Why Hire an Attorney?
Representing yourself is not advisable.
The government has a team of lawyers, appraisers, acquisition agents and other professionals working to acquire your property at a “fair” price for the taxpayers.
They will evaluate your property and/or business, often with insufficient analysis and with little or no input from you because they are usually retained pursuant to a bidding process where the low bidder is awarded the contract. A low bidder will not spend the time or effort necessary to fully analyze the unique characteristics of your property that may distinguish it from other properties. Additionally, government experts are usually retained to acquire all property needed for the project, not just your parcel or business. Their primary interest and motivation is NOT to consider the unique characteristics of your property that enhance its value, but to value it based upon a consistent methodology. Experts hired by the government know who they work for.
Experienced eminent domain lawyers see what you may not.
An eminent domain lawyer will work with an appraiser and other proven experts who are experienced in eminent domain matters. They will apply unique eminent domain laws in the valuation process, which can positively impact the valuation of your property.
A few examples may include:
- Your valuation team will disregard “project influence” (the negative impact on value caused by the government’s project) when appraising your property.
- Consideration of a hypothetical zoning or a land-use change that may enhance the as-is value of the property.
- Disregarding sales that are not “arm’s length” and/or due to coercion, distress or project knowledge.
A defendant in an eminent domain case is entitled to “full compensation”
The best strategy to obtain FULL compensation is to retain your own independent team of eminent domain professionals to value your property and the potential damages to your remaining property or business (if applicable), independent of the government’s often-biased analysis.