Charles L. Ruffin - Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

Charles L. Ruffin

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2007
Phone: 478-750-0777

Charles Ruffin, shareholder in the Firm's Atlanta and Macon offices, has amassed over 30 years a wide array of litigation experience. He currently concentrates his practice in eminent domain and condemnation law, representing landowners and business operators of all sizes in eminent domain, condemnation and inverse condemnation matters. Mr. Ruffin's clients include a wide variety of national and international businesses from large multinational corporations to small individually owned businesses. Mr. Ruffin also represents nationally traded real estate investment trusts and other real estate investors. His clients include oil and gas interests, fast food franchisors and franchisees, hotel investors, commercial, shopping center and office developers, national drugstore chains, residential real estate developers, convenience store chains and a variety of individually owned enterprises, business operations, and properties. Mr. Ruffin maintains an active role in national and state eminent domain matters, serving as a board member and as the Georgia representative in the national organization Owners Counsel of America and as the Founding Chairman of the Eminent Domain Section of the State Bar of Georgia. Mr. Ruffin served as president of the state bar of Georgia during the 2013 – 2014 bar year.

In 2005, Mr. Ruffin testified on three occasions on behalf of landowner interests before a special Georgia Senate Committee considering revision of eminent domain laws following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London.

In recognition of his achievements in his chosen specialty, Mr. Ruffin has been selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America® in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law since 2007. In addition, the Firm's Atlanta eminent domain and condemnation law practice, which is led by Mr. Ruffin, is ranked Tier 1 by the U.S. News/Best Lawyers ranking of practices in the United States.

Emory University School of LawJ.D. 1980Auburn UniversityBBus 1977
Chief Justice's Commission on ProfessionalismOwners Counsel of AmericaInstitute for Local Government Legal StudiesGeorgia Bar FoundationAmerican Bar FoundationLeadership Georgia Leadership USA Downtown Macon Rotary ClubOwners Counsel of AmericaEminent Domain Seminars, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2003 – 04 Institute for Continuing Legal Education of Georgia Lawyers Club of Atlanta Emory Law School Council Macon Bar AssociationMacon Bar AssociationAtlanta Bar AssociationAmerican Bar Association (Eminent Domain Committee, Real Estate Section) State Bar of Georgia (President, 2013 – 2014; Treasurer, Founding Chairman, Eminent Domain Section; Chairman, Military Legal Assistance Program; Member, Board of Governors Executive Committee; Chair, Constitutional Law Section) State Bar of Georgia, 2013 – 2014

Case History

Recent Representative Matters
  • June 2014 – Obtained a jury verdict against the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) in a case involving a recreational lake-oriented convenience store in central Georgia. The verdict results in an award of $1.22 million to the client, a gasoline and oil jobber, a sum 289 percent higher than that paid into court by GDOT on commencement of the litigation.
  • November 2013 – Tried to successful conclusion jury trial involving damage to access to hotel property in central Georgia. Jury award resulted in recovery 400 percent higher than sums offered by the GDOT.
  • September 2013 – Settled major condemnation for national trucking firm in Savannah. Settlement involved substantial plan revisions avoiding taking of office building and land locking of property. In addition funds of $1.5 million were paid for property taken and for consequential damages and mitigation expense.
  • September 2013 – Settled taking of portion of major shopping center in north metro Atlanta. Settlement involved cash of $4.5 million and plan revisions to mitigate damage to center.
  • November 2012 – Tried a business loss and real estate condemnation case in west Georgia. After a nine-day trial obtained a jury verdict resulting in a recovery of $1.9 million dollars which represented a 100 percent increase over sums paid into court by GDOT. The case involved a taking of property from and damage to a warehouse distribution company.

Office Location

Monarch Plaza, Suite 1600
3414 Peachtree Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
United States


Lawyer of the Year Awards

2016 Lawyer of the Year in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law of the Atlanta Metro Area
Charles L. Ruffin has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!

Practice Areas

Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law (Litigation)