Many people take property rights for granted, until it is their private property that is being taken.
Although eminent domain is considered a power of the government, the Florida Constitution provides meaningful protection to owners, both in its requirement that private property not be taken except for public purpose and in an owner’s entitlement to full compensation.
When we say that we only represent property owners, we mean it.
We devote our practice of law to exclusively representing owners in matters of eminent domain, property rights, and real estate litigation. We do not represent the government, nor any other condemning authority.
As such, we consistently argue for the protection of property rights before the federal and state courts; we do not, for example, argue the opposite side of an issue in another case because we do not represent condemnors.
Basically, we don’t want to run into ourselves arguing for a property owner in one case only to be advocating for the very opposite principle in another case while representing a condemning authority.
We say that we are statewide, because we are.
We have represented owners in 32 of Florida’s 67 counties. Condemning authorities with whom we have litigated against include cities, counties, the FDOT, other expressway authorities, as well as private, for-profit utility and pipeline companies. We have resolved over 500 eminent domain cases.
Our lawyers have served as lead counsel in eminent domain jury trials in Duval, St. Johns, Nassau, Flagler, Volusia, Marion, Orange, Escambia, Walton, Leon, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Martin, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.
Our lawyers have also resolved a variety of eminent domain matters in additional counties such as Clay, Putnam, Bradford, Columbia, Santa Rosa, Washington, Bay, Hernando, Levy, Sumter, Osceola, Polk, Highlands, Brevard, St. Lucie, and Palm Beach Counties.
experience means a lot
In defending your property rights, experience means a lot. Although approximately 90% of our cases settle prior to trial, the Brigham Property Rights Law Firm has proven results.
Eminent domain has a complexity to it. You should have attorneys skilled in this practice area to navigate mixed questions of law and fact. You should inquire of a law firm’s experience in handling other eminent domain matters, including jury trial experience in both large and small eminent domain cases.
In 2008, Andrew Prince Brigham served as lead counsel in a jury trial regarding the case styled Jaxport v. Keystone Coal Company. Representing Tom Scholl of Keystone Coal Company, Mr. Brigham secured a verdict of $67,410,000 which is the largest eminent domain jury verdict in state court proceedings in Florida.
More recently, Brigham Property Rights Law Firm obtained the largest jury verdict at the time against the Florida Department of Transportation in the preceding five years (2014-2019) regarding the case styled Florida Department of Transportation v. Taylor. The verdict was $4,905,000.
Additionally, Brigham Property Rights Law Firm obtained the largest presuit settlement at the time with the Florida Department of Transportation in the preceding five years (2014-2019) regarding the First Coast Expressway. The settlement resulted in a net award to the owner of $23,000,000.
we work for property owners.
In 2016-2019, Brigham Property Rights Law Firm represented 50 property owners in Hamilton, Suwannee, Sumter, Levy, Marion, and Lake Counties against NextEra/Spectra Energy regarding the Sabal Trail Pipeline. While a majority of these cases resolved under confidential terms of settlement, three cases proceeded to jury trial with jury verdicts of $309,500, $463,439, and $861,264, respectively, defeating Sabal Trail’s contention that its natural gas pipeline resulted in “zero damages” to the owner’s remainder property for market fear or stigma. Brigham Property Rights Law Firm is currently defending these cases on appeal before the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal
We have represented owners in cases where the government does overstep its bounds in seeking to use the eminent domain power. So too, although the measure of full compensation has precedent in many Florida cases, your case will have its own facts and circumstances. Often, the analysis of a taking is a forensic investigation comparing conditions before and after condemnation. These factors give reason for retaining experienced legal counsel in both settlements and trials. Therefore, request of us or other law firm under consideration to see a track record of past results.