Eminent Domain and Land Use

Demetriou, Del Guercio, Springer & Francis, LLP brings significant background, depth, experience and maturity to high dollar value eminent domain matters. Our experience in such matters dates from 1957 when Richard A. Del Guercio acquired, on behalf of the County of Los Angeles, all of the lands which now comprise the Marina Del Rey Small Craft Harbor. Today, the Firm continues to be responsible for substantial matters, including the acquisition of the Wilshire-Vermont, Hollywood and Vine, Vermont-Beverly, and Vermont-Sunset station sites for the Metro Rail system. Since 1961, the firm has specialized in eminent domain matters on behalf of owners of private property and also as special counsel on behalf of various condemning agencies.

The trial of property valuation issues comprises an important part of this practice. While a strong grounding in the three standard appraisal methods is important, more and more frequently, other issues have become important as well. Additional experts may be needed in areas such as real estate economics, land development, civil engineering, and environmental contamination. We have thorough familiarity in identifying the need for such experts, coordinating their work, and effectively presenting their results.

We take pride in achieving outstanding results through the identification and presentation of innovative and creative valuation solutions. Our leadership role in the identification of innovative valuation solutions is recognized in areas such as goodwill (influence of leasehold bonus value), contaminated properties (influence of rights of reimbursement), and real estate economics (influence of nearby rapid transit stations).

Demetriou, Del Guercio, Springer & Francis, LLP also has substantial experience in the litigation of legal challenges to the right to take. We have litigated disputes over necessity, statutory authority to condemn, and whether the acquisition is for a public use. Our experience includes multi-million dollar cases involving challenges to compliance with procedural prerequisites such as the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), pre-acquisition offers, and owner participation in redevelopment projects.

While we take pride in the development of innovative and creative solutions to both valuation and legal issues, our highest commitment is to help our clients achieve results in a cost-effective manner. Our experience, know-how, and creativity are all focused on achieving this goal.

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