Eminent Domain & Title Litigation

Consistent with Hirschler Fleischer's strong commitment to the real estate development community, the Eminent Domain practice group represents landowners in defense of efforts by federal, state and local governments to take private property for allegedly "public" use and to assure payment of just and adequate compensation when land is taken or damaged as guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, § 11 of the Constitution of Virginia.

Of particular note is the defense of an attempted condemnation of private property for construction of a parking deck by a Virginia locality where the majority of the parking and ground floor retail space were committed to an adjacent privately owned hotel development. The Circuit Court held the attempted take to lack the required element of public use and dismissed the case. This decision represents one of the very few successfully defended eminent domain cases in Virginia and was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court briefs in the famous Kelo appeal as the leading case in Virginia on public use.

Hirschler Fleischer attorneys handle eminent domain cases throughout the state but have particular local knowledge in handling matters arising in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover and the other localities that comprise the Richmond metro area, and also in Fredericksburg, Spottsylvania and Stafford due to our extensive land use and real estate practice in these localities. Often the transactions being cited by the appraisers as comparable sales were negotiated, zoned, financed or closed by Hirschler Fleischer attorneys, giving us insight into the transaction not available even to the appraisers which we translate into superior trial preparation and presentation.

In addition to superior client service and results, the Eminent Domain practice group is able to offer clients flexible, creative and result driven fee arrangements including contingent and hybrid fee arrangements. The lead attorney of the practice group, John Walk, is one of only nine (9) lawyers listed in Best Lawyers' category of Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Several of these attorneys practice exclusively on behalf of governmental authorities exercising eminent domain power against private property. John is assisted by Andrew Sherrod, a principal in the firm, and by an associate, Stacie Bordick in our Fredericksburg office.