• Eminent Domain Litigation

    Eminent Domain is Our Domain
    Manatt's lawyers are known throughout California and the United States as experienced  eminent domain litigators with extensive experience in the property rights disputes that accompany almost every large public project – such as highway or rail construction, redevelopment projects, and infrastructure development of all sorts.  In addition, the firm has handled some of the largest inverse condemnation cases – those in which eminent domain is not formally invoked, so the taking must be proven – and done so for both property owners seeking compensation and for government entities contesting such claims.  For example, we recently won an inverse condemnation judgment of more than $40 million for property owners whose land was converted to wetlands by drainage improvements installed by the City of Half Moon Bay.  We were able to prove at trial that the wetlands were not created by Mother Nature – they were actually formed by trapped storm water as a direct result of a storm drain that had been improperly installed by the City itself.  

    Manatt in Action  

    • We have represented property owners in landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases involving the right to compensation for eminent domain and inverse condemnation:  
      • Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 535 U.S. 302 (2002) (whether a land use moratorium is a taking of property must be decided on a case-by-case basis)
      • City of Monterey v. Del Monte Dunes at Monterey, Ltd., 526 U.S. 687 (1999) (right to Seventh Amendment jury trial and Fifth Amendment compensation for regulatory taking)
      • Preseault v. ICC, 494 U.S. 1 (1990) (federal "rails-to-trails" statute is valid under the Commerce Clause; however, compensation may be sought in the Claims Court under the Just Compensation Guarantee)
      • First English Evangelical Lutheran Church v. County of Los Angeles, 482 U.S. 304 (1987) (Constitution requires just compensation for regulatory taking of property)
      • Agins v. City of Tiburon, 447 U.S. 255 (1980) (ripeness rules for regulatory taking cases)
    • We successfully defended the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority against claims alleging inverse condemnation from impacts of a light rail train.
    • We secured an award of more than $28 million for a property owner whose commercial building was devalued by condemnation of all parking facilities by Los Angeles Unified School District.
    • We won a judgment of more than $50 million for property owners whose land was devalued by condemnation for construction of a massive water storage reservoir by the Metropolitan Water District.  
    • We defended Pacific Gas & Electric Company in lawsuits seeking authority to condemn a 40,000-customer service territory in San Joaquin County.

    Attorneys & Professionals

    Berger, Michael M. Los Angeles 310.312.4185
    Burg, Edward G. Los Angeles 310.312.4189
    Dwight, Kevin P. San Francisco 415.291.7464
    Gomez, Charles G. Los Angeles 310.312.4123
    Soneff, George M. Los Angeles 310.312.4186
    Yeh, Jack S. Los Angeles 310.312.4367

    Eminent Domain Litigation

    Selected Clients

    • AMB Properties
    • California Water Service Co.
    • Flying J
    • Keenan Land Company
    • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency
    • Office Depot
    • Chevys Restaurants
    • Regency Outdoor Advertising
    • U-Haul Real Estate Company
    • Union Pacific RR
    • Veterans of Foreign Wars
    • YUM Brands, Inc.
  • Awards & Rankings

    logo/img/@altRanked in Tier 1 in Los Angeles for Eminent Domain & Condemnation Law 2010–2015