North Carolina.

In commenting on his firm's experience, partner George B. Autry, Jr. stated that the firm's "results over a decade have laid the groundwork for our future clients to have better settlement opportunities because the DOT or the condemnor... knows that we will be there, that we are willing and able to try the case and that we'll get good results when we do."

The Land Condemnation and Eminent Domain Law Group at Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog prides itself on its ability to maximize the compensation that property owners receive if their property rights are affected by an eminent domain taking in North Carolina. A sampling of the verdicts and settlements they have achieved for their clients includes:

  • A $15.8 million settlement, an almost 250 percent increase over the initial offer of $4.8 million.
  • A $1.5 million settlement, approximately ten times more than the initial offer of $146,500.
  • A $708,000 verdict, more than 60 times the initial offer of $10,400.
  • A $5.4 million settlement, which was twice the initial offer of $2.7 million.

The success of the firm in obtaining favorable verdicts and settlements in eminent domain proceedings is premised on the firm's reputation for achieving impressive results and the level of preparation that the firm and its lawyers devote to each of their cases. The firm began when Mr. Autry discovered that there were very few experienced lawyers representing property owners in eminent domain proceedings in North Carolina. As a result, the property owners in North Carolina were at a distinct disadvantage and it was difficult for property owners to find legal representation that they could trust would have the necessary eminent domain experience and preparation.

The lawyers in the Land Condemnation and Eminent Domain Law Group at Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog understand how important it is to earn and keep their clients' trust. "People often come to us with a unique desperation for somebody to trust," said Mr. Autry "and I think we have shown through our results that we are worthy of that trust."

The law firm of Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog is a mid-size law firm with offices in Charlotte, Wilmington, and Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition to land condemnation and eminent domain law, the firm's practice areas include, medical malpractice and personal injury law, intellectual property law, employment law, family law, and products liability law. The Land Condemnation and Eminent Domain Law Group within the firm is comprised of lawyers that solely represent property owners whose property rights are impacted by eminent domain or land condemnation.

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Susan Talbert