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Eminent Domain

As Florida continues to build roads, there is the need for utilities and a myriad of other infrastructure requirements that must be planned and constructed. Broad and Cassel is widely recognized as one of the premier Florida law firms in the area of eminent domain and condemnation. For more than 65 years, we have represented both property owners and condemning authorities involved in condemnation actions.

Click here for an Overview of Eminent Domain and property owner rights.

Representation of Property Owners

We also represent property owners whose property has been affected by the condemnation process. Important to the client, our experience and knowledge in representing condemning authorities proves invaluable in our ability to represent these property owners.

Here, our objective is to obtain the highest possible dollar amount for the subject property.

Representation of Condemning Authorities

Our involvement in a condemnation action is usually multi-faceted and can include the following:

  • Counseling the condemning authority on issues ranging from:
    • the acquisition of fee simple title
    • rights of way issues
    • the platting of the rights of way by engineers and surveyors
    • the preparation of legal descriptions of the proposed rights of way
  • Preparing title abstracts
  • Identifying property owners
  • Contacting the owners
  • Attempting to negotiate, based on guidelines approved by the client, to acquire the right of way
  • If necessary, we work with the appropriate agencies to condemn the subject property
  • Identifying the various governmental entities and regulatory agencies involved in a particular project
  • Skillfully negotiating all related approvals and permits necessary for its completion
  • Accomplishing our goal to deliver the property to the condemning authority in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible

Eminent Domain Experience

Our attorneys have vast experience in eminent domain, condemnation and inverse condemnation matters. Recently, we have handled more than 240 eminent domain cases, including 85 eminent domain actions for the Orlando-Orange County East-West Expressway Authority, and numerous eminent domain actions for the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners. In addition, we represent local and foreign property owners across the State of Florida in a variety of land use issues.

Our attorneys are highly skilled and experienced negotiators, some of whose backgrounds include:

  • Condemnation Counsel for governmental agencies, such as the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority in Central Florida and the Orange County School Board
  • Several litigators with more than twenty years experience in inverse condemnation
  • Former Special Counsel for the Seminole County Expressway Authority in association with the Eastern Beltway Extension
  • A former Florida Department of Transportation chief eminent domain trial attorney who has been involved in obtaining right of way for and construction of literally hundreds of miles of interstate highways
  • Several members of The Florida Bar's Eminent Domain Committee
  • An attorney presently involved in a lead role in a public/private partnership which will result in approximately $250 million in road infrastructure for Central Florida
  • Guest lecturers to the American Bar Association's Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Seminar
  • A keynote speaker at the 6th and 10th Annual Florida Municipal Attorney's Association on the use of eminent domain
  • An expert in transactional real estate, environmental and land use law, and municipal finance, who routinely negotiates and litigates difficult environmental permitting through administrative and judicial processes
  • Members of the Red Book of Bond Attorneys, who are highly skilled with a wide variety of general obligation and special assessment bonds

Examples of Eminent Domain Matters

  • Private Property Owners - Condemnation and eminent domain matters, including inverse condemnation on a statewide basis, including representation of clients before the Federal government, the State of Florida and its subdivisions, particularly the Department of Transportation, and various counties and cities. In a recent case, our Eminent Domain team worked to prove an engineering firm hired by a state agency had conflicting reports, and in the end received a $1.33 million increase for their client’s land.
  • Environmentally Sensitive Lands - We acted as special counsel for the Escambia County Utilities Authority in the acquisition of a 900+ acre environmentally sensitive waterfront tract to be used for the surface application of treated wastewater under the Florida Wastewater to Wetlands Program. This case was tried for two weeks in May 1993 and resulted in a verdict of $2.6 million (the original offer by Escambia County Utilities Authority was $2,000 per acre and the owner's demand at trial was about $5 million dollars).
  • Sophisticated Negotiations - We represented a major landowner in the negotiation, formation, structure and closing of the Dart Boulevard/Southern Connector project in Orange and Osceola Counties. This public/private partnership involved a total project cost of approximately $300 million and required complex agreements and delicate negotiations between the Florida Department of Transportation, Osceola County, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Walt Disney World and five other major property owners.
  • Out-of-State Property Owners - Broad and Cassel routinely represents out-of-state interests. We concluded a major raw land acquisition for a hotel chain relocating to Florida. We provided our services in the purchase and platting of the property; negotiating and obtaining waste and sewer agreements; and negotiating and drafting utility and access easement with utilities, adjacent property owners and the municipalities and governmental agencies having jurisdiction.