Eminent Domain Lawyers Say Work Is Picking Up

September 29, 2010 – In The News
The Legal Intelligencer

Eminent domain attorneys may find an increase in business as road and transportation projects pick up in the mid-Atlantic region as a result of stimulus funds. Attorneys for both condemnors and condemnees have seen a rise in takings that can ultimately lead to trials over valuation in an economy that still presents a rift between buyers and landowners over property values. "Just by the sheer volume of takings you’ll probably have an increase in eminent domain” cases, said David Snyder, who recently helped property owners of Marlton Crossing shopping center in New Jersey win a $1.6 million verdict for an essential driveway they lost in the Marlton Circle elimination project.

The decision in the 2006 Kelo v. City of New London case by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the city to take an elderly woman’s home for redevelopment purposes made the use of eminent domain unfavorable, said Snyder. Over the years, that notion has dwindled as the need to carry out redevelopment and improvements continues to grow. The valuation is typically the current problem. “A property owner may not normally market their property at this time, but if it’s taken at this time, it’s valued at the date of taking,” Snyder said. He expects to see an increase in eminent domain work on a state-by-state basis as each state utilizes stimulus and other federal funds.