New Eminent Domain Book Sheds Light on the “Dark Corner of the Law”

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The Owners’ Counsel of America salutes the publication of The Law of Eminent Domain: Fifty-State Survey which details the law and procedures relating to eminent domain in each state and the District of Columbia.

The Law of Eminent Domain: Fifty-State Survey was published in June 2012.

The Law of Eminent Domain: Fifty-State Survey was published in June 2012.

This is a tremendously valuable resource for property owners, as well as condemnation, zoning and land use practitioners, across the nation.

The Owners’ Counsel of America commends the efforts of the Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation and the state authors who collaborated to publish The Law of Eminent Domain: Fifty-State Survey. By providing a single reference source for questions about condemnation in every state and the District of Columbia, the Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use Committee and the many contributors to the project have succeeded in illuminating this area of law, which has been referred to as the “dark corner of the law” by such revered legal scholars as Lewis Orgel and Gideon Kanner.

William (Bill) G. Blake of Baylor, Evnen, Curtiss, Grimit & Witt, LLP in Lincoln, Nebraska and the Nebraska Member of the Owners’ Counsel of America, edited the book. “While this project required significant work by myself and Committee Chairs to identify and secure authors for each state and D.C., the end result is a collaborative product produced by more than 51 experienced eminent domain attorneys from across the country,” he said. “It truly was a pleasure working with each of the authors and the Committee Chairs to successfully complete the project and publish a resource that sheds light on the many complexities and variations of the eminent domain process in each jurisdiction.”

The book began as a project of the Committee in 2004 when the then Committee Chair, Susan Low, sought to create an opportunity for students and practitioners to compare state by state the laws of eminent domain, also known as condemnation, by compiling key aspects of the law and procedure in each state jurisdiction into a single source. Over the succeeding eight years, eminent domain attorneys and scholars from around the country collaborated to create a comprehensive resource detailing the differences in condemnation laws and practices nationwide.

“We hope that this work demonstrates the value of membership in the ABA and, particularly, in the Section of Litigation, Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use Committee,” said Casey Pipes of Helmsing, Leach, Herlong, Newman & Rouse, P.C. in Mobile, Alabama and current Committee Co-Chair. Pipes and past Co-chair, Robert J. Will, helped Editor Bill Blake transition what began as a web-based resource for Committee members into the reference desk book that was published in June of 2012.

Casey Pipes and his law partner, Warren C. Herlong, the Alabama Owners’ Counsel Member, authored the Alabama Chapter of the book. “It was an honor to be asked to contribute the Alabama Chapter of this book, and years later, it was a real pleasure to be in the position of being one of the Co-Chairs of the Committee when the survey of laws was complete,” said Casey.

As a past Co-Chair of the Condemnation Committee (2007-2010) and author of the Oregon Chapter, Jill S. Gelineau, of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt in Portland was also an integral supporter of the project. "I am pleased that the efforts of many people have resulted in publication of The Law of Eminent Domain: Fifty-State Survey. This is a tremendously valuable resource for property owners, as well as condemnation, zoning and land use practitioners, across the nation," she said.

A number of attorneys affiliated with the Owners' Counsel of America authored chapters in The Law of Eminent Domain, including New York Member Michael Rikon, shareholder in the Manhattan-based condemnation and property rights firm Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon, P.C. “The survey is extremely helpful because it provides an encyclopedia of the law on eminent domain for every state,” he explained.

Other eminent domain lawyers affiliated with the Owners’ Counsel who contributed to the publication as state authors include Brandon K. Moffitt (Arkansas), Robert H. Thomas (Hawaii), John R. Hamilton (Kansas), James D. Masterman (Massachusetts), Mark D. Savin (Minnesota), Michael A. Schneider (Nevada), Anthony F. Della Pelle (New Jersey), Mark Meierhenry (South Dakota), John Kevin Walsh (Tennessee), H. Dixon Montague (Texas), and Jeremy Hopkins (Virginia).

The Owners' Counsel of America applauds the work of Editor Bill Blake, the ABA Condemnation Committee and the contributing authors to complete the publication of The Law of Eminent Domain and congratulates Bill Blake for being named Co-Chair, along with Casey Pipes, of the ABA’s Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use Committee for 2012-2013.

The Law of Eminent Domain: Fifty State Survey is available for purchase in eBook and paperback format on the ABA website here.

ABOUT OWNERS' COUNSEL OF AMERICA:

The Owners’ Counsel of America http://www.ownerscounsel.com is a nationwide network of the country’s most experienced eminent domain attorneys dedicated to protecting the rights of private property owners large and small, locally and nationally, and to furthering the cause of property rights. The lawyers affiliated with Owners’ Counsel are in private practice in nearly every state and represent landowners against federal, state, and local governments, utilities, redevelopment authorities and other entities that may possess the power of eminent domain.

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Catherine Newman
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