Find Lawyers in Houston, Texas for Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
Practice Area Overview
More recently, government has perceived a need to expand the exercise of eminent domain beyond its classic takings context to include a variety of “rationally conceivable” public benefits thinly tethered to public use. In these instances, lawyers are asked to advise their clients on whether the government has been faithful to its constitutional duties to take property only for a public use upon payment of just compensation and in accordance with statutory procedures enacted to protect property owners.
In instances where governmental regulations “go too far” and impose burdens on private interests that should be borne by the public as a whole, lawyers evaluate whether the regulation unconstitutionally deprives the owner of all economically viable use of property or has a significant impact on its value and the owner’s investment-backed expectations.
The Takings Clause also places limits on the power of government to impose exactions for development permits. These exactions may be fees, dedications of real property, or other obligations asserted to offset the impact of a development project. Under the doctrine of unconstitutional exactions, a benefit demanded of the landowner must have a nexus to the impact of the development and be roughly proportional to its anticipated effects.
In many instances, lawyers in this practice area engage experts in appraisal, construction, development, economics, environmental remediation, engineering, permitting, planning, zoning, and related professions to secure fair treatment, fair value, and a fair understanding of whether one of the most potent powers granted to government has been exercised in fidelity to lawful mandates.
Luke Ellis represents property owners when private property is taken by the government and other condemning authorities. Texas Super Lawyers has recognized Luke as one of Texas’s top trial lawyers concentrating on eminent domain and condemnation (2015-2019). Also, he has earned selection to the Best Lawyers in America (2019-2021). He teaches the course on eminent domain and land takings at the University of Texas School of Law and has testified before the Texas Legislature to promote em...
Fred focuses his practice on civil litigation and appeals. His background includes litigation involving public law issues and real estate and commercial disputes. Fred has represented clients in a wide variety of litigation involving governmental matters, including condemnation and inverse condemnation proceedings, construction disputes, election contests, zoning controversies and contract actions. He has extensive experience with regard to eminent domain law, having represented both acquirin...
Charles is a board-certified civil trial lawyer and primarily represents property owners in securing just compensation when government takes private property for public use. While his experience has included takings projects for highway expansion, pipelines, electric transmission lines, and flood control, Charles’s principal practice is focused on highway and roadway widening projects impacting retail, commercial, and industrial uses. Charles has obtained successful special commissioner...
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